Google Maps have been made better with improved imagery which delivers 700 trillion individual pixels of data according to a blog post dated 27 June 2016.

The difference is dramatic, and the new mosaic is available courtesy the Landsat  8 satellite and the publicly accessible Earth Engine APIs.

The augmentation in the quality of the imagery is due to the cloud-free-imagery which affords better and clearer views of the planet.

The Landsat  8 captured image twice as fast as compared to its predecessor.

It makes the mosaic more recent and detailed as compared to the past iterations. The search engine giant has introduced a processing method which gives sharper images than ever before. The California-based web giant had first introduced the cloud-free map of the globe in 2013 making use of data provided by Landsat  7.

Landsat  8 was launched in 2013 and is a joint project of USGS/NASA, and the satellite series has been observing the planet continuously since 1972 till date.

The data is available as open source and is free. The latest imagery is running on all Google mapping products.It is the 8th satellite in the Landsat  family.

The satellite can capture a varied range of light spectrum including deep blue and infrared. The spacecraft captures a series of pictures from areas which are cloud-free. These images are then joined to give the sharpest a global mosaic yet.

The previous maps for Google Earth, and Maps were created by images obtained from Landsat  7.

Google’s plan to cover India through Google Street View has been rejected by the Government citing security reasons. The 2008 terror attacks are believed to have been planned and carried with extensive use of Google maps.

The rejection came after exhaustive analysis by security agencies and defense department which reasoned that by providing access to Google to cover India will compromise its security.