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MapBox develops cloudless atlas

US: Mapping site MapBox has created an interactive cloudless atlas using two year”s worth of images taken by NASA satellites. More than 339,000 images were collected from NASA”s Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) technology, which orbits the Earth attached to satellites.

Cartographers from MapBox then sorted through the images, pixel-by-pixel, finding images taken on cloudless summer days and layered them on top of each other to create the atlas.

After MapBox selected the data it wanted, the relevant images were moved from NASA”s servers to MapBox”s. Cartographers at the open-source company then sifted through the images to remove the clouds in order to get a clear shot of the ground.

Traditionally, these images would then be sewn together but, according to MapBox cartographer Charlie Lloyd, this method can leave visible seams in the map. Images next to each other might also come from different days, so the images wouldn”t tie up exactly.

To solve this problem, MapBox took all the images of an area and put them one on top of the other.

Source: Daily Mail