Interest in satellite image tile server?

Hi all,

I was thinking of developing a tile server for enhanced satellite images based off of LandSat-8, and wanted to gauge interest in it. The tiles would be re sampled from 15m color images, so the maximum detail would be seen around zooms 13 and 14. I understand Bing and MapQuest can be used for tracing (and MapQuest for other applications, but the license seems to be changing), but thought it would be nice to have a source of satellite images that has no restrictions. It would be free for OSM-tracing usage and for smaller projects, but there would be a fee for higher traffic to cover costs.

Do you think this would be useful and needed in the OSM community?

A few of the enhancements I was considering:

  1. Topographic shading (mountain shadows) removal
  2. Natural colour improvement
  3. Pan-sharpening 30m images to 15m
  4. Selection of best (cloud-free, best contrast) satellite passes
  5. Selection of winter / summer satellite passes
  6. Ability to download individual bands in addition to enhanced natural colour

If you can think of anything else that would be helpful to include please do tell.


PS: If this is the wrong forum for this topic, please let me know!

I made en entry in German Wochennotiz for this topic,

maybe a week later you will be mentioned on

Question is: is it better than the imaginery coming from Bing? If not, there is probably not that great interest in that material for mapping purposes.

On the other hand, the more sources you can use, the better. Maybe it would be possible to use the satellite images for a map to toggle between openstreetmap map and the satellite pictures? That could be a big step for bringing more people from Google and Bing to OSM.

But point 3: I have no clue what quality, quantity, etc. the landsat images have, so do not take my suggestions too serious. :wink:

The Landsat-8 images have global coverage at a color resolution of 30m that can be pan-sharpened to 15m resolution. So, effectively, it is global 15m resolution.

The quality compared to Bing for mapping purposes is a good point. The resolution would likely be worse, except for places that few people care about. So I’ll scratch that off the list of great uses for it.

The satellite images could definitely be used on openstreetmap to toggle to satellite pictures - it would just be a matter of hosting and bandwidth costs. If there are enough high-volume customers outside of OpenStretMap, that could be provided for free.

Some time ago I’ve implemented (more or less) the same for Laos. My goal was to have a nice-looking, cloud-free Landsat 8 base layer. As an input I took around 20 images per Landsat scene and did some processing with gdal and numpy to remove the clouds (inspired by the idea behind MapBox cloudless atlas) and wrapped up everything in a TMS. The result is accessible at
If there’s interest I can share more details, of course.