There are certain areas of the world where Virtual Earth's imagery is, well, low resolution. Let's face it, the world is a huge place and Virtual Earth just having had it's 3rd birthday is only in the initial phases of rolling out imagery and photography to cover the world. For those of you who just can't wait, have a specific area you want covered or need more recently updated imagery/photography than what's native to Virtual Earth there's a new service from TerraPixel called Image Patch.

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Image Patch uses the raster overlay capabilities built into Virtual Earth to render their own imagery and photography (a la MapCruncher). There are several different types of layers in which they will patch, including, but not limited to:

  • CAD professionals to design conceptual planning, overlay their CAD files and or view 3D buildings over high resolution terrain.
  • GIS professionals to publish their own data along with MSVE data (GoVE program) and get progressive updates of recently developed locations to keep their Base Map up to date.
  • Real Estate Developers will soon be able to publish their recently developed location on the core DB of VE.

And, if you don't have imagery / photography, they'll get it for you! So, now you can look at Virtual Earth; get angry because it's awesome, but we don't have good photos of your area or interest; then, call up Terra Pixel and they'll go get it AND overlay it for you on Virtual Earth.

Check out this example of progression over time:
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If you go to the "Holy Patch" sample you can see Jerusalem where Virtual Earth will actually limit your zooming capabilities because the resolution of the imagery reaches the best it's going to look after being rasterized. Compare that side by side with a higher resolution image of a structure zoomed way in using Image Patch.

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The other way to get the updated imagery / photography you want into Virtual Earth is to publish your data to Virtual Earth as a part of the GoVE program (Terra Pixel can also help with this process), but if you can't wait for us to publish your imagery and you need it yesterday, Image Patch is a great way to get the map interface you want for your applications.

CP