Thursday, June 09
I Can See Your House From Up Here
I'm only posting this in my Cool
category because I don't have an Unbelievably Mega-Cool category.
Now, admittedly, I can't quite see my house:
But that doesn't mean -
- that I can't see your house:
(Click on the images to get some idea of how much detail is available.)
World Wind brings the entire planet to your desktop. Currently Windows only; I hope that will change, because everyone should have this.
Thank you, NASA. Umpteen squillion dollars and worth every penny.
(And thanks to bjornart on the mu.nu forums for pointing me to this.)
Hey, I know where that is!
Yup, I was right.
Now what do we get if we zoom in a bit?
In next year's edition you'll be able to count the squirrels in Central Park...
Posted by: Pixy Misa at
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That tech has been publicly available for at least six years now. It isn't going to get any finer, I don't think. As it is, a lot of those images are as much as ten years old. You might not be able to find your house because it was built after the image was taken.
We use it here at work for field location and bounding applications. Central Park is a lot more interesting-looking than your average Midwestern section, although some of the Mississippi Delta bottomland has interesting topography - all those bayous make for highly organic satellite maps.
We have at least one grower down in the Delta who's too cheap to properly train their fieldhands in how to use GPS yield monitors, so they tried to use rented satellites for remote-sensing purposes - judging crop yield by satellite. It sort of worked, but struck me as an insane waste of resources. Second-best argument I know of for the elimination of agricultural subsidies - the best argument being that if the growers had less money, they might not be able to afford to wage WWI-grade chemical warfare on pests on their rented goddamn lands.
Delta agribusiness. Bah.
Posted by: Mitch H. at Thursday, June 09 2005 10:26 AM (iTVQj)
Yeah, I've seen this sort of image (and more detailed ones too) before, but being able to scroll around anywhere in the world and have them pop up is very neat. Doubly so when it's a free program anyone can download.
Unfortunately, there's much less detail available (at least via World Wind) for Australia than for the U.S. It's not just my house I can't see, it's anything smaller than a barn.
As for agriculture subsidies, P. J. O'Rourke said it best I spent two and a half years examining the American political process. All that time I was looking for a straightforward issue. But everything I investigated--election campaigns, the budget, lawmaking, the court system, bureaucracy, social policy--turned out to be more complicated than I had thought. There were always angles I hadn't considered, aspects I hadn't weighed, complexities I'd never dreamed of. Until I got to agriculture. Here at last is a simple problem with a simple solution. Drag the omnibus farm bill behind the barn and kill it with an ax.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Thursday, June 09 2005 10:54 AM (+S1Ft)
And when you can scroll from the Asquith Golf Course in northern Sydney (you can see the little lakes I used to walk past on my way to school) to Nagoya and Tokyo and Hokkaido, and then off to see the sand dunes in the Takla Makan desert (which must be enormous) and algal blooms on lakes in the Kunlun Mountains, and scroll scroll and now you're looking at the suburbs of Tel Aviv and scroll scroll Athens and on and on...
I'd love to get the 1 metre resolution data for the whole planet, but this is already a gift beyond price.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Thursday, June 09 2005 11:21 AM (+S1Ft)
Google Maps has this now too. I got to see how my lot looked before they built my condo on it a couple years ago.
Posted by: TallDave at Thursday, June 09 2005 12:40 PM (9XE6n)
How cool. Up to now, I think the only capability was viewing the USA (or maybe North America). At least that's the only one I'd heard of.
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