Bing coverage multipolygons


I was mapping in northern Thailand today and came across those big multipolygons that defined the areas that had high-res Bing imagery. Since getting all that new DigitalGlobe imagery, I don’t think they’re needed anymore. Unless Bing has imagery that’s better than DigitalGlobe’s in certain areas, maybe their usefulness is over.

Shouldn’t we get rid of them?


Hi Dave,

I would be very cautious about deleting any imagery, especially Bing. Often Bing is better than DG and better aligned. Any imagery can be obscured by clouds and having alternatives is critical.

Regards, Tom

Ha, Tom … I think you misunderstood …
Dave wants to delete the actual tagged ways, or multipolygons in the map, not the actual imagery… Which we can’t actually do.
It’s really Stephan’s call, as he put them there, but I agree with Dave… They have served their purpose, and probably time to go.

Yes, Tom, what Russ said.

Years ago, Stephan drew in a bunch of multipolygons that he simply put there as guides for mappers. They showed the extent of the high-resolution Bing imagery. Back then Bing was all we had so they served a useful purpose. But now that we have so many other choices of excellent imagery, those guides are not very important. I use Bing imagery very little since we got DigitalGlobe, ESRI, and the rest, so the multipolygon guides are sort of useless.

Actually these polygons had been used for much more than simple guidance.

had used them to detect dangling ends of major highways where imagery is available now to continue drawing them.
See here for a bit more details:

I changed the algorithm a while ago to no longer rely on the polygons but use some computer intelligence to check out all the available imagery layers.

As others had edited the polygons as well I had sent out messages whether it was fine to delete them, but I got the response to better keep them around. This was roughly a year ago. I suggest to keep them around for a bit longer and if no response comes in here I’ll going to remove them in a one-shot single change so they could be reverted in case.

My best guess is that they are meanwhile outdated. Probably I’ll check out recent edits on them and contact some mappers directly regarding their use.

BTW: for the purpose of telling mappers which imagery is available some other polygons are used which are linked in the wiki page listing all imagery. josm/iD are certainly using the same source file. Probably potlatch and verspuci as well.

Aha, Stephen, you are a clever devil, indeed.

I have used that tool before but it was long ago. I am in no rush to delete those multipolygons but I had forgotten they served a better purpose.