Remember how we told you that the resolution of Google Maps' satellite images would soon be doubled? Well, today we're seeing the first of those images pop up, and they are indeed a noticeable improvement. New York and San Francisco are the first to get the high-res 3D treatment, but we should see this update rolling out for more cities around the world in 2015.
The boost in quality is coming from the Worldview-3 satellite, which was launched in August of this year. It's 5.5m long and weighs 2800kg (on Earth), and it's powerful enough to count chickens from space. It can also automate filtering to better correct for lighting and atmospheric effects. The result is a very clear image which Google has 3Dified.
Above you see San Francisco's City Hall, with the improved image on the left and the old image on the right. Below are some more examples, which follow that same format.
Empire State Building
South Span of the Golden Gate Bridge
Statue of Liberty
Garment District NYC