TerraColor® Overview

Our TerraColor imagery was designed from day one to meet the needs of a wide variety of users. From magazines who just need an image of an island to organizations hosting global online map services, our imagery has been used extensively for over 10 years.

The original TerraColor product was built from Landsat 7 satellite imagery from the 2000-2002 time frame (based on the GLS2000 Landsat set), which is a high quality base set of images. (Most of the imagery products offered by our competitors are also based on the GLS2000 set.) However, the GLS2000 set has some issues that prevented it from meeting the needs of many of our early users, so we set about to address these by making the following improvements:

  • Since individual images of many areas can be compromised by clouds or poor image quality, we embarked upon a mission to improve the base GLS2000 dataset by incorporating better data and newer data where available. To date we have upgraded or added imagery covering over two million square miles, and have used the new Landsat 8 imagery extensively since 2013.
  • In addition, we added imagery to fill in all the gaps and holes in the GLS2000 coverage (such as Antarctica and the Arctic Ocean islands), so we now provide imagery of the entire earth's surface (even the poles). So TerraColor can be easily used in 3-D virtual globe applications or any application requiring global coverage.
  • Because users wanted a "clean" product that required no editing or clean-up in the oceans, we developed a detailed, proprietary land/ocean mask to remove distracting clouds, ice and image edges from ocean areas.
  • Also, users asked us to fill the ocean areas with a uniform blue color, and later with a bathymetric shaded relief image (a la Google) to add interest to the oceans. We now offer two bathymetric shaded relief image color options.

(Below) TerraColor as the global satellite imagery base layer in Microsoft's Bing Maps

TerraColor in Bing Maps

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