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I and a colleague are currently working on a project through Google Earth whereby we are investigating the discrepancies of tonalities or glitches within landscapes.

Being real novices, however, we can't seem to wrap our heads around why they occur;

would anyone be able to describe in very simple terms why a glitch such as this may occur in satellite imagery?

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  1. Imagery is stitched together from different sources, which capture different times with different lighting directions (even if same satellite or aircraft). Algorithms then clip the imagery and mosaic it, which can introduce artifacts.

  2. Imagery is postprocessed to eg remove cloud cover, enhance contrast, etc. These operations are done separately on different image strips and so can be inconsistent.

  3. (Don’t see this one in your example). To serve up, images are tiled and compressed and the compression happens in each tile. This can generate slight artifacts around tile boundaries.

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  • Thanks a lot, really useful response! Apr 14, 2022 at 17:28

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