google earth

Spent a while downloading and then zooming around Google Earth. It’s pretty amazing—seeing places I know from above.

But I wonder how old the data is? I know some of it has to be more than two years out of date since the house I grew up in still shows a big elm tree in front—but the tree came down maybe ten years ago. Seeing my sister’s house in Natick, MA was cool—but I can’t see ours since Fairfield County is this green blob—no buildings are visible. I wonder why. It’s pretty disappointing not to be able to discern our house in the blob. I can see the houses of most of my relatives, but not my house or my parents’ house.

This is my sister’s house in Natick, MA. See how clearly you can see the house! [click to enlarge]

And this is the view of our house in Norwalk. A green blob. You can’t even see the school next door, which is a fairly large building. [click to enlarge]

The other weird thing is some of the data is wrong. The house I grew up in, in Southgate, MI (now the mall capitol of southeastern Michigan), is shown two doors up from where it actually is (the target is over the wrong house—the Franklins lived there when I was growing up!) My youngest sister’s house, in Dearborn Heights, MI, looks wrong. She lives in a small house, with a small garage behind it but the image shows some big buildings there. I forget what her cross street is—will have to ask her to see if it’s even showing the correct corner lot.

So, an interesting start, but disappointing (and useless for seeing where you need to go) for those of us who live in Blob Land. Google directions, the last time I checked (like two months ago) leave a LOT to be desired (like accuracy), at least here in Fairfield County, so maybe when they update the imagery they’ll also update the directions. Or vice versa. When it’s working properly, I’ll start thinking about integrating it into the websites we manage, at least the ones with storefronts.

But it is so FUN to fly over the country!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/20/05 at 10:37 PM
  1. I know that the town of Greenwich had issues with satelitte imagery being released - due to “national security”, of course - to anyone. Some famous people in CA have tried to pull the same crap. Didn’t work though - public money paid for the sats and the images….

    I think that the problem that google is having is that there’s many different imagery sets to choose from - so they have to pick one, then do their magic so the streets line up - or don’t.

    You have to admit that the fact that you punch in street address and then it gets you to the same street, even if it’s a door away, is still pretty durned cool.

    I found an old airstrip on a piece of property a few houses from ours - it’s this kind of info that makes it worthwhile!

    Posted by adam  on  12/21  at  04:08 PM
  2. Greenwich lost that case, but if Google Earth images of Fairfield County are what they were worried about, it was a real WOMBAT of a case.

    Yes, I think it’s very cool. I just want everything to be perfect now. I want to see real-time images—see where that bottleneck on I-95 is, what side streets are not jammed up ... you know, the spy stuff that we’re paying through the nose for.

    An airstrip? What’s there now? (And why is that worthwhile to know?!)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/21  at  05:41 PM
  3. But it is so FUN to fly over the country!

    Isn’t that what politicians say about the midwest?


    Posted by Rudi  on  12/21  at  08:55 PM
  4. That’s why we need a good Democrat from the midwest to run in ‘08. So who’s out there?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/21  at  09:27 PM
  5. Russ Feingold looks like the most likely midwest entrant into the 2008 prexy race.  He’s got decent cred, is good on TV, and explains himself most clearly (unlike the junior senator from Massachusetts).

    Otherwise, perhaps a candidate from the Rocky Mountain area would be good.  Bill Richardson has a decent record (save for the Los Alamos thing that broke during his tenure at the Dept. of Energy, though that can be tracked back to Bush I), is well-spoken, has TONS of foreign policy experience, and is comfortable on the campaign trail.

    I can see John Edwards and Wes Clark running again in ‘08 - all the power to ‘em.  Edwards is very, very good, but still green in terms of foreign policy experience.  But he’s keeping his name in the press, so we’ll see.  And Clark has been working hard to get his campaign style up-to-snuff - again, we’ll see.

    Biden may run, but I wouldn’t support his campaign, as he’s too beholden to the credit card industry and has a tendency to come frighteningly close to caucusing with the Republicans - kinda a “Lieberman lite,” not my style.

    Happy Christmas!

    Posted by Rudi  on  12/24  at  11:39 PM
  6. Why do the pundits and other talking heads keep bringing up foreign policy experience as being something important for winning the presidency? Bush had absolutely none, yet he won. Clinton had none, and he won too. This is an issue that is more of a nice to have rather than a need to have as far as voters go, it seems.

    Posted by lee  on  12/25  at  01:22 AM
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