In developing software for independent verification and validation (IV and V) of the Image Navigation and Registration (INR) capability for the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite – R Series (GOES-R) Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI), we have encountered an image registration artifact which limits the accuracy of image offset estimation at the subpixel scale using image correlation. Where the two images to be registered have the same pixel size, subpixel image registration preferentially selects registration values where the image pixel boundaries are close to lined up. Because of the shape of a curve plotting input displacement to estimated offset, we call this a stair-step artifact. When one image is at a higher resolution than the other, the stair-step artifact is minimized by correlating at the higher resolution. For validating ABI image navigation, GOES-R images are correlated with Landsat-based ground truth maps. To create the ground truth map, the Landsat image is first transformed to the perspective seen from the GOES-R satellite, and then is scaled to an appropriate pixel size. Minimizing processing time motivates choosing the map pixels to be the same size as the GOES-R pixels. At this pixel size image processing of the shift estimate is efficient, but the stair-step artifact is present. If the map pixel is very small, stair-step is not a problem, but image correlation is computation-intensive. This paper describes simulation-based selection of the scale for truth maps for registering GOES-R ABI images.