Date: Wednesday, April 6th, 2005, 00:04
Back in February we mentioned Google Maps an excellent new mapping site from the search engine giant. I am happy to report that one of my suggestions has been added to the new mapping service – satellite images. GMaps now allows you to view satellite images for almost any US address down to about 500 yards visibility. Read More…
Back in February we mentioned Google Maps an excellent new mapping site from the search engine giant. I am happy to report that one of my suggestions has been added to the new mapping service – satellite images. GMaps now allows you to view satellite images for almost any US address down to about 500 yards visibility.
As we previously reported Google Maps are DHTML-driven and pan and zoom with ease (just click and drag!) The new mapping service is a result of Google’s recent purchase of Keyhole. Slashdot’s comments are already rife with conspiracy theories about why the White House and Capital building are intentionally obscured.
Steve sends us some comments:
…It’s way better than any implementation we’ve yet seen. But it’s important to note that the data’s not necessarily current – I did the “I can see my house from here!” bit, and while I could actually find my car, I could also tell by the state of various local construction projects (what’s missing, what’s still there) that the photos are 5-6 years old. *Years.*
Take a look at Chicago, scroll a little South of downtown on the lakefront, and you’ll come across Soldier Field, our football stadium. It was torn down and rebuilt with a modern glass-and-steel stadium which has been in use now for several years, and you can clearly see that there’s just a flat construction site there, with no stadium, old or new, present. I can also identify a ton of other things that are gone now but are in the photo, and things that are here now but are missing.
And my car is my old car.
Also, a fun thing to do is to scroll around a city’s downtown area. While the service did a really good job of stitching the photos all together to form a seamless whole, you can easily tell that the images were all taken hours apart by looking at the shadows that the tall buildings cast: they go in one direction on this block, a different direction two blocks over, etc.
Lastly, did you notice that there’s a “Google 2005” watermark all over the images?
Like this thing isn’t cool enough already.
If you’re in a covered market (like Chicago), you can get real-time cab locations* on a the map. But you can also get local Google results that way too.
Go to Google and type “Chicago, Illinois” and then click on the first link – the one that will take you to that map. In the search box at the top of that page (where Chicago, Illinois is still sitting), type, say, Monaco. Do you get a map of Monaco? No; you get 10 Google hits of places in Chicago that match “monaco” and they’re all pinned on the map!
Oh… this is a good thing, this Google Maps….
*Steve is referring to Google Ride Finder which helps you “find a taxi, limousine or shuttle using real time position of vehicles.” The service currently supports 11 cities including Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, New York, Phoenix, and San Jose.