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Old 08-03-07, 02:35 PM   #1
Tom Stormcrowe
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Have you ever found yourself on Google Maps Satellite Images?

Remember that GIF a while back spoofing Google Maps with it zooming down to the guy that was waving it off?? I actually did find myself out on the bike on Google Maps! This is the drive of my apartment complex, leading to State Road 38!How cool is that? If you can see your cycling clothes from orbit, are they high visibility enough?

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Old 08-03-07, 04:07 PM   #2
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Old 08-03-07, 04:16 PM   #3
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That is very cool! What a fun thing to spot.
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Old 08-03-07, 04:39 PM   #4
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Yeah, I was surprised, believe me! I was mapping out a ride and saw a bit of color, went to max resolution and there I was!
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Old 08-03-07, 04:47 PM   #5
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Of course, they're not taken from orbit, but instead come from photographic mapping flights done at fairly low altitudes (15 000 ft or so). The resolution in the photo in the OP is only available through classified military spy satellites. Looks like about 0.25 x 0.25 m pixels.
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Old 08-03-07, 05:01 PM   #6
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For some reason, i really really don't think this picture was taken from a high altitude airplane...

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=e...&t=k&z=18&om=1
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Old 08-03-07, 05:21 PM   #7
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Of course, they're not taken from orbit, but instead come from photographic mapping flights done at fairly low altitudes (15 000 ft or so). The resolution in the photo in the OP is only available through classified military spy satellites. Looks like about 0.25 x 0.25 m pixels.
Satellite, aerial, either way....it's still pretty dang cool!
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Old 08-03-07, 05:36 PM   #8
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For some reason, i really really don't think this picture was taken from a high altitude airplane...

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=e...&t=k&z=18&om=1
Of course not, but the resolution in that picture is much lower, which brings it well into the range of modern civilian photomapping satellites, like Ikonos. The resolution of the Groom Lake photos looks like 0.5 m. I know there's a civilian system with that capability, but I'm unable to recall the name right now.
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Old 08-03-07, 05:41 PM   #9
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Of course not, but the resolution in that picture is much lower, which brings it well into the range of modern civilian photomapping satellites, like Ikonos. The resolution of the Groom Lake photos looks like 0.5 m. I know there's a civilian system with that capability, but I'm unable to recall the name right now.
Earthsat, IIRC
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Old 08-03-07, 07:58 PM   #10
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Cool. Or creepy.
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Old 08-03-07, 08:12 PM   #11
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Google Earth? Bah. My wife works at the NRO. I can't take a leak in the woods without being caught on satellite.
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Old 08-03-07, 08:15 PM   #12
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I checked. I can see my pick-up truck in the driveway. Same shot from 2 years ago. We need to find a shot that is updated frequently. Then we line up and spell out BF with our bikes.
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Old 08-03-07, 08:28 PM   #13
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Google Earth? Bah. My wife works at the NRO. I can't take a leak in the woods without being caught on satellite.
Could she theoretically get me a higher resolution shot? Not that I'd ask, but it'd be a neat training exercise to get orbital shots of all of us on our bikes in, say 1 cm resolution or better!
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Old 08-03-07, 08:29 PM   #14
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I checked. I can see my pick-up truck in the driveway. Same shot from 2 years ago. We need to find a shot that is updated frequently. Then we line up and spell out BF with our bikes.
Think Bigger: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=e...wloc=addr&om=1
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Old 08-03-07, 08:41 PM   #15
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Could she theoretically get me a higher resolution shot? Not that I'd ask, but it'd be a neat training exercise to get orbital shots of all of us on our bikes in, say 1 cm resolution or better!
In theory...perhaps. But she's on the IA side of the house, so she's actually in the business of making sure that people don't have access to information without appropriate clearances.

You might be suprised at the scope of their mission though. They have provided "intel" for things like fighting forest fires, hurricane rescue and recovery missions, etc.. The primary mission is national security of course, but the resources are quite often brought into play when they would be helpful for domestic civilian uses.
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Old 08-03-07, 08:49 PM   #16
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Google Earth? Bah. My wife works at the NRO. I can't take a leak in the woods without being caught on satellite.
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Could she theoretically get me a higher resolution shot? Not that I'd ask, but it'd be a neat training exercise to get orbital shots of .... say 1 cm resolution or better!
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Old 08-03-07, 08:51 PM   #17
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In theory...perhaps. But she's on the IA side of the house, so she's actually in the business of making sure that people don't have access to information without appropriate clearances.

You might be suprised at the scope of their mission though. They have provided "intel" for things like fighting forest fires, hurricane rescue and recovery missions, etc.. The primary mission is national security of course, but the resources are quite often brought into play when they would be helpful for domestic civilian uses.
So, it WOULD be a great training exercise then! Suggest it to her!
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Old 08-03-07, 10:42 PM   #18
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The image over my house is about 4+ years old. How do I know? 2 red cars in the driveway. We got rid of one of 'em back in '03.
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Old 08-03-07, 10:58 PM   #19
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Check out "live search" It's my favorite.
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Old 08-03-07, 11:30 PM   #20
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Max resolution is mainly a function of altitude for satellite imagery. Atmospheric factors set a firm limit for the optical resolution of orbital photography. Probably in the region of 5-10 cm. That's good enough to easily identify larger objects like jet fighters and tell different versions apart. Cars could possibly be identified as far as make and model are concerned. Even officers could be told apart from common soldiers if rank insignia are in view.

However, it requires an increase in resolution of more than one order of magnitude to read a licence plate number and two orders of magnitude to be able to read a newspaper from space, so don't worry about that happening.
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Old 08-04-07, 03:34 AM   #21
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Have you ever found yourself on Google Maps Satellite Images?
as my parole officer can attest.....YES.


unfortunately, i was outside my hot neighbor's bedroom window at the time.
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