Now this is the sort of public domain science resource I’ll gladly pay taxes for. From www.IPY.org:
A new satellite image of the Antarctic continent is now ready for all to see and use. The IPY Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA) project has been completed and its stunning result is freely available for the first time today. Compiled from over 1000 Landsat scenes, the result is a 15-metre resolution, near seamless and cloudless image mosaic of the continent.
A team from NASA, the U.S. Geological Survey, the National science Foundation and the British Antarctic Survey have worked together for more than a year to produce this uniformly and rigorously processed surface reflectance dataset. In addition to providing scientists with a new tool for discovery and planning, LIMA also provides everyone with a previously unseen and realistic view of the continent.
You can browse the imagery in a web-based viewer today at the mirror sites lima.usgs.gov or lima.nasa.gov. Unfotunately, these sites break on Mac browsers and only work well on Windows. Not to fear, the imagery is in the public domain, which means it is only a matter of weeks not months before we can expect to have this crop up in the base layer of Google Earth and NASA World Wind. (Full disclosure: I posted the above to IPY.org on behalf of the LIMA team.)