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Freaky cool or just freaky?
April 4, 2005 9:56 PM   Subscribe

Google Maps now does satellite images which is pretty cool (zoom all the way in), and what everyone predicted they would do with the Keyhole software company they bought. The part that freaks me out is finding my own house with my own car in the driveway, taken last fall (by the looks of construction in the neighborhood). I guess it's time for all of us to have our Streisand moment and wonder when satellite imagery has gotten too good. [via]
posted by mathowie (132 comments total)

 
The keyhole software does zoom in a little further. Be sure to check out the whitehouse for blurry goodness.
posted by jeblis at 10:05 PM on April 4, 2005


Some natural wonders: Crater Lake, Grand Canyon, and a boat skimming along Lake Tahoe's surface.
posted by mathowie at 10:05 PM on April 4, 2005


Wow, Moab looks amazing from the sky over Utah.
posted by mathowie at 10:07 PM on April 4, 2005


i've been agape over this for the last hour. my god. It had just occurred to me - "I wonder if this is on metafilter yet?"
posted by jeffj at 10:07 PM on April 4, 2005


e-stalking is really making great gains on stalking these days. Imagine, in a few years, you'll be able to do all of your stalking business in the comfort of your own home, without all the burdens and unconvinced of traditional brick and mortar stalking!
posted by xmutex at 10:08 PM on April 4, 2005


Jesus H. Christ. Spell check turned inconveniences into unconviced.

Whatever. A plague on you, spell check.
posted by xmutex at 10:09 PM on April 4, 2005


What the heck is up with the satellite map for Minneapolis? Most everything between France and Portalnd is a gigantic blur.
posted by nathan_teske at 10:11 PM on April 4, 2005


I wonder if that's old aerial data, nathan.
posted by Arch Stanton at 10:14 PM on April 4, 2005


Most of these photos aren't taken by satellite. The detailed maps come from the usgs survey and are taken by plane.
posted by jeblis at 10:15 PM on April 4, 2005


Some of the satellite data must be at least two years old. I zoomed into construction sites across the street where I work that have been going on for a couple years, and the satellite images show the sites as they were beforehand.
posted by AlexReynolds at 10:15 PM on April 4, 2005


It wasn't Keyhole, but a year or so ago I caught a shot of our driveway that was high-resolution enough that I could tell that my wife had left the top down on her convertible that day.

Keyhole's current imagery (at our old house; we moved two months ago) shows both our vehicles in the driveway.
posted by mrbill at 10:16 PM on April 4, 2005


The Capitol is blurred, too. The Pentagon, interestingly, isn't.

And, just for fun, here's Fenway Park and planes on the runway at Boston's Logan Airport ready for takeoff.
posted by cerebus19 at 10:19 PM on April 4, 2005


Cool-the satellite caught someone on runway 20 of Greensburg-Jeannette (home of my flying club).
posted by tss at 10:21 PM on April 4, 2005


Atleast the Google Satellite can see the rest of the world.
posted by dhruva at 10:21 PM on April 4, 2005


Is it me or is it the aspect ratio off? I know what is a square mile, and it seems stretched wide (ie on my screen, a mile east/west is more pixels than a mile north/south).
posted by SirOmega at 10:21 PM on April 4, 2005


SirOmega: To match the Mercator projection of the map, it's probably been squished. Let me guess: you're looking at a northern place?

For real weirdness, browse around Fairbanks, AK. Haven't seen it with the satellite yet, but the map itself is very squished.
posted by tss at 10:26 PM on April 4, 2005


Wow. Great stuff. In keyhole the highest resolution images were at MIT and in Las Vegas. the resolution there was 3" any good shots here?
posted by joelf at 10:29 PM on April 4, 2005


Of course, the National Map has 1" imagery in some spots.
posted by tss at 10:33 PM on April 4, 2005


I'm sorry, I meant to say 1'. Now, really, 3"?! That's impressive!
posted by tss at 10:33 PM on April 4, 2005


Neat stuff, I like how you can drag the images around and explore your town.

When does it go live?
posted by fenriq at 10:34 PM on April 4, 2005


Doesn't American intelligence's espionage equipment have the capability to read newspaper headlines on the ground from the air, or something along those lines? Whether that's an urban legend or not, I bet they can tell a lot more from the sky than whether one's wife had left her convertible's top up or down...

There are probably some people in the Pentagon who are rolling their eyes at how excited we are by this toy. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to scrolling around across my neighborhood and pretending I'm Superman.
posted by DaShiv at 10:42 PM on April 4, 2005


Doesn't American intelligence's espionage equipment have the capability to read newspaper headlines on the ground from the air, or something along those lines? Whether that's an urban legend or not, I bet they can tell a lot more from the sky than whether one's wife had left her convertible's top up or down...

It's hard to imagine that they can't. My elementary school class got a field trip to mcdonald dettwiler because someone's parents worked there and they were able to show us the convertible top level resolution stuff...and that was at least 15 years ago...
posted by juv3nal at 10:47 PM on April 4, 2005


Great fun, I now know exactly where the house we'll be vacationing at in Florida in two weeks is and how close it is to the beach and estuary.

Thanks, Matt.
posted by fenriq at 10:47 PM on April 4, 2005


this image of vancouver seems to have been taken during the molson indy. The white structures above and below the east end of the body of water are the stands and pit areas.
posted by jeffj at 10:50 PM on April 4, 2005


The images are a few years old, at least the ones of San Francisco. Here is the Central Freeway ending at Oak and Fell Streets in San Francisco, which has been torn down for some time now.

Also, it looks like the photographs were taken during some kind of event - Gay Pride? (Zoom in to see the people!)
posted by Boydrop at 10:52 PM on April 4, 2005


If you don't have AC, you can check to see which of the neighbors has a pool...
posted by Cranberry at 10:52 PM on April 4, 2005


nathan_teske,
It appears that what they have done is created maps using a composite of satellite and aerial photographs, digitally zooming the areas that they don't have close images for to create those blurry areas. You'll notice that various areas of a map will be lighter or darker, because the images used to create the composite were taken at different times.
posted by Sangermaine at 10:53 PM on April 4, 2005


Personally, I don't find anything disturbing about this. If it were real-time, on-demand imaging, I could see why you might worry, but as it is there's really not much useful information in there.

But screw useful: this is freakin' awesome.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:16 PM on April 4, 2005


dhruva: Atleast the Google Satellite can see the rest of the world.
True, but they could have at least licensed some of the detail like this and stuck it in.
posted by tellurian at 11:18 PM on April 4, 2005


What I find most interesting is that they are guessing on the addresses. My address is in the "middle" of a set of block numbers, (let's say for example 1358), but my house is actually on the corner. Still the Google map shows me living up the street, half-way down the block, where 1358 should be. Hah! Fooled Google!
posted by Windopaene at 11:19 PM on April 4, 2005


Yawn, another USA-centric Google app. Yes, it's shiny and nerd-tastic, but of what use is it to anyone outside of America? The TV search thing: just American, maps: just American, ride finder: just American. When are they going to do something new that, oh I don't know, the rest of the planet can get benefit from? Noow, see, this is a useful search engine (info at Threadwatch), why couldn't Google create a developer filter - something that would be useful to way more people?
posted by TheDonF at 11:34 PM on April 4, 2005


The images are a few years old, at least the ones of San Francisco.
The Seattle images are more than a year old, too. McCaw Hall, at Seattle Center, opened over a year ago as the home of the Seattle Opera and the Pacific Northwest Ballet.

On the sattelite image, it's still a construction site.
posted by booklemur at 11:48 PM on April 4, 2005


it's america centric, but I wouldn't say usa-centric. canada gets some coverage.
and that igrep? i searched for prioritized sweeping and got nada...
posted by juv3nal at 11:50 PM on April 4, 2005


er... the "canada gets some coverage" was just referring to maps.
posted by juv3nal at 11:51 PM on April 4, 2005


USA-centric? I was able to view my house in Canada.
posted by Vulpyne at 11:53 PM on April 4, 2005


why couldn't Google create a developer filter - something that would be useful to way more people?

More?
posted by DaShiv at 11:58 PM on April 4, 2005


Vulpyne: that's scary, don't you think, that Google thinks US and Canada are the same...

(I kid, I kid)
posted by dhruva at 12:00 AM on April 5, 2005


Okay, more people than just Americans or Canadians. Realistically, of what use is satelite images to the average person? Once you've got over the initial "ooh look, there's my house" bit, how often are you really going to go back and use it? I really just don't see the point of it. How is it going to make Google money?
posted by TheDonF at 12:05 AM on April 5, 2005


Yawn, another USA-centric Google app.

Well, at the risk of sounding like a real jerk, they're an American company. A European (or whatever) service could provide the same thing, but that hasn't happened yet. Google's fault? I wouldn't say so. If each region had its own Google-type institution, we could revel in the world's diversity. I'm all for that. But it's not really only Google's responsibility to make that happen, and if Google made it happen we'd have one uniform service, and while that's cool is making everything the same what we want? I enjoy flipping back and forth between the NYT and the BBC.
posted by rustcellar at 12:13 AM on April 5, 2005


I was about to bitch about the same thing as nathan_teske. It appears that a huge block of the Twin Cities from Richfield (in the south) and Andover (in the north) is at the lowest possible resolution. This includes the part of downtown Minneapolis that the IDS Center is in. Bizarre. I know Keyhole has it in high resolution because I've checked out my brother's house (in the low-res area) in the Keyhole client before (and indeed, downtown as well)...

</minnesota inferiority complex>
posted by neckro23 at 12:24 AM on April 5, 2005


Doesn't the "boat" in matt's Lake Tahoe link look like a boat with a waterskier if you get in close?

This is incredible.

Windopaene: What I find most interesting is that they are guessing on the addresses. My address is in the "middle" of a set of block numbers, (let's say for example 1358), but my house is actually on the corner. Still the Google map shows me living up the street, half-way down the block, where 1358 should be. Hah! Fooled Google!

Google thought the house i grew up in was two miles from it's actual location!
posted by schyler523 at 12:26 AM on April 5, 2005


Rustcellar: I think that Real Estate and Urban Planning types might use this quite a bit...
posted by schyler523 at 12:28 AM on April 5, 2005


they're an American company
posted by dhruva at 12:39 AM on April 5, 2005


Yeah interesting that you can only zoom in my podunk little town so much but the neighboring little town and the local Naval Airbase you can zoom in without so much blur. Makes sense if a military installation isn't blurred most others are already keepin their eyes out.

Nice to check out my drive to work though.
posted by andendau at 1:20 AM on April 5, 2005


dhruva,
Regardless, Google is still based in Mountain View, California, in the shadowy Googleplex from which Google's corporate masters presumably scheme to deprive the rest of the world of satellite maps and cab-finding services.
posted by Sangermaine at 1:26 AM on April 5, 2005


it's a conspiracy, I tell y'all :)
posted by dhruva at 1:45 AM on April 5, 2005


Try taking a look at the stats on your gMail account. They didn't stop adding more at 2GB. It just keeps growing. Will they ever stop, or will it remain a sight gag, growing until they just replace it with an infinity sign?
posted by blasdelf at 1:56 AM on April 5, 2005


Multimap have been doing this in the UK for a while now, their service also gives a floating square of street names over the map so you can more easily figure out where you are.
posted by biffa at 2:07 AM on April 5, 2005


The size of the car parks at Disney world are huge haha
posted by 13twelve at 2:22 AM on April 5, 2005


We sure have fucked up the planet.
posted by Chuckles at 2:34 AM on April 5, 2005


OK, now they need to overlay satellite and maps a la MultiMap in the UK. (Let the page load & then hover your mouse over the satellite pic for a few seconds).

But this is good. I can revisit places I've been in my travels and it's a great research tool.
posted by i_cola at 2:43 AM on April 5, 2005



I agree with i_cola. Multimap rocks.
Although it'd be nice if the resolution were higher.
posted by seanyboy at 3:41 AM on April 5, 2005


The images of the White House and the neighboring buildings look like they've been mostly masked out. I don't think normal buildings look perfectly flat and smooth like that.
posted by Malor at 3:42 AM on April 5, 2005


People have been talking about how the maps are often blurry at military sites but sharper nearby; I have an example of the opposite. My wife's parents live in a town on the Ottawa River, which you can only zoom one more leve into. If you drag the map so you can see areas to the southeast though, you'll find CFB Petawawa, a major Canadian military base, and it can zoom all the way in.

Weird.
posted by lowlife at 4:06 AM on April 5, 2005


'leve' != 'level', but it should.
posted by lowlife at 4:10 AM on April 5, 2005


I can see all your houses from here.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:41 AM on April 5, 2005


Woo-hoo! I am up to six military bases I can zoom in on. There are A10s and F15s on the runway, next up Naval dockyards. Oh, and I had a grand time visiting my tiny little hometown in northern Minnesota.

Great suggestion on visiting places you have traveled to, this is a whole new perspective...

How about a movie of the maps, at high resolution, from what address to another. Zoom!
posted by fluffycreature at 4:43 AM on April 5, 2005


As I understand it, Keyhole is also going to supply data to Nasa WorldWind.
posted by ph00dz at 4:58 AM on April 5, 2005


Damn all the hours spent playing SimCity. Must... resist... urge... to... cause... earthquake...
posted by DaShiv at 5:04 AM on April 5, 2005


My first thought was of Multimap as well, but the Google maps are much better quality, bigger, and have the ability to move about with the cursor keys.
posted by salmacis at 5:25 AM on April 5, 2005


The picture of where I live was taken on a winter morning, so the shadows are sort of in the northwest direction, which gives you a strange sense of being "upside down" over town like you're in some gigantic carnival ride. Or like you're being held by your ankles out of a plane. For some reason.
posted by ancientgower at 5:48 AM on April 5, 2005


The picture of where I live was taken on a winter morning,

I think you might want to retry that link, Mr. President
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 5:54 AM on April 5, 2005


Here's the entry to NORAD under Cheyenne Mountain.
posted by kokogiak at 5:55 AM on April 5, 2005


I wish I could see the Las Vegas Strip at night, sted day.

So freaking cool though.
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:59 AM on April 5, 2005


Hmmmm, no images of Area 51. "We're sorry, we don't have imagery at this level for this region."

OMG - it's all true!
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:02 AM on April 5, 2005


Holy cow, lowlife, I had just been looking at that same area, since I grew up around there. The detail on CFB Petawawa definitely is freaky.
posted by ITheCosmos at 6:13 AM on April 5, 2005


ive seen these little blobs on several mapping thingys just north of Las Vegas.....what are they?
posted by lemonfridge at 6:16 AM on April 5, 2005


i guess they are censoring something right?
posted by lemonfridge at 6:21 AM on April 5, 2005


my neighborhood --the railyard below and to the left of the red dot is where they want to build the stadium--ugh.
posted by amberglow at 6:22 AM on April 5, 2005


lemonfridge, there are all sorts of missile bases and air force stuff and testing ranges all around Vegas--you can see them as you fly in sometimes.
posted by amberglow at 6:25 AM on April 5, 2005


CunningLinguist: You're not looking at the right place.. search for "Nellis AFB, NV" then go north-east to the nuclear test site (lots of pits in the ground) and then it's just to the east of the north of that. You can see Groom Lake and the area reasonably well.

lemonfridge: I'm guess that is a turf farm.
posted by theducks at 6:32 AM on April 5, 2005


lemonfridge, the blobs are most likely agricultural areas being watered by huge rotating sprinkler systems. They have them in the middle east too, they look freaky when you fly over them.

CunningLinguist, you mean they're protecting things like this? I believe that's Groom Lake. If you switch to "map", the whole are is a big grey blob. Not exactly subtle.
posted by lowlife at 6:32 AM on April 5, 2005


I've added my neighborhood with some Flickr annotation. Imagine if you could mouse-over a location to get the note and then click to go to a Web site. Combine that with some of A9's Yellow Page features and this would be a very powerful tool.
posted by bkdelong at 6:39 AM on April 5, 2005


I'm annoyed that most of Connecticut is at low res. It's a small state. They have NJ, why not us?

It's true this has been done before. What makes this better is that the draggable interface is way better than the standard Java thing, both in speed and useability. I've used that USGS hi-res map and it's painful. The other nice thing here is that it's referenced to addresses. A lot of the available stuff out there is only referenced to the town or zip code level (using the Tiger database), and it's a real bit of work to find your actual house.

So, nicely done, Google. Again.
posted by smackfu at 6:40 AM on April 5, 2005


I get better resolution for my residences from Terraserver, and I got it years ago.

Black and white, though.
posted by thirteenkiller at 6:46 AM on April 5, 2005


lemonfridge Couldn't the green circles be irrigated crops? That's what the second picture brought to mind. The circle is caused by the rotating watering device.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:49 AM on April 5, 2005


The more I play with this, the more entertaining I find Google to be. If you go to the Google Maps homepage and have a look, everything on that map that is off-gray (for want of a better phrase) is "interesting on a large scale". For instance, I guess this is White Sands AFB?
posted by lowlife at 6:55 AM on April 5, 2005


Nice. The overlay of the locator text-balloon with the satellite photos makes a humorous effect for the areas northeast of the point you're searching for:

Mildred: Frank! Frank! C'mere, quick!
Frank: What!?
Mildred: Somethin's blottin' out the SUN! Is it an eclipse!?
Frank (looks): Naw, don't worry, it's just one a dem Google balloons. It'll go away as soon as they pick a different search.

posted by soyjoy at 7:27 AM on April 5, 2005


Crops or water treatment works seem like a more likely explanation for the blobs/dots. Just they are in rather strange places. (but what do i know! im a country boy who would rather stay inside and fettle with his computer)

I wish Google would take notice of the rest of the world with cool things like this and their normal mapping service.
posted by lemonfridge at 7:27 AM on April 5, 2005


OMG How beautiful

The layout of Black Rock City, the location of the Burning Man festival is clearly visible!
posted by redteam at 7:28 AM on April 5, 2005


If one searches for "capitol building, albany, ny" you'll note the massive blur covering: The Capitol, the Legislative building as well as the Empire State Plaza and State offices. Curious.

If I search for my house I get "We're sorry but we don't have imagery at this zoom level for this region" bah.
posted by DBAPaul at 7:43 AM on April 5, 2005


I worked for a company with a government contract for satellite imagery. Not only can they read license plates of cars from space, they also have thermal imaging and radar imaging.

Thermal imaging allows them to 'see' inside buildings.

Radar imaging allows them to 'see' when it's cloudy or night time. At the time, the radar imaging wasn't perfected yet. You could tell that there were cars, and people were bumps, but it wasn't that detailed at the time.
posted by LinemanBear at 8:01 AM on April 5, 2005


Nice catch, redteam -- looks like they shot it a couple of weeks before the start of the event since there are already a few theme camps starting to set up away from Center Camp. Judging from the pyramidal platform for the Man and the black and white pieces of the Temple, I'm guessing it's 2003.
posted by DaShiv at 8:01 AM on April 5, 2005


Wow, that's so great. Now do you think they could put fucking subway stops on it so it could be useful for people who are responsible enough to live where there's public transport?
posted by dame at 8:40 AM on April 5, 2005


If one searches for "capitol building, albany, ny" you'll note the massive blur covering: The Capitol, the Legislative building as well as the Empire State Plaza and State offices. Curious.

Have you ever noticed the GIANT FREAKING TRUNCATED CONES on the lawn in front of the Egg (which are in the blurred area of Albany)? The 20-foot-high and 30-foot-diameter stone things that look like they're hollow in the center but you can't tell because they're too high up to see into? People will tell you they're for ventilation for the state offices nearby, but I ask you, what kind of office building requires a ventilation exhaust pipe 30 feet in diameter? I've always been convinced that there is a seekrit underground bunker under the Plaza. Google Maps's curious omission makes me even more suspicious.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 8:41 AM on April 5, 2005


Wow, that's so great. Now do you think they could put fucking subway stops on it so it could be useful for people who are responsible enough to live where there's public transport?

The subway/bus stops are a good idea, but there was probably a way of phrasing that where you could have avoiding self-congratulation and condescension, don't you think?

/crabby
posted by jonmc at 8:48 AM on April 5, 2005


I've seen those weird green circles out in the desert from planes landing at McCarran - they are definitely crops being watered by a circular sprinkler. Sadly.
Though it's interesting to see the dramatic color change and to wonder why it's economically worth it to grow stuff so far out there in the middle of nowhere.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:58 AM on April 5, 2005


But jon, then how would you know that I wrote it? Anyway, you're right, but it pisses me off to no end. You wouldn't make a map of LA and leave the freeways off would you? And it *is* being a responsible citizen to avoid personal driving.
posted by dame at 9:00 AM on April 5, 2005


But if they did put subway stops on they'd have to show hich ones are out of service/under construction/infested with feral children and evil trolls and it would all get needless complicated. And if there's no cars, then how am I supposed to find taxicabs to throw up in?
posted by jonmc at 9:10 AM on April 5, 2005


Ah, I just go by my old rule: If it's the L, you're screwed, but shut your mouth because you could live somewhere worse (like Queens).

Also, taxis aren't private cars. Which is good, as if you puke in your own car, you'd have to clean it up.
posted by dame at 9:25 AM on April 5, 2005


And if there's no cars, then how am I supposed to find taxicabs to throw up in?

Jonmc...I believe that sort of thing is done best on autpilot.
posted by schyler523 at 9:25 AM on April 5, 2005


Wow, I'm stupidly excited at how easy it is to spot the colliders at Fermilab.
posted by COBRA! at 9:31 AM on April 5, 2005


Beautiful image of death valley
posted by H. Roark at 9:45 AM on April 5, 2005


The grand Canyon
posted by plemeljr at 9:50 AM on April 5, 2005


They still don't have a scale indicator.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:12 AM on April 5, 2005


Niagara Falls
posted by transient at 10:15 AM on April 5, 2005


Those round green dots are called center-pivot irrigation. It's easier to water in a circle (with an automated setup), than having to water a square by rolling a sprinkler along the length.
posted by mathowie at 10:18 AM on April 5, 2005


Weird. I had no luck doing searches for anywhere in Mexico, but by scrolling down the coast from San Diego I was able to get decent-resolution pics of Puerto Vallarta. Scrolling across the Atlantic also got me some very high-altitude pictures of Europe, but with little zoomability.
posted by COBRA! at 10:18 AM on April 5, 2005


Kauai looks pretty cool too.
posted by kokogiak at 10:19 AM on April 5, 2005


transient, did you notice how the Niagara Falls hydro generating stations are not at full resolution...
posted by Chuckles at 10:29 AM on April 5, 2005


This is pretty cool. I just virtually travelled from Eau Claire Wisconsin to California and down the coast. There were these conjoined pools that could be seen from a gross resolution that intrigued me. They seemed to be connected but one was a lighter shade of green/blue than the other. I poked around a little more and figured it was a nuclear power plant.

Using google "california coastal nuclear power" I found out it was the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.

Cool! OK, it'd be cooler if I could've clicked on the map and found out where I was (latitude/longitude, city, feature etc)
posted by substrate at 10:58 AM on April 5, 2005


MetaFilter: Most everything between France and Portland is a gigantic blur.
posted by kindall at 11:03 AM on April 5, 2005


If you zoom in on this map of the east village (nyc, ny, us) it appears that the images have been flipped upside-down. I don't think this is because of the shadow-direction (mentioned above). Did they just take the pictures at an angle from a plane north of the area?
posted by nobody at 11:16 AM on April 5, 2005


Haven't read the whole thread to see if this was mentioned, but with a bit of url hacking you can punch in longitude and latitude numbers to pull up imagery.

For example the Trinity test site, the exact location of the first nuclear bomb.

Zoom into the circle.

(BTW, this is currently also the White Sands Missile Range)
posted by jeremias at 11:18 AM on April 5, 2005


B-52s waiting to launch at Minot, ND AFB.

Cool.
posted by Mid at 11:27 AM on April 5, 2005


Joelf:
The shots in Las Vegas are 3" because the county (Clark County Nevada) hires a company to fly a plane and take aerial photographs. The County uses them to make sure you haven't put a swimming pool in your backyard without a permit. It gets warm here, ya know...

The county also makes them available for purchase, which is probably how they found their way to keyhole.
posted by SirOmega at 11:33 AM on April 5, 2005


Aircraft carriers in Norfolk, VA.
posted by Mid at 11:46 AM on April 5, 2005


Area 51 is at Groom Lake.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 11:56 AM on April 5, 2005


Aircraft carriers in Norfolk, VA.

Interesting. Am I wrong in thinking that some deck markings have been removed?
posted by COBRA! at 12:01 PM on April 5, 2005


Giant Compass Rose @ Edwards AFB
posted by plemeljr at 12:05 PM on April 5, 2005


Maybe the carriers are under construction/maintenance?
posted by Mid at 12:11 PM on April 5, 2005


Or decommissioned? (They look small.)
posted by Mid at 12:13 PM on April 5, 2005


heDonF ...how often are you really going to go back and use it? I really just don't see the point of it

Offhand, I'd definitely be following up a normal map search with the satallite view. Knowing which streets are nearby helps finding a new place, but for me at least, seeing a little of what the neighbourhood looks like could really help especially if I've never been there before.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 2:19 PM on April 5, 2005


Air Force boneyard near Tucson, AZ.
posted by Mid at 2:25 PM on April 5, 2005


I checked two places (home and work) and they were off both times. Someone said it above, it appears that they estimate where the building should be based on the numerical address.
posted by chaz at 2:38 PM on April 5, 2005


Air Force One's hangar at Andrews AFB. CIA headquarters. What I think is NSA at Ft. Meade. Launch Pad 39-B at Kennedy Space Center.

Incidentally, whenever I zoom all the way in and then click "Link to this page", the pic jumps out one level. Any idea why?
posted by Vidiot at 3:34 PM on April 5, 2005


Air Force boneyard near Tucson, AZ.
Once in my life, i really want to go play in one of these places, commercial or military (i remember all the fields of grounded planes after 9/11 and in Best Years of Our Lives...)---anyone want to come along?

When are we going to get eye-level views of streets/neighborhoods/cities? That would be much more helpful.
posted by amberglow at 3:39 PM on April 5, 2005


Yankee Stadium. The Unisphere (and shadow.) The Statue of Liberty. Ground Zero.
posted by Vidiot at 3:48 PM on April 5, 2005


Lowlife, ItheCosmos no way!
My wife and I are from the small-town-on-the-Ottawa-River too! Scroll a little East and you can get a low-resolution overview of Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories (Once a top-secret installation, and the first to achieve a self-sustaining nuclear reaction outside of the US)

I can't believe Google has gotten so good it's finding my neigbours on Mefi! Send me a note (emails in my profile). I probably know your wife's mother.
posted by Popular Ethics at 3:50 PM on April 5, 2005


I just noticed that Google uses redirection urls for search result links. How long has this been going on and what took them so long?
posted by euphorb at 4:00 PM on April 5, 2005


Cincinnati still shows Riverfront Stadium, which was imploded on December 29, 2002.
posted by tizzie at 5:54 PM on April 5, 2005


No images close enough to see my house. "We're sorry, we don't have imagery at this level for this region."

Dang. I was really hoping the work I'd done to clear the front yard might show up.
posted by Savannah at 7:24 PM on April 5, 2005


I didn't read the thread, but I think this'll be a boon, like TerraServer before it, to people-on-the-english-speaking-internet's collective awareness of ecological landscapes, and their place in them.

If you buy the line about the environmental movement being helped by the pictures of the globe, n that.

.02
posted by eustatic at 8:06 PM on April 5, 2005


Amazing resolution. You can even see that they have been hard at work spending all of their IPO money to place those "©2005 Google" graphics all over the USA (when looking at the image maps, it at first appears to just be watermarks, but don't be fooled... I walked outside and saw one - it is just so massive that most people would never notice unless you are viewing from way up high above...)
posted by Metauser at 8:10 PM on April 5, 2005


Most of these photos aren't taken by satellite. The detailed maps come from the usgs survey and are taken by plane.

I don't think so. I talked to a friend of mine who works for a company that deals in high resolution satellite data. They have dealt directly with DigitalGlobe and EarthSat (see the bottom of any image at maps.google).

Pictures from planes are much higher resolution than this. To .2m. Also, he was saying that DigitalGlobe has three satellites always taking data but they only process the data when someone wants to purchase it. So I'm guessing that the areas where you can zoom in with detail are areas which have been processed.

Also, these pictures have not been orthorectified (sorry I couldn't find a better link, answers.com, dictionary.com, and wikipedia failed me). This is why some buildings skew one way while others another way. So the data is not very useful to urban planners who want to digitally map out a city. With some of the high res data it seems you can trace a building into AutoCAD or such and then rock on from there.
posted by futureproof at 1:33 AM on April 6, 2005


Walt Disney World
posted by grouse at 5:47 AM on April 6, 2005


Er, more like this
posted by grouse at 5:50 AM on April 6, 2005


Vidiot - Here's the Statue of Liberty.

And dame, yeah, it was an unfortunate way of putting that, but this combo - two layers of information mapped on top of each other, with this scale and scope - is practically a quantum leap toward what I think is inevitable: a high-res searchable map of the earth's surface where you can toggle between different kinds of info in the same space. Subway stops will just be one of those many layers, and at the rate this is going I wouldn't think you'll have to wait more than a couple years on that.
posted by soyjoy at 7:24 AM on April 6, 2005


Civilian airline boneyard in Mojave desert.
posted by Mid at 9:33 AM on April 6, 2005


Say 'Cheese' to Google Satellite at 10AM
posted by thomcatspike at 9:59 AM on April 6, 2005


Very cool. If you zoom in all the way, you can pretty clearly see the Museum of Science & Industry's U-505 sub to the right of the main building.

When they next update the maps, you won't be able to see it any more. They're moving it indoors.
posted by aine42 at 7:53 PM on April 6, 2005


I love these satellite photos. I checked out almost all the 30 Major League Baseball parks, and some football stadiums as well. Of all the sporting venues I found, only 3Com Park, aka Candlestick Park in San Francisco had a game (49ers) in progress. Angel Stadium in Anaheim appears to be hosting a motocross rally? Of course, we can't see what's happening inside the domed stadiums, but the empty parking lots suggest a lack of activity inside. Here's the rest: posted by serafinapekkala at 11:56 AM on April 7, 2005


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