2005-04-05

I see you

I read this story in E-Commerce Times today [LINK] about Google introducing a new feature wherein a search for a location returns not only a nice map (with the possibility of driving directions) but also a satellite picture. At first I thought it might be kind of cool, but not mind-blowing. Seeking just to waste a few minutes, I went and checked it out. Of course, the first place I looked for was my house, and since I'm in the middle of LA, I knew the satellite images would exist. I type in my address, and click on the maps.google.com link that appears [LINK], and then up comes a satellite image of west LA. No surprise. There is, however, a little zoom bar, so I zoom in, and in again. It gets down to about the size of my neighborhood, which isn't too bad. Then I was impressed enough to blog the new feature, and I tried to save the picture. Well, they don't seem to allow that in any obvious way, for which I don't blame them. On a related note, they also tile a copyright in transparent text across the image. In trying to save though, I accidently dragged the picture, and IT MOVED!! Yes, you can drag a little hand cursor around and the map scrolls around, and builds itself when you go beyond the initial area of the search. It is really cool. You can zoom out to the continents and zoom in to neighborhoods (where images are available). Some places have lower resolutions than others, but it's really good in cities. A handy tool that I don't think is implemented yet would be a location grabber, so you can click a spot and get it's address or coordinates or at least zip code or something. That is probably a tough thing to do though, so might take a while.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I want to know where they are getting the photos. I know they are not up to date because when I put in muy office address it came up with a great photo including the orchard across the street that was chopped down six months ago. Is there a satelite photo public archive somewhere?? Regardless, it is a cool utility!
Cyn

Esme said...

OK, Sacramento really does have a lot of goddamn trees. This is cool!

Interesting, their Manhattan file is 1/2 in the dead of winter & 1/2 in spring... Riverside Park looks mighty interesting.

renee said...

google is slowly taking over the jobs of all major web utilities for me. Basically the only other one I still use is the Yahoo yellow pages, but with Google local getting better all the time, that's probably going to change soon too...

Saheli said...

Google bought Keyhole a while back.

You can pan through the regular maps too, mighty useful.