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Google Maps - no more patchwork

jf [PersonRank 5]

Tuesday, July 11, 2006
13 years ago7,962 views

Anyone else notice that Google Maps no longer has a "patchwork" effect when you zoom out?

On the plus side , it makes the zoomed out images more realistic – but the downside is that you no longer can tell which areas of the Earth are in hi-res or not.

Art-One [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

It's true on a high level patch work is gone.
You can see some patchwork on a smaller level though.

E.g. maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&l ...

I suppose this patch work now only appears when reaching some final zoom level for one part of a map & there are still more zoom levels for other parts of the map.

Nice improvement imo. I do think also that the zoom level shouldn't be indicated by a kind of patchwork but e.g. by an indication on the map or on the zoom bar.

Andrew Hitchcock [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Nice catch, but I really don't like this. The patchwork was nice because it told you where you could find the hi-res imagery, it looked nicer, and the transition between resolution levels wasn't as abrupt.

As an example, I don't like the look of my default location in satellite mode:

maps.google.com/maps?f=q&h ...

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Pretty good.

What Art-One points is in France, and there was a "square" High Resolution here since the last update of Google Maps/Earth. There was no longer clouds.
So there is a come back to the last picture.
But when you zoom... no clouds ;)

I'll do an article about that, thanks

Andrew Hitchcock [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

After playing around some more, and zooming in and out, I've changed my mind a little. Here are my thoughts now:

1. It looks better when zoomed out. The high resolution imagery looked pretty bad after zooming out about halfway (it was all one gray nasty mess of color). This is better at showing the true color of the region, especially for places like Ohio and Massachusetts which looked horrible before.

2. It is still annoying not knowing where you can find high resolution imagery.

3. Also, they should make the high resolution imagery kick in one step sooner. Right now, at the last step of low resolution imagery, it looks pretty bad.

Andrew

PS: If you want to see the old map, you can go here:

andrewhitchcock.org/maps/oldma ...

Andrew Hitchcock [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Here's a good comparison of the improvement while zoomed out:

Before:


adpowers.googlepages.com/neold ...



After:


adpowers.googlepages.com/nenew ...

Caleb E [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I like this a lot better. When I show people Google Maps/Earth they invariably respond with several "why is ___ a different color?" and it was hard for them to grasp that this was the earth because it just doesn't look like it. The other thing they ask a lot is "where are the clouds" and "is this live?" (in a somewhat nervous manner). heh.

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

There is no change on Google Earth.

Unfortunately, from now on, you are not able to see "by far" (not sure it's english) what areas are in high resolution.

Art-One [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Andrew, Tom, I've made some suggestion on how they can indicate high resolution area's. (c.f. [Up] blogoscoped.com/forum/44334.ht ...) Maybe you have still better suggestions?

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Art-One > I didn't answered to your message I though it wasn't a supposition ;-)
So, no better suggestion for me

NateDawg [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I agree with Caleb E, it looks more professional now and not like something cropped together.

Caleb E [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Tom, a good way to say that would be "from afar"

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

yes it's that, moreover it's in my dictionnary so it's surely good ^^
thanks ;-)

Haochi [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

>>It is still annoying not knowing where you can find high resolution imagery.<<
This must not be a good news for Google Maps hunters.

James Bradbury [PersonRank 5]

13 years ago #

In addition, when I zoom in, it first magnifies the imagery, then updates it, instead of displaying grey squares. I'm sure it didn't do that yesterday. Also, I actually like the low resolution when zoomed out thing. It lets you see what it actually looks like, rather than a grey or brown block. However, sometimes the tiles aren't in the right place when I'm zoomed out. When I zoom in and back out, they are in their correct places again. I don't know why this is happening.

Haochi [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

The lower-level images are not as up-to-date as the higher level,
maps.google.com/maps?ll=25.118 ...
when you zoom out one level, the man-make island(palm island) disappears.
Level 7 is where the hi-res images start showing.

James Bradbury [PersonRank 5]

13 years ago #

Everybody may be divided on this now, but the more hi-res imagery there is, the less you have to look for it. Once Google covers the whole world with hi-res, this won't matter. Also, once that happens, the old method will not work at all, since the whole world will be gray and brown. I think Google has decided that they have reached enough hi-res coverage for one to know that if someplace is urban or suburban, it is certainly hi-res, and if it is rural, it might be.

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