South Wales coast west of Tenby

I've arrived in South Wales now, having crossed from Cornwall via Lundy. The landscape has a pleasing autumnal glow to it because I've been forced to use Bing rather than Google images. In the UK Google images are marginally more consistent (fewer clouds, fewer colour casts, etc) but in some places (eg here) they are definitely inferior to Bing. The UK is the only country in the world (that I know of) where there's very little difference in resolution between the two image sources. In the USA and mainland Europe the Google resolution always seems better. On the other hand Google images are usually darker and duller. They need lightening before they look really good. The interesting range of colours shown in this screenshot is more common with Bing orthos. A lot of Bing images also appear to have been taken when the sun was quite low in the sky. This can look good, but it can also produce shadows that obscure detail. There is ground frost in the corners of some of these fields.

The other difference in this part of Wales is that the 1 m heightmap coverage isn't complete along the coast. I've had to use the 2m data. There's little to be gained in England from using 2m data, but here the 2 m data has much better coverage. I'm not sure that there's much detectable difference between the two resolutions, but I may try to take some comparison shots where both sets of data are available.

Comments 2

  • I usually boost the brightness and contrast to both image sources for that happy feel, it also helps shine when sunset/evening flying. I find Google usually has less clouds to remove compared to Bing. Only downside is I'm a nut and usually photoshop all the watermarks in areas of interest, so it's a blessing to come across high res Bing Images. Having multiple orthos for the same area is great because it gives a 'different day' fresh feel to flying. Looking forward to adding USGS orthos soon.

    • Yes, I do exactly the same with the brightness and contrast - it makes the world of difference. I batch process them if they're consistently all too dull. The only snag with that is that an adjustment that is good for fields and forests is often too bright for beaches. The images always look lighter in the simulator, so a bit of trial and error is involved. I haven't gone so far as photoshopping the watermarks yet!