Bill's Blog

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Google Maps and Satellite Imagery

Google Maps

I've been having fun lately playing with Google's new map and satellite feature. A map search for directions or whatever you're looking for is pretty much the same whether you use Mapquest, Yahoo Maps, Map24, etc. What Google has above these other services is the switch over to satellite imagery. That's right, type in the address you're looking for, zoom in and click the satellite link and (for most areas) you get an overhead snapshot taken from satellite. As a military brat, I've lived all over. I had fun looking up all my old addresses and seeing if I could pick out the house we lived in.

Three things would make this better (are you listening Google?):
  1. More coverage. Several old addresses and even ones for family and friends, were not available in the zoomed in mode, I had to zoom out to the point you couldn't tell what you were looking at. I know it'll take them some time to build the database of images up to cover the ground.
  2. Remove the Marker. When you search for an address (both on the map and on the satellite) it puts a little marker to denote the address. That's great for centering and getting the image zoomed in. The problem is, you can't get rid of the marker. It is there to stay. If you switch to satellite it covers up the image. I've found a way around this, but its a pain.
  3. Save the images. The way the images load now, the picture is sliced in about 20 pieces (depending on the size of the image and the area I believe). If I want to take and email the photo to someone, I cannot readily do it. I understand why they did this - they don't want you stealing their images and posting them all over the net. Instead you have to email the page link to yourself or someone else.

For some fun, look up your house address and print out the satellite image. See if your significant other can identify what their looking at after you cut the borders away.


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