Hey!! Down Here!!
August 29, 2003 9:38 AM   Subscribe

TerraServer USA. Can you find your own house? I drove myself mad looking, until I finally resorted to using the address finder. I can see my road, but I can't make out which house is mine. Can you find your home, or even your neighborhhod, in a satellite photo of the country?
posted by archimago (18 comments total)
Wow. Broken already.
posted by starvingartist at 9:42 AM on August 29, 2003

I have a feeling this has been discussed before. But a better bet is using MapQuest's aerial photo feature. Just plug in an address, then click on the "Aerial Photo" tab. You can get pretty close, and easily pick out your house (if your area is covered). Or other places, like Comerica Park in Detroit.
posted by pardonyou? at 9:48 AM on August 29, 2003

This site provides more detail, although it may take awhile to navigate to where you want. It was already discussed in another thread about a month ago.

posted by joeadk at 9:57 AM on August 29, 2003

My house is right here, one house above the one Microsoft thinks is mine. Here's another map.
posted by SweetJesus at 9:58 AM on August 29, 2003

Easy to find my house, but then I've got lots of nearby features that are very easy to identify from the air, such as the Ellipse/White House...just go a few blocks east and a few more north). Then again, I'm a geographer and am accustomed to finding my house on displays like this -- many moons ago (ten years, maybe?), I was a volunteer staffer at the Smithsonian's exhibit built around Denis Wood's book The Power of Maps and spent my time staffing some sun workstations loaded up with aerial photography, and spent a fair amount of time helping visitors to the museum find their homes...

SweetJesus, TerraServer gets my house wrong too -- though it's the Census Bureau's fault, really -- the address ranges in Tiger/Line for the arcs making up my block have long been out of whack (in fact, according to the census bureau, my address doesn't exist...for the address ranges for the two segments making up my block are 1801-1807 and 1819-1899, completely ignoring the several buildings in between. Oops.
posted by jburka at 10:26 AM on August 29, 2003

I love this site and have been using it for some time.

Being able to switch back and forth between the photos and the maps is a great resource for planning a backcountry trips. It's not going to replace my paper maps anytime soon, but I've found it an invaluable tool for getting an overview of an area.

My house is here.
posted by cedar at 11:01 AM on August 29, 2003

Here's my apartment in the Village and here's where I am this summer, using Jef Poskanzer's much simpler (OK, better!) Acme interface to the Terraserver photos.
posted by nicwolff at 11:05 AM on August 29, 2003

Uh, strike that -- reverse it -- here's the Village and here's the Cape.
posted by nicwolff at 11:07 AM on August 29, 2003

see also TerraFly ... which lets you move through a sat map area as if you were flying (provided you can figure out the interface).
posted by crunchland at 11:31 AM on August 29, 2003

Wow, nicwolff. Just off Washington Square Park? I envy you...
posted by Tin Man at 11:59 AM on August 29, 2003

If you're gonna spend time at Terraserver-get this awesome program by Doug Cox here: To quote Doug: "USAPhotoMaps creates scrollable/zoomable aerial photo and topo maps from data that it downloads from Microsoft's TerraServer Web site. Latitude/longitude at the cursor is shown. Waypoints can be displayed and transferred to/from most GPSs. Routes can be created, displayed and transferred to/from most GPSs. GPS tracks can be transferred and displayed. GPS position can be displayed. Text can be overlayed. And much more."

N.B. "All of these programs are free, they're all under 400 Kbytes, they run in Microsoft Windows, and were written in C by Doug Cox, a retired airline pilot"
posted by quercus at 12:45 PM on August 29, 2003

Keyhole offers the most entertaining satellite-imaging service, IMO -- it's a 3D-based app that lets you navigate smoothly, bookmark favorite spots, and label roads and highways (Windows only, and it costs $110 beyond the 7-day free trial. but hey, if you're really in to this stuff...)
posted by bhayes82 at 1:08 PM on August 29, 2003

(Oh my gawd! This must be shut down immediately, lest terrorists use it to terrorize us all!)

It's pretty amazing - I feel so jealous toward all the fantastic mapping / imagery / localities / weather stuff that's available for the USA.
posted by Jimbob at 3:33 PM on August 29, 2003

The public sat pictures of my area were all taken almost 10 years ago...it shows nothing but farmland as far as the eye can see....if only the neighborhood still looked like that.
posted by dejah420 at 5:02 PM on August 29, 2003

Keyhole is incredible, wow! I spent an hour trying to find my house (without typing in the address), and then another hour just zooming in and out from space to my rooftop. Then I typed in DISNEY WORLD and it flew me right to the scarily large Mickey Mouse head. Too much fun!
posted by kevspace at 5:03 PM on August 29, 2003

I live here, but this picture was taken 10 years before my apartment building was built!
posted by ukamikanasi at 5:35 PM on August 29, 2003

When I was living in Germany I got a set of DVDs with all of Germany in both vector map and aerial/satellite photos. The cities come in so close I could see the vent-shaft of my building.

On Terra Server, I can find the little street where I grew up, but the houses don't resolve from the trees. I got better shots from Mapquest.
posted by Goofyy at 12:18 AM on August 30, 2003

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