Yahoo! Has Satellite Images of Manila and Davao

11:47 pm PHT

Playing catch up with Google Maps, Yahoo! last year added satellite imagery to their Yahoo! Maps website. Naturally, being the map geek that I am, I checked out their offering last year and was disappointed to find out that they didn’t have any high-resolution satellite imagery for the Philippines, unlike Google Maps which had some back then.

So when I was geotagging my pictures of the recent Taste Asia Food Fest in Flickr (owned by Yahoo!), I was surprised to stumble upon Yahoo!’s high-resolution satellite imagery of the SM Mall of Asia. I then checked around the Philippines and concluded that they only have Metro Manila and parts of Davao City and Samal City covered.

Despite Yahoo!’s claim that their satellite data is less than two years old, both of their images for Metro Manila and Davao is no newer than 2003. Yahoo! gets their data from GeoEye while Google obtains theirs from DigitalGlobe.

 Satellite image comparison between Yahoo! Maps and Google Maps for the Davao International Airport.

Shown above is the current satellite imagery offering of Yahoo! and Google for the new terminal of the Davao International Airport. From the images, it’s obvious that the terminal is still under construction in Yahoo! and therefore dates the image to 2003 at the latest. (The terminal opened in December 2003.)

 Satellite image comparison between Yahoo! Maps and Google Maps for the Bonifacio Global City.

Above we have their images for Fort Bonifacio Global City. In Google, Market! Market! is still under construction (2004) while in Yahoo!, it’s nowhere to be seen!

 Satellite image comparison between Yahoo! Maps and Google Maps for Eastwood City.

Finally, we have Eastwood City. Eastwood City is a good indicator of satellite imagery dates because a building is finished there every half year! In Yahoo!, the Cyber One Building is halfway done, the Epixtar House is still digging its foundation, and Citywalk 2 is nonexistent. This dates Yahoo!’s image to around late 2002 to early 2003. In Google, both buildings are done, the Eastwood Excelsior is being finished, and one of the three towers of One Orchard Road is done. This means that Google’s data is around September 2004.

What I find interesting is that Yahoo! seemed to adopt the exact same coordinate system as Google. This means that the image squares in both Yahoo! and Google Maps specify the exact same space on Earth. I’m sure that other people who’ve been following the mapping technologies of the big Internet players knew this but I just learned it now.  :p

Yahoo!’s satellite imagery is definitely older than Google’s so I still prefer Google’s data right now. But one slight advantage of Yahoo! is that their high-resolution imagery of Davao contains more area than Google’s, so Dabaweños might be interested in that.

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Add your comment | 12 comments


Comment times are in Philippine time (+0800).


On 4:48 p.m., 10 Jul 2007, benj wrote:

The analysis is SCARY. wow. I wonder how you know when all of these buildings went up… hehe


On 11:20 p.m., 10 Jul 2007, seav wrote:

@benj: I actually just made informed guesses. Hehehe. First of all, I started working in Eastwood in December 2003 so I pretty much have an idea of when the various Eastwood buildings got finished. Also, Google’s satellite image of Metro Manila is this exact DigitalGlobe CitySphere picture, which is a stitched mosaic of images taken in April and September 2004. So I just guessed that the Eastwood image was taken during the latter month based on my hazy recollections.  :)


On 11:30 a.m., 12 Jul 2007, Rico wrote:

I always learn something new here, though not in the way you might think. Now I know we should call people from Davao “Dabaweños” :lol:


On 7:05 p.m., 14 Jul 2007, seav wrote:

@Rico, we all learn something new from reading each others blog. And that’s one beauty of it.  :)


On 1:39 a.m., 15 Jul 2007, krishnna wrote:

If i remember it right, about 3 years ago, Google Earth has a very hazy image of the Philippines except for Guiguinto, Bulacan. Would you know if that’s really the first?


On 4:14 p.m., 15 Jul 2007, seav wrote:

@krishnna, not 3 years ago, but 2 years ago. Yep, parts of Bulacan had high-resolution satellite photos back then, as well as parts of Pampanga and northern Cavite. Check out my post about it


On 3:13 p.m., 18 Apr 2008, Roman wrote:

Apropos Yahoo! high-resolution imagery: on Yahoo! maps I didn’t find ANY highres in Japan! Strange, isn’t it?! And unfortunately there doesn’t exist any feed for newly added high-res images under yahoo maps… or I didn’t find it

Greetings from a co-OSM’er  ;-)


On 4:36 p.m., 18 Apr 2008, seav wrote:

@Roman, hey, thanks for visiting my not-so-humble blog. Hehehe. I actually find the arbitrariness of the satellite imagery coverage weird as well. Also, I doubt that there’s a feed to know the newly-added images. But I know that Yahoo! Maps developers maintain a blog (which I can’t find at the moment) where they announce the general location of any updates to their base mapping data, including new hi-res imagery.


On 10:22 p.m., 18 Apr 2008, Roman wrote:

If you’d find that blog that would be great! Then it would be easy to update OSM’s Yahoo!_Aerial_Imagery/Coverage link accordingly as updating it manually by testing is quite a nuisance  :-)

If only Google would pass over their data freely to OSM…  :/


On 3:35 p.m., 3 May 2008, seav wrote:

@Roman, here’s the URL of Yahoo!’s Local and Maps Blog: This is where they announce updates to Yahoo! Maps, including updates to their satellite imagery.


On 1:04 p.m., 21 May 2008, Roman wrote:

Well, I found that one already but it doesn’t give that detailed information I’d like to find—to be able to map new hires imagery with openstreetmap… maybe one has to get an insider and have an “API ID” for that…


On 4:20 p.m., 21 May 2008, seav wrote:

@Roman, I don’t think there’s any public log of the exact places available. I guess when they push a huge update, it would be tedious to list down the places with new data. Me, I basically hunt and peck.

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