Related question: Free aerial map images for commercial use - Alternatives to Google maps

I'm looking for a service that will allow me to download images at up to 1 meter resolution. Currently our system is based around the Mercator projection (pardon me if my terminology is incorrect) documented here. On this scale, we need imagery up to zoom level 17, which works out to be 1.2 meters per pixel.

The only quote online that I could find was from Google Maps API for Business, which is $10,000 at the time of this writing. From what I can tell, the license doesn't allow images to be downloaded. Our system doesn't guarantee connection to the internet, so images will be pre-loaded.

Currently I'm using MapQuest Open Aerial Tiles, but I need a little more coverage that that service provides.

If it matters, we don't charge for the images, but we do charge for the software that uses the images. Images are only a small part of the overall software, so we consider it to be a free service provided with the product.

What services exist that meet these requirements? I am willing to pay a license fee, provided it isn't ridiculous (<20,000 or so per year).

  • 4
    Which country are you from? How big is your Area of Interest? If you want satellite imagery for a small area, you could buy it from commercial Vendor. Jan 17, 2013 at 3:12
  • Sorry for the delay, but I'm from the US, and most of the destinations will be in the US, but I will likely need areas around the globe. Destinations depend on where the clients are located.
    – beatgammit
    Jan 18, 2013 at 4:29
  • In that case, I think your best option is to talk to ESRI Sales and see how you can integrate their web service (linked in one of the answers) Jan 18, 2013 at 4:40

3 Answers 3


What is your area of interest? You can download and use the NAIP imagery from 2011/2012 which is 1m as long as you can host your own service and cache/tile yourself.

If you need outside the US, then Digital-Globe/GeoEye is going to be your prime vendor.

  • How do I get the imagery from NAIP? I'm not familiar with the service, and a cursory Google didn't turn up much information about how to get it, or what format it would be in. I'm totally fine with hosting my own service.
    – beatgammit
    Jan 18, 2013 at 4:35
  • Here is the main link to it, datagateway.nrcs.usda.gov From here you can define the areas and it will process the files and provide links. There is other data available too
    – D.E.Wright
    Jan 18, 2013 at 4:41

What about esri, 1 meter or better in many parts of the world. http://www.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=10df2279f9684e4a9f6a7f08febac2a9

  • 2
    Just a point to note: The Usage of the service is not free. There are many limitations. For a brief summery, see here: links.esri.com/agol_tou Jan 17, 2013 at 7:48
  • @DevdattaTengshe - Hmm, not exactly brief, but thanks for the link. Do they have some kind of API for getting the data without using their software? I need to be able to use this in another application we've built.
    – beatgammit
    Jan 18, 2013 at 4:39
  • -1 Since this is not a good answer to the question... Devdatta raises a good point, the ESRI hosted services are not free and in some cases costly when using the ArcGIS Online/Cloud hosted services...
    – D.E.Wright
    Jan 18, 2013 at 4:43

DigitalGlobe provides several options, one being the Global Base Map product. (I am associated with DigitalGlobe.)

  • 2
    You answer would be more helpful, if you can provide links to Publicly available information about what Global Base Map is. Otherwise it is just self promotion. Jan 18, 2013 at 4:33

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