TerraColor® Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. How do I determine which TerraColor Global image tiles I need?
2. How do I determine if there is TerraColor NextGen coverage of my area?
3. Is TerraColor imagery true color?
4. Is TerraColor imagery pan-sharpened?
5. What are "derivative" versions of TerraColor Global?
6. Is TerraColor Global used in Esri's web mapping applications?
7. Is TerraColor Global used in Nokia HERE's web mapping applications?
8. Is TerraColor Global used in Microsoft's web mapping applications?
9. Is TerraColor Global used in DigitalGlobe's web mapping applications?
10. Is TerraColor Global used in Apple Maps mapping applications?
11. Is TerraColor Global used in Yahoo Maps mapping applications?
12. Is TerraColor Global used in Yandex's web mapping applications?
13. Is Harris Corp's Globe15 product based on TerraColor Global?

1. How do I determine which TerraColor Global image tiles I need?
Click on this link to download the image coverage Shapefile showing the boundaries and filename of each TerraColor Global image tile to determine the number and filenames of tiles you need to cover a specific area of the earth. The shapefile is in the Geographic (Lat Long) projection and WGS84 datum.

2. How do I determine if there is TerraColor NextGen coverage of my area?
Click on this link to download the Shapefile showing the current TerraColor NextGen image coverage to determine if your area of interest is covered. If it is not, feel free to email us and request it (new areas are added quarterly). The shapefile is in the Geographic (Lat Long) projection and WGS84 datum.

3. Is TerraColor imagery true color?
In reference to satellite imagery, the term "true color" usually means that the imagery was created from satellite bands that image in the same red, green and blue wavelengths of light in which the human eye sees. (For Landsat 8 these are bands 4,3,2 and Landsat 7 bands 3,2,1.) So true color imagery looks very much like it does to the human eye, for example from an airplane. It is also possible to build satellite images using additional infrared bands and perform processing that simulates natural colors (so vegetation is green, land is brown, etc.), but this is not the same as true color. TerraColor NextGen is 100% true color and TerraColor Global is about 75% simulated natural color and 25% true color.

4. Is TerraColor imagery pan-sharpened?
Yes, both TerraColor Global and TerraColor NextGen are pan-sharpened. Pan sharpening is a process that fuses or merges the higher resolution (15-meter) panchromatic band of Landsat 7 and Landsat 8 with the lower resolution (30-meter) color/multispectral bands to create color imagery at 15-meter resolution. This effectively doubles the resolution of the Landsat 30m bands to make the imagery more useful for smaller scale applications.

5. What are "derivative" versions of TerraColor Global?
Some companies start with one of the standard versions of TerraColor Global and modify it in some ways to derive a version that has their own "look and feel." These derivative versions are typically created by web mapping companies (Apple and Nokia are examples) to create a unique look for their large scale imagery base maps. The changes are usually basic changes to the colorization or brightness of the imagery (although other types of changes are sometimes made).

6. Is TerraColor Global used in Esri's web mapping applications?
Yes, the TerraColor Global version with bathymetric shaded relief ocean fill is used as the global satellite image base layer in Esri's ArcGIS Online. At larger scales Esri's TerraColor Global version has a custom bathymetric shaded relief image in the ocean areas (similar but not the same as HCOS), and they transition to the plain blue ocean (PO) fill version at smaller scales. The imagery is displayed whenever you see "Earthstar Geographics" displayed in the lower-right corner of the mapping window when you select "Imagery" as the Basemap. The version on ArcGIS Online contains product upgrades to Q1 2014.

7. Is TerraColor Global used in Nokia HERE's web mapping applications?
Yes, a derivative version of TerraColor Global with LCOS ocean fill is used by Nokia HERE as the base global satellite imagery layer in their applications (here.com). The modifications are primarily lightening the imagery colors. The version on Nokia HERE does not contain the latest product upgrades (to Q2 2012).

8. Is TerraColor Global used in Microsoft's web mapping applications?
Yes, the TerraColor Global version with LCOS ocean fill is used as the global satellite image base layer in Microsoft's Bing Maps. The imagery is displayed whenever you see "Earthstar Geographics LLC" displayed in the lower-right corner of the mapping window. The version on Bing Maps does not contain the latest product upgrades (to Q1 2012).

9. Is TerraColor Global used in DigitalGlobe's web mapping applications?
Yes, the TerraColor Global version with LCOS ocean fill is currently used as the base global satellite imagery layer in DigitalGlobe's Global Basemap web mapping service. The version on Global Basemap does not contain the latest product upgrades (to Q2 2012).

10. Is TerraColor Global used in Apple Maps web mapping applications?
Yes, a derivative version of TerraColor Global with LCOS ocean fill is currently used as the base global satellite imagery layer in Apple Maps. The changes include color modifications and adding relief shading to the land areas. The version on Apple Maps does not contain the latest product upgrades (to Q2 2012).

11. Is TerraColor Global used in Yahoo Maps web mapping applications?
Yes, the derivative version of TerraColor Global used by Nokia HERE is currently used as the base global satellite imagery layer in Yahoo Maps. The version on Yahoo Maps does not contain the latest product upgrades (to Q2 2012).

12. Is TerraColor Global used in Yandex's web mapping applications?
Yes, an older version of TerraColor Global without ocean masking is currently used as the medium resolution satellite imagery layer in Yandex's web mapping service. The imagery is displayed whenever you see "Earthstar Geographics LLC" displayed in the lower-right corner of the mapping window. (Yandex is sometimes referred to as the "Russian Google". The English language version of the maps can be accessed at maps.yandex.com). This is an older version of TerraColor without most of the upgrades.

13. Is Harris Corp's Globe15 product based on TerraColor Global?
Yes, Harris Corporation licensed an earlier version of the TerraColor Global product from us, and created a derivative version tailored to their visual simulation market. They sell this product commercially under the brand name Globe15. This based on an older version of TerraColor Global without most of the upgrades.

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