Re: You Can See My House From Here.

1

That is so cool!

Have you emailed the link to the folks you taught with? They'd get a kick out of it, I'm sure, if they haven't already seen it.


Posted by: Moira | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:33 AM
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I've dropped out of touch with everyone, sadly. Keeping in touch is a weak point of mine.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:35 AM
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3

Cool!

Pet peeve: despite how Google labels them, the close-up photos aren't from satellites, they're orthophotos taken from airplanes.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:37 AM
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I used to be able to zoom all the way down on my house, close enough to make out our cars and stuff in the yard. Now it tells me that it doesn't have imaging that close.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:38 AM
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Huh. I had no idea. I wish they had dates on them -- I'd love to know that that was as of April 17, 2006, or whenever.

It's a shame they didn't take the picture when the giant pohutukawa tree to the west of the classrooms was in bloom. It looks like it's on fire when it is.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:40 AM
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6

National security, apo.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:40 AM
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7

Also, Apo, you have cars in your yard?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:40 AM
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North and a little west of the classrooms, that is.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:41 AM
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3: What I've seen looks airborne imagers, but there are satellites with similar resolution. Are you sure google doesn't use any of that?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:41 AM
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10

7: He's from the south, Tweety. They're up on blocks, next to the refrigerators with no doors.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:41 AM
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11

erm... similar resolution to what i've seen on google, natch (not matching the highest res stuff you can find)


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:42 AM
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12

Also, Apo, you have cars in your yard?

He's from the South, Tweety.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:42 AM
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10: I was wondering. Is that required by the homeowner's association?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:42 AM
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14

Pwnéd.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:43 AM
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Apo: You might want to spend some time digging around your municipal or maybe state government website, looking for a "GIS" department or something similar. The high-resolution orthophotography is usually paid for locally, and only later makes it into the large commercial databanks that Google Maps and others get them from. The local government may well have their own copy of the data, though usually with a less-cool interface.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:43 AM
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16

Also, thanks for making that explicit, everyone.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:43 AM
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17

I would have been the pwner if the phone hadn't rung just as I was typing.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:43 AM
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18

So cool, LB!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:43 AM
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19

4/6 apparently I can zoom in that close today (never tried before) so this can't be a global change.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:44 AM
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15: Not all municipalities have high-resolution orthophotography, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:45 AM
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21

If you click and drag, you can follow the road to the north a mile or two to the beach. I'd point out Le Lagoto, the Sunset Bar, the best bar in Savai'i, but you probably don't need directions there unless you have a trip planned, and it's hard to identify from the air.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:46 AM
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I noticed that when I first typed the comment, but figured I'd leave it for your amusement. I do have a toddler-sized plastic car in the yard, but not up on blocks.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:46 AM
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I don't know for sure what all of Google's data sources are, no. If you can find a bunch of tall objects, see if there's a noticable side-on view to some of them, like the buildings here - satellites won't have that angle. Places where those oblique edges conflict are particularly dramatic, as demonstrated by the left and right side of that shot.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:48 AM
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20: sure, but it sounded like he'd seen higher-resolution data in the past; I'm suggesting that if that data is still around, it's probably through the local government.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:49 AM
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23: I love when that happens; I've found spots in Manhattan where it looks like two buildings are leaning in over the street to touch.

Also, what are you doing look at my office on Google Maps, Williams?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:51 AM
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23- That's taken on a Friday or Saturday, the Haymarket stalls are up. Also during the Big Dig, the central artery is still there but so is the Zakim bridge.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:53 AM
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Yeah when are they going to update the Central Artery pictures? This picture has to be four or five years old.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:55 AM
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23: Oh, it's obvious they are using ortho, it just sounded like you knew they didn't use any high res satellite, which surprised me.

Stuff like you linked is obviously ortho, both from the stitching and the resolution.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:55 AM
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29

and i've obviously got obvious stuck in my fingers today. blah.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:58 AM
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30

Is it safe to assume that the title of this post is an allusion to the old joke about Jesus on the cross calling down to Peter?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 12:00 PM
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31

You're supposed to ask that question on Standpipe's blog, Knecht.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 12:03 PM
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32

31: What blog is that?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 12:05 PM
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33

Probably not.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 12:06 PM
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34

Apo took the washing machines out of his yard when they realized that people were watching.

I'm not sure about this photo, LB. The terrorists are everywhere, and no one is safe.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 12:07 PM
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The picture of our old house in Canton still has our car in front of it, and it doesn't even have the lovely swing set Molly built the backyard.

The picture of our new house just doesn't look right. There's a lot of shadow, but the driveway seems have a curve and you can't see the house at all.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 12:08 PM
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32: You haven't been to standpipe's joke explaining blog yet, Knecht?

I guess you still need to learn your way around here. It is really the lifeblood of the community.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 12:09 PM
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37

You can zoom all the way in on my neighborhood, which I just noticed. I don't know if I ever tried before.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 12:10 PM
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38

My mom's house exists in some kind of GPS Bizarro World. Google Maps has it a block away from its actual location and the GPS doohickey in her car insists she lives across the street. It chimes angrily when you turn into our driveway.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 12:12 PM
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This prompted me to look up where I used to live in Ukraine. But I moved every few months there and never looked at it from an aerial view, so it's really hard to tell. I know I lived in a couple of different apartments just off this main street (Prospekt Lenina in Kharkov), but I can't remember exactly where. And it looks like there's been new construction since '94, so some of the landmarks are unfamiliar. (And Donetsk, where I also spent some time, is really hard to figure out from the air.) Still: Google maps are cool.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 12:22 PM
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Yeah, I'm only 98% sure I'm right, and I've got the position on the coastline and a pretty distinctive layout to work with. (And that bigass pohutakawa tree.) But I could be adjusting my memory to fit the layout I'm seeing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 12:28 PM
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Because of the progress of my re-roofing, I can tell that the photo is from last summer. I can also tell that my design (in cedar shingle with a pattern, kind of European-inspired) turns out to look pretty nifty from up there.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 12:32 PM
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42

38: Finding addresses on a street is really pretty clunky. The way the data works, there are start and end street addresses for line segments (bits of roads), and all mapping software, whether Google or GPS navigator, pretty much just linearly interpolates between the points. The local data collector can make up for this by replacing one segment with a bunch of shorter segments (such as when all of the houses are on the first half of a block, and the second half is a park), but they often don't bother.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 12:33 PM
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Aha! In Donetsk, I lived for four months in an apartment in the north-pointing part of the southernmost "L"-shaped building here. I don't remember the street names, but I'm sure they had something to do with Lenin.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 12:39 PM
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Google Earth is even better for this. I have a picture from 1998 (just added to the flickr pool) that I can precisely locate because Earth lets you pan and rotate to almost match the view of landscape shots.
Flickr also lets you specify the global location of photos, but just on a standard map. They should make a link between that feature and the satellite/orthographic images.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 12:48 PM
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Is Vaipouli College, Savai'i on the 12th level geography quiz?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 1:00 PM
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44: Some better digital cameras have input for GPS devices too. You can hack your way around this by timestamping with any old camera, too.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 1:03 PM
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47

There's a lot more detailed of a map for where I spent my short study abroad than the place where I grew up. I'm amazed.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 1:05 PM
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48

Wow. I can zoom in far enough on my parents' house to see where the tree they had cut down isn't.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 1:06 PM
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49

And the picture of the church where I got married was probably taken on a Sunday.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 1:09 PM
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42: in Google Maps you can actually edit a street address so it corresponds to the correct driveway, now. It will show up so corrected for everybody who searches for it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 1:51 PM
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Can you "correct" addresses of things like gay bars onto the driveways of people who happen to live on the same street?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:02 PM
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52

One way to find out, SP.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:04 PM
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53

ermmm... where do you live?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:04 PM
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It won't work, if you try to move a marker more than 200 meters the google people will manually review it.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:14 PM
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what if you move it 150m at a time?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:16 PM
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Hmm, good question- especially if you have two different uses leapfrog it.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:18 PM
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users.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:18 PM
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58

Is this technology real time so you can actually spy on people? That would be especially useful with higher resolution so you could peek in their windows. I guess satellites can't do that yet, tho, or we would have thousands of analysts scanning the earth for Osama Bin Laden.


Posted by: Perfectly G.D. | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:27 PM
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Whoops, the informed comments above made mine look quite silly. Happens often.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:29 PM
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58: Satellites aren't going to give you positional control regardless. There are sub-meter resolution ones already, but even that is pushing things pretty hard considering the optical challenges.

If you wanted to spy on people, small remote vehicles streaming video are much, much more likely to get there soon.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:30 PM
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58: Actually, they've started using equivalents of Google Earth to search for rich people in deserts. So, not Bin Laden, unless he gets in a plane crash over Nevada.

On a similar tack, after StreetView came out, my friends and I started joking that the only possible next step will be GoogleStalker. You search for someone on Google and it will provide a link saying "Would you like to look into this person's living room?" with a realtime feed.

Clearly, there will be some errors in the beta, some addresses will be incorrect and the ugly 54-year-old guy who watches football in his tighty-whities will disgust many when his address is confused with that of the 19-year-old exhibitionist two apartments over... But I'm sure those will all be worked out quickly using wiki-style technology.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:35 PM
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You know what's odd? They recently updated my street, and the orthography changed. I had no idea that magnetic north moved that quickly.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 3:30 PM
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62: For a while all I could see of my daughter's place on G.E. were the tops of trees for miles around. Then one day I could see the whole neigborhood. MS Live Maps is often better for high-res looks at things though.

Those are two of the biggest time killers around. I really do not need to see if I can remember the drive from my old house to that of my high-school GF but it's fun to try.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 3:41 PM
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MODIS satellites Terra and Aqua provide near real-time (day old) photos. Very low-res.


Posted by: John | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 9:04 AM
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They've only recently updated the photos of where I live south of Oxford. I checked only a few months back and it was fuzzy, low res. Now I can look and tell when the photo was taken [by the overgrown bush in the front garden that I cut back 2 summers ago]. Odd.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-12-08 9:17 AM
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