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yogazoo

Garmin BirdsEye Satellite Imagery Updates

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I've been using Garmin BirdsEye Satellite Imagery ever since it came out three or four years ago. I live in Montana and at the time the images provided by BirdEye were mildly up to date since I've correlated the aerials with a series taken in 2005 (NAIP). Some of the "High Res" in-town imagery for Helena, MT is from 2004. There have been MANY aerial photo series made public since then that are higher resolution and probably most importantly FREE (NAIP 2009, 2011, 2013, Hi-res 2008).

 

I'm stuck using photos more-less from 10 years ago. I've been writing Garmin for years asking for an update to Montana's imagery. In ten years there have been alot of wildfires, development, roads, trails that have occurred and the imagery is becoming a little dated. I know I can easily go out and labor through the operation of loading Custom Maps but I'd just rather use the BirdsEye given the area I need to cover.

 

SO, my question, has anyone ever noticed updated imagery in their state or area? I'm beginning to think that Garmin rather not bother (expense, labor) with updating a product many people buy and are blissfully happy with not really knowing, or caring, how old the aerials actually are. The current imagery, for me, is becoming a bit stale and starting to stink like old fish. For my 30 bucks a year in perpetuity I'm starting to expect more. Maybe it's because Garmin has said they would be updating the imagery database periodically. Haven't seen it.

 

Thanks,

Edited by yogazoo

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A follow-up question. Does anyone know of an email address that would be a more direct line to the cartography department. I'd prefer to bypass the dopes at "Product Support" who's standard answer to everything is to "perform a hard reset". :blink:

 

If anyone knows of an email address and doesn't want to post it in the forums you could email my profile. Thanks a billion!

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I have checked a few times over the years and it has always been the same old imagery. Granted, I live in Canada and not in a big city (Kamloops). The imagery for here is so poor and old, I don't even bother loading it. It is all hazy. I thought Garmin would have added better imagery as time went on but it hasn't happened. I just download and use the Birdseye for the larger urban areas like Vancouver and Seattle. Not sure of the age of it for those areas, but at least it is clear.

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Kamloops! Go Blazers! I figure you for a Canuck! Ay! :lol:

 

Your probably in the same rural boat as I am here in Montana. I would suspect urban areas to be updated first and more often but I've found no evidence submitted by ANYONE of ANY updates ANYWHERE.

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I concur, I'm not aware of any updates having ever occurred, eh?

 

But isn't Digital Globe the supplier of all of the imagery anyways?

 

Go Bighorns!! B)

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I concur, I'm not aware of any updates having ever occurred, eh?

 

But isn't Digital Globe the supplier of all of the imagery anyways?

 

Go Bighorns!! B)

 

Yes, DigitalGlobe is the supplier, eh. But DigitalGlobe has much more current imagery available. I can use their server-based 2011 imagery for free in ArcGIS applications. I know they have much more current aerial images than 2005. I'm just thinking that perhaps the price for Garmin to update is prohibitive since many people don't notice anyway.

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I vaguely recall that imagery was updated, at least in the central US, and there may be a thread about it floating around here somewhere. My annual subscription was just about to expire at the time, and I had just finished downloading the areas I wanted...and didn't want to go through the process again. May have been around late 2012...

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So I received a response from Garmin's cartography department about updates to the BirdsEye imagery database. I was told that Garmin updates their server database at least once per year (maybe twice) with whatever DigitalGlobe Imagery is available.

 

I know for a fact this is not the case, at least in my area because I also know that DigitalGlobe has more up to date imagery than what is served for my area. Now I can't imagine a wholesale replacement of data, the scale of such replacement would be massive, so I'm assuming selected areas are given priority. More populated areas which likely experience more growth and development would be likely candidates for frequent updates. On the same token, I'm going to assume that certain areas or states receive few or no updates as is the case for Montana. There are large-scale forest fires that happened 7 years ago in my neck of the woods that still aren't visible on the imagery.

Edited by yogazoo

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Here's an example of screenshots taken from both BirdsEye and the current, freely available, DigitalGlobe database (mostly 2010 and 2011 images). The only thing this suggests is that when Garmin obtains new imagery from DigitalGlobe it's either done selectively or not all areas receive an update.

 

The facility below was improved in 2009.

 

BirdsEye

1387588346.jpg

 

DigitalGlobe

1387588487.jpg

 

Another example below. The BirdsEye image (on top) appears to be from 2008 or 2009. The forest fire in the DigitalGlobe image occurred in early 2010.

 

BirdsEye

1387588730.jpg

 

DigitalGlobe

1387588780.jpg

Edited by yogazoo

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