[talk-ph] Possible use of MapBox satellite imagery for tracing?

Eugene Alvin Villar seav80 at gmail.com
Mon Jul 29 17:22:26 UTC 2013

Hi guys,

Ed recently pointed to OSRM (Kaybiang Tunnel thread) and I noticed that the
OSRM map includes MapBox satellite imagery as a selectable background
layer. I checked it out and found out that there are plenty of places where
there is high-resolution satellite imagery for at least zoom level 14,
including places where there is no Bing satellite imagery. Most places are
in B&W.

Some places with high-resolution imagery in MapBox but not in Bing:

- Pag-asa Island, Palawan (colored, pixellated though)
- eastern Catarman
- western Siquijor
- Dipolog
- eastern Surigao City
- central northwestern Bohol
- southern Negros Oriental
- eastern Kalibo
- downtown Calapan (very cloudy though)
- Baler, Aurora
- practically all of Batanes (colored!)
- central-western Marinduque (colored) (not including Boac)
- Cagbalete Island, Quezon (colored)
- 90% of Patnanungan, Quezon (colored)
- Science City of Muñoz and San Jose, Nueva Ecija (colored)
- Atimonan, Quezon (colored)
- western Guimaras

The question is, is this available for tracing in OSM? Based on the latest
info from MapBox, they intend that their satellite imagery is traceable
(but only) for OSM:

In fact, you can select "MapBox Satellite" as one of the default background
layers in JOSM as well as the new OSM editor, iD.

However, this default layer shows nothing in the Philippines (and most of
the world outside US) except Landsat imagery (low zoom layers only) in both
iD and JOSM.

But when I grabbed the tile mapping service (TMS) URL used by OSRM, I get
access to the high-resolution tiles:

JOSM: http://{switch:a,b,c}.

iD: http://a.tiles.mapbox.com/v3/dennisl.map-inp5al1s/{z}/{x}/{y}.png

Potlatch 2: http://${a|b|c}.

Go ahead and try these URLs.


I am mystified by why there seems to be two types of MapBox satellite
imagery layers. One, that is available by default in iD and JOSM but shows
nothing, and another that has plenty of high-resolution imagery available.
I am guessing there are licensing issues that exists.

I will ask the MapBox people first. Hopefully they can provide a proper TMS
URL that we can use. :-)

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