I'm doing computer art with images mixing low zoom areas with high zoom areas automatically. So far, the only images I can use reliably are vector graphics images, since they support infinite zoom without pixellation. Here's an example:

the tiling for your next bathroom renovation

I warped a vector graphics image consisting of just a simple tiling pattern out to infinity. If I can get a high enough detail image, I should be able to use it to do the same thing without any nasty pixelation. I know there are extremely high detail satellite maps covering the whole world. What I'd like is a massive archive full of such maps that I can use offline to create these images. Does such a thing exist?

  • Your best bet is probably NASA. I know they have tons of high-resolution images available. I've used their resources several times, to get textures and height maps for making 3D models of planets. I forget exactly where I found all the resources, let me try to find them.
    – Manly
    Jul 21, 2016 at 16:25
  • Why do you not generate it on the fly? Extreme large images work by sending tiles from a database like google maps. So you never have the entire thing in memory once.
    – joojaa
    Jul 22, 2016 at 14:02
  • @enigmaticPhysicist no need to create a computer-art tag, since what you're asking is more related to obtaining the resources than the art itself.
    – Luciano
    Jul 27, 2016 at 10:42
  • @joojaa well, fair enough. But I thought under certain circumstances that may be impractical, since I may be sampling over too many tiles and the only way to get the rendering done in a realistic amount of time may be to just download the whole thing. After some thought though I think it can be done with google maps, but only because it's accessible at different zoom levels. So for this application anyway, I think you're right. It can be done over the internet. Aug 2, 2016 at 15:56
  • @Luciano yeah you're right. Aug 2, 2016 at 15:59

2 Answers 2


Take a look at Mapbox Satellite.

They provide beautiful, high-res satellite imagery and put a lot of effort into merging and cleaning imagery from different sources:

  • Imagery from commercial imagery providers, NASA, and USGS
  • Cloudless imagery at zoom levels 0-8
  • Color-corrected and blended

You can get the imagery without any labels (which is good for artwork) and the tiles are downloadable with Mapbox Studio. In fact, for artistic purposes it might be worthwhile looking at the different styles that can be created with Mapbox Studio. There is a free starter plan and you can probably contact them about using (some of) the imagery for artwork.


The first place to look:

Blue Marble https://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view_cat.php?categoryID=1484

I can't remember the link but there is a higher resolution separated in 6 quadrants somewhere in the site.

Bing offers some licenses of usage of Bing Maps: https://www.microsoft.com/maps/licensing/licensing.aspx

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