October 4, 2004 5:47 PM   Subscribe

Aerial photos. Maps. Overlaid. Fantastic.
posted by iffley (35 comments total)
posted by johnnydark at 6:09 PM on October 4, 2004

I miss London. I love London. [/yearning sigh]
posted by Alylex at 6:12 PM on October 4, 2004

This technique, if anybody wants to do further research, is called a "Magic Lens." It was developed at Xerox Parc in the 1990s and it's a solution that's really intuitive and natural, but one that's not achieved wide usage.

I do agree that this is quite a nice little site.
posted by zpousman at 6:16 PM on October 4, 2004

This is fantastic! I feel like I have a secret decoder ring, or something. It brings to mind those encyclopaedias we all used to have, the ones with clear plastic overlays with parts of maps drawn on them. My human body book had the same thing, the clear plastic overlays - we'd spend hours flipping them back and forth, revealing and hiding various body systems. Very cool, iffley - thanks. I wish there were more countries, although this is a nice start.
posted by iconomy at 6:20 PM on October 4, 2004

If you look closely at the top right, is that the London Eye, laid flat in the river as it was when they were constructing it?
posted by ntk at 6:32 PM on October 4, 2004

I wouldn't half mind seeing the continental US shown this way.
posted by alumshubby at 6:33 PM on October 4, 2004

Brilliantly done.

Different map bases were used for many of the zoom levels: much better than just digitally zooming a single map.

At the M25/M1 interchange (hey, I'm a roadgeek), I saw at least four different maps, each with an appropriate level of detail for that zoom level. And alignment was spot on.
posted by kurumi at 6:40 PM on October 4, 2004

Hey... nifty.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:43 PM on October 4, 2004

What especially amazes me is that the panning of the map overlay is done entirely by Javascript; I had to look at the source to convince myself that it really wasn't Flash or a Java applet.
posted by TimeFactor at 6:46 PM on October 4, 2004

TimeFactor: You should check out some of the JavaScript API's that have been around for, well, years now. Multiple tracked overlayed layering isn't as difficult as it might seem, provided you're not hand-coding all the different browser quirks yourself. DynAPI is one of my favorites.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:57 PM on October 4, 2004

This is amazing. I want it for Paris, Moscow... everything!
posted by languagehat at 7:10 PM on October 4, 2004

This is *so* awesome. Thank you for sharing; I have to go find Asbury and Stonehenge now!
posted by headspace at 7:33 PM on October 4, 2004

This is so cool! I lived in Oxshott for a year when I was a kid and it blows my mind being able to zoom in on the Oxshott Common, a parcel of land originally set aside by Henry VIII for hunting, and a magnificent place for a 12-year-old to roam.

I would love to see a third dimension -- historical maps superimposed over aerial photos.

Great stuff!
posted by at 7:47 PM on October 4, 2004

There's just something about that magic lens!
posted by shoepal at 7:51 PM on October 4, 2004

World Wind is a bit of a download but very fun to play with. When looking at the USGS images it takes a while for a decent resolution to load but the result is rather nifty indeed.
posted by dasibiter at 8:02 PM on October 4, 2004

Don't forget the difficult-to-use!
posted by tss at 8:47 PM on October 4, 2004

They should put this kind of functional on the national map.
posted by ph00dz at 8:57 PM on October 4, 2004

fucking brilliant.
posted by louigi at 9:04 PM on October 4, 2004

Neat. Found my old house and now I'm London-sick.
posted by arha at 10:12 PM on October 4, 2004

Very cool.
posted by RylandDotNet at 12:34 AM on October 5, 2004

This is very good - the only shame is that a few years ago, you could save the arial photos, and make a composite arial photo of an entire place by piecing them together.
posted by jb at 12:47 AM on October 5, 2004

This is very old. I've been using getmapping for years. This is my house.

I'm intrigued about the comments about a map overlay though. I only see an aerial map. There's a link to show a map instead. Is this something that only works on Internet Explorer?
posted by salmacis at 1:16 AM on October 5, 2004

Ah, I've got it now! (For some reason, it's not working with Opera, but works for Firefox and Konqueror.) Freaky!

And just for good measure, West Bromwich Albion F.C. (before they redeveloped the East Stand.)
posted by salmacis at 2:06 AM on October 5, 2004

In terms of UK maps I always prefer Streetmap as they give you a bigger area with less clutter, but this is very cool.

Now can anyone work out how to get the ariel photos out?

jb: I've got a 70Mb file of north London done just that way ;-)

salmacis: Less smelly & far more importantly as it is in its last season... Coventry City FC at Highfield Road and the new Jaguar Arena at Foleshill when it was still a gasworks!
posted by i_cola at 3:28 AM on October 5, 2004

I quite like this one from Liverpool, which shows Everton FC top, Stanley Park middle and Liverpool FC bottom.

Or this one from Nottingham, which shows Notts County FC top, Nottingham Forest FC middle and Nottinghamshire CCC bottom.

Anybody got any other favourite views that don't involve football grounds?
posted by salmacis at 4:03 AM on October 5, 2004

Or for motorsports enthusiasts, Brands Hatch or Silverstone.
posted by salmacis at 4:09 AM on October 5, 2004

Outside of the town this really comes into its own at the 1:25000 scale as you get the detailed Ordnance Survey overlays. Now I want this all on a CD/DVD and make it download-able to a Palm so I can take it out mountainbiking!

Three forts in Sussex:
Devil's Dyke
Cissbury Ring
Chanctonbury Ring

Other cool places:
Warwick (& castle at the bottom)
Kenilworth Castle
Coventry Cathedral(s)
Glastonbury (& Tor)
Rollright Stones and from the ground.
Avebury stone circle
Helvelyn in the Lake District.
posted by i_cola at 4:57 AM on October 5, 2004

I swear you used to be able to zoom in further on multimap, to the point where I could see cars parked in my road...
posted by Orange Goblin at 6:04 AM on October 5, 2004

I agree this is very cool. Check out the Burghfield Atomic Weapons Establishment near Reading. It's on the photo, but where is it on the map?
posted by jontyjago at 7:40 AM on October 5, 2004

some of my favourites:

Gravelly Hill, aka Spaghetti Junction
Bath Circus
The, um, 'Depot' near Newbury where they kept all the bombs bound for Iraq.
posted by nylon at 9:37 AM on October 5, 2004

Highly cool.
posted by weston at 9:50 AM on October 5, 2004

Of course, Heathrow is pretty cool from above.

And here's a section of abandoned motorway, which is now completely inaccessible, near where I live.
posted by nylon at 9:53 AM on October 5, 2004

Ahh, I was wondering about that, salmacis - all I see on this site are the aerial photos; no fancy overlays.
posted by Mars Saxman at 10:01 AM on October 5, 2004

Notice the cycle track at the bottom of the Spaghetti Junction? I used to watch the Birmingham Bulls American football team play there in the late 80s.
posted by salmacis at 11:26 AM on October 5, 2004

Okay, one more, before the thread disappears off the page: Cerne Abbas [SFW]
posted by nylon at 12:19 PM on October 5, 2004

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