Google Earth and Maps will now provide clearer satellite images.

Engineers have updated the previous satellite, a Landsat 7, to a Landsat 8 and are working on new processing techniques for sharper imagery.

The new satellite is able to capture images with "greater detail, truer colors, and at an unprecedented frequency" - twice as many as its predessor. It was first launched in to orbit in 2013.

In a Google Maps blog post, the company said its satellite images are often cloudy, but uses a cartography technique called mosaicking to strip out clouds and atmospheric effects.

Advertisement

"Satellite images are often cloudy, but not always over the same place, so we looked at millions of images and took the clearest pixels to stitch together this cloud-free and seamless image," the post said.

The updated maps are live in Google Earth and when viewing the satellite layer in Google Maps.