Garmin International Inc. will begin offering BirdsEye Satellite and Aerial Imagery, an annual subscription service that gives users the option of loading highly-detailed photo-based maps to select Garmin handheld navigators. BirdsEye Imagery is raster-based, meaning it is compiled using actual aerial photos and images that are scanned, geo-referenced and overlaid onto the handheld GPS receiver’s display.
Unlike vector cartography, the resulting images depict actual buildings, vehicles, roads, trails, and land features found nearby — giving explorers a unique understanding of their surroundings. The images are among the most highly-detailed available — offering 0.5 meter per pixel resolution in many areas of the United States. Users can also view imagery at every zoom level — from 12 miles to 20 feet — unlike other offerings that force users to stay at pre-determined zoom levels. BirdsEye Satellite Imagery also lets users overlay vector maps, to get a better idea of terrain contours and points of interest. The data is collected by DigitalGlobe, a leading global provider of commercial high-resolution world-imagery products and services.