Is there a way to dynamically pull up metadata on the Bing Maps Aerial web mapping service in ArcGIS? I am working at a 1:245 scale across various locations in OR and CA and need to know if Bing's coordinate system is accurate to within 0.5 meters. Additionally, I need to know the resolution. ESRI's description is pretty vague:

This web map contains the Bing Maps aerial imagery web mapping service, which offers worldwide orthographic aerial and satellite imagery. Coverage varies by region, with the most detailed coverage in the USA and United Kingdom. Coverage in different areas within a country also varies in detail based on the availability of imagery for that region. Bing Maps is continuously adding imagery in new areas and updating coverage in areas of existing coverage.

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Yes, if you have a Bing API key, you can get the full metadata for the imagery at each zoom level. Everything you need is here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff701716.aspx


It's highly unlikely you will find the metadata you need through Bing (or Google, for Google Maps). Their basemap is a composite of many, many different data sources, and they have no business incentive to take the time to organize and publish metadata about its geolocational accuracy.

Moreover, just assessing horizontal accuracy of orthorectified imagery is time consuming and expensive. Since this isn't a priority for Microsoft, they probably don't require that their imagery vendors perform such a rigorous QA with multiple ground control points in an effort to save money. In georeferencing work I've done using the Bing Aerial data in ArcGIS, I've usually gotten RMSE of +/- 10 meters.

I should also say that 0.5 meter horizontal accuracy is asking a lot. Think about it--the orthorectification process relies on knowing the exact GPS position of the airplane, the precise angle of the sensor, and the topography of the surface. You need some serious hardware and a really good DEM in order to get sub-meter accuracy. The best I've ever seen is 0.6 meter accuracy in this 15cm imagery for Massachusetts. On the other hand, USDA NAIP imagery that many states publish as DOQ(Q)s are only accurate to within six meters.

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