Mapbox imagery

Have you already tried Mapbox imagery as an alternative for Bing? If so, what are your experiences?

To me, those images are rather hard to use: black and white only, and a maximum zoom of 17.
In Kedah and Perlis, I often face problems with distinguishing between a waterway (irrigation canal) and a minor road - they look so similar. Sometimes I start tracing a road, but “suddenly” it becomes a canal… Well, actually the road and the canal are often just next to each other, sometimes (with wider canals) roads are on both sides, but of course there are also canals without an adjoining road, or roads not adjoing a canal. How complicated!
When looking at the roads I traced from my gpx files, I sometimes cannot see a road at all at those places - grey in grey only…

A few areas are in color: Padang Besar (well, more in Thailand than on the Malaysian side), and most of Langkawi. In Langkawi, the offset varies conceivably between different parts of the island.

Google Earth has very recent images - taken in 2014. But sadly, Google is not an acceptable alternative…

If you have seen my edits lately, I have been using Mapbox extensively. However, my edits are limited to places that I have been. It is useful enough if I have recorded GPS tracks and photos. In some places, it is simply because of my limited knowledge.

But I try not to add data around Perlis, I haven’t been in so much places there, so I don’t know. I might know one or two things in Arau or Kangar from my memory…

I usually work with overzoom mode. Again, useful with GPS tracks and / or Strava heatmap. Own photos are a bonus. But sometimes I tried to see side-by-side comparison with other satellite imagery - roads are quite aligned. But building outlines may be a little bit off. Don’t care, perhaps the proprietary imagery is taken at an angle. I will correct them in the future if we will get high resolution imagery in OSM.

By the way, I heard that Mapbox Satellite is not a typical greyscale imagery. In fact, I also believed that it is some sort of infrared imagery. Perhaps that is the reason why water feature (rivers, lakes, canals) is very clear, compared to roads and other (geographical) features. The coloured imagery is similar to Bing’s imagery, except for some very small, distinct places: Bing wouldn’t offer but Mapbox would do so.

Perhaps we have to wait for Mapbox to release very good quality imagery hopefully next year. But seriously staring at Mapbox Satellite layer for a good few editing hours makes my head spin LOL.

On the other note, I have seen some Bing’s high resolution imagery have disappeared from some places e.g. mainland Penang and east Sungai Petani. Now I am hoping that Bing would roll more recent imagery… who knows.

Bernhard, hopefully you have spotted this from your cycling trip - there can be two (wide) canals side-by-side separated by a track (or paved road) in the middle! This can get very confusing. Sometimes Strava heatmap comes into rescue. So my instinct tells me to follow that heatmap.

Yes, e.g. here with an additional road/track on the other side of the canal (on the left side of the photo):

Bigger photo at
Even more confusing…

Bernhard, at least most of Perlis has fair satellite coverage.

Meanwhile near Pokok Sena, Kedah… screw me. At least there is my personal GPS tracks. Same problem with you as well.

Oh well. Guess we have to wait for glorious high resolution coloured satellite imagery. Can’t wait Mapbox (or Bing) to update their imagery with World-View 3 satellite.