[EAS] Google (Satellite) Maps

Peter J. Kindlmann pjk at design.eng.yale.edu
Sat Apr 9 20:58:16 EDT 2005

Dear Colleagues -

Below I forward you a copy of the widely distributed newsletter
TOURBUS, describing a new Google feature -- maps, high-resolution
satellite maps.

My reactions to this are more complex than TOURBUS's Patrick
Crispen, who tends to write in the future-perfect tense. I'm more in
the Mark Morford school
but haven't really figured out my attitude. Until you do, it's more
fun to have Mark Morford give you his initial impressions of this
new beast.


>Approved-By: crispen at NETSQUIRREL.COM
>Date:         Sat, 9 Apr 2005 15:45:43 -0400
>Sender: The Internet TourBus - A virtual tour of cyberspace
>               <TOURBUS at LISTSERV.AOL.COM>
>From: Patrick Douglas Crispen <crispen at NETSQUIRREL.COM>
>Subject: Tourbus - 9 Apr 05 - Google Maps
>               TOURBUS Volume 10, Number 56 -- 09 Apr 2005
>                  Tourbus Home - http://www.TOURBUS.com
>               Tourbus Forums - http://forums.TOURBUS.com
>   [ For best results view this with a monospace font like Courier. ]
>                   TODAY'S TOURBUS TOPIC: Google Maps
>Howdy, y'all, and greetings once again from deep behind the orange
>curtain in beautiful Irvine, California, birthplace of the red
>Swingline stapler.
>TOURBUS is made possible by the kind support of our sponsors.  Please
>take a moment to visit today's sponsors and thank them for keeping our
>little bus of Internet happiness on the road week after week.
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>On with the show...
>Google Maps
>Audience: Everyone [kind of]
>Well, it looks like the evil scientists at Google Labs
>[ http://labs.google.com/ ] have been busy over the past few months.
>Back in February, Google introduced "Google Maps" at
>      http://maps.google.com/
>Google Maps is Google's response to other popular map sites like
>MapQuest [ http://mapquest.com/ ] and Yahoo Maps
>[ http://maps.yahoo.com ].  Hop on over to maps.google.com, type in
>what you're looking for--an address, a city, a point of interest, an
>airport code, etc--and Google will display a really high-quality map
>of that location.
>For example, if you search for SNA [the airport code for Orange
>County's John Wayne International Airport] Google shows you where I
>live.  No, I don't actually live in an airport although at times it
>sure does feel like I do.  I live directly north-northeast of the Duck
>Now for the cool part.  Once you've located John Wayne airport on your
>map, click on the map with your mouse, hold your mouse button, and
>drag your mouse up and to the right.
>That's right, folks: Google maps are draggable!  Keep dragging up the
>California coastline and you'll end up in Los Angeles.  Oh, and you
>can zoom in too.  On the left side of the map, click on the plus or
>drag the slider up.
>Wait.  There's more.  Do a search for "pizza Irvine."  Not only will
>Google show you the location of most of the pizza joints in beautiful
>Irvine, California, if you click on any of the map's "push pins" or
>click on one of the pizza places' names on the right side of the
>screen, a shadowed balloon appears showing you the pizza place's name,
>phone number, address, website link, and even a link to get driving
>directions.  And if you click on another company's name, the map will
>automatically scroll to that new company's location.
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>Oh, and Google Maps also does driving directions.  Go to
>maps.google.com and above the search box click on the "Directions"
>link.  Then, just key in your starting and ending addresses.
>The New Stuff
>Maps are cool, I guess--and I *REALLY* like the interactivity that
>Google has built into its map site--but have you ever wanted to see
>what your house or school or business looks like from space?
>Well, just go to maps.google.com, search for a particular address, and
>then, in the upper right corner of the screen, click on the
>"Satellite" link [it's at the far right side of that orange horizontal
>Oh, and all those search features we talked about before work on the
>satellite maps as well.  Do a search for "pizza Irvine" and you'll see
>what Irvine's pizza places look like from space.  And if you click and
>drag your mouse, you can scroll around beautiful Orange County.
>And it's not just Irvine that is viewable from space.  In fact, all-
>around nice guy James Turnbull has spent the better part of a week
>[Google added the satellite feature on Monday] finding cool stuff from
>space and posting it to his Google Sightseeing blog at
>      http://www.shreddies.org/gmaps/
>Make sure to browse through the archives.  Turnbull has found a BUNCH
>of neat stuff hidden in Google's satellite images.
>The bad news
>Now for the bad news:
>      - Google Maps is still in beta, so expect some bugs from time to
>        time.
>      - You can only use Google Maps to search for locations in the
>        United States and Canada.  More locations are coming soon,
>        though.
>      - There some places in North America that aren't covered by
>        Google's satellite images, especially if you zoom in all the
>        way.  A good example is the southern parts of Disney's Epcot
>        Center in Orlando.
>      - The satellite images are "current" but not exactly up to date.
>        For example, the satellite image of the closed Tustin Marine
>        Corps Air Station [northeast of SNA] still shows base housing
>        even though the houses were demolished last summer.  [Oh, and
>        those two really big buildings are blimp hangars which aren't
>        going anywhere.]
>      - When you zoom all the way in on a map, especially a satellite
>        map, the address balloons are sometimes about 25 feet [7.6
>        meters] off.  For example, when I searched for my family's old
>        house in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the balloon pointed to the house
>        across the street.
>Still, for what you're paying for this service [NOTHING!], these
>"problems" are trivial.  All in all, maps.google.com is one of the
>more exciting things to come along in a while.
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>That's it for today.  I'm off to Baltimore for the Blackboard
>conference, so we'll talk again in a week or so.  Have a safe and
>happy week!
>=====================[ Tourbus Rider Information ]===================
>    The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2238
>      Copyright 1995-2005, Rankin & Crispen - All rights reserved
>         Tourbus News Service - http://tourbus.com/news.html
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>            .~~~.  ))
>  (\__/)  .'     )  ))       Patrick Douglas Crispen
>  /o o  \/     .~
>{o_,    \    {              crispen at netsquirrel.com
>   / ,  , )    \           http://www.netsquirrel.com/
>   `~  -' \    } ))    AOL Instant Messenger: Squirrel2K
>  _(    (   )_.'
>---..{____}                  Warning: squirrels.

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