1. says

    I zoomed in on my brother’s dairy farm the other day. I could practically count the cows. And that’s way out in the sticks.


  2. flame821 says

    I have you beat, Google Maps doesn’t even register my little ‘make believe’ street. It stops on the other side of the ravine where the old sway bridge washed out in the late 80’s, never to be rebuilt.

    We’re just a mass of dingy grey to Google Maps. I guess that would explain the lack of directions to my street from MapQuest and Yahoo Maps as well.

  3. Christopher says

    I was in Beijing a couple of months ago, and tried to figure out how to get somewhere using google maps. Turned out not to be useful. Beijing, according to google maps, consists of five roads that meet at a point. Oh, and the point where they meet is in a lake.

  4. Physicalist says

    Yep. I just googled my address, and “street view” gives a crystal clear photo of the front and sides of my house. I can easily read the street number above my front door, and I can see in the recycle bin that I enjoyed some Guinness that week.

    I don’t know whether I’m glad that I wasn’t stepping in/out of the house that moment (some recognizable people are up and down the street). On the one hand, it would be a bit disconcerting to be googlified. On the other hand, I’d probably be e-mailing my friends, saying, “check it out; I’m on google maps.”

  5. says

    It’s not true: we got a quite decent map of Morris off googlemaps when we were going out there last year (though granted the satellite photo wasn’t terribly hi-res).

  6. says

    While Google Earth sees my house and even my cars, it’s at least 3-4 years out of date. It still shows a huge orange grove across the street that was torn down 3 years ago and doesn’t show the apartment complexes they started building 3-4 years ago about a half-mile away.

    Kind of pointless for spying on anyone.

  7. says

    checked out my house (sunny picture–def not the case today–snowing). I also decided to check where my parents live. No street level views, but I now know the name of the street they are on.

  8. says

    Providence, RI is mostly google street viewed now. Some time ago the Providence Plan had done something similar, you can use their mapper tool to zoom on a property and get all the information, who owns it, recent sales, etc. It gives a picture of the front of the house.

    I do note that many people get snapped in the google frames though. And I can see a point where people will be able to tap into the street view API and map their own homes. It’d be an excellent tool for burglars.

  9. Physicalist says

    BTW: There are also nice aerial photos of houses (from 4 directions) at Getting to be lots of photos out there. (Does help for house-hunting.)

  10. Carlie says

    No street view for me. I just now noticed the “terrain” button, though, and it’s kind of crap. They could have just superimposed a topo map, but instead it’s gray shading that doesn’t really tell if the shaded areas are higher or lower than their surroundings.

  11. says

    Hmm. You can zoom in on my childhood home in Google Maps/Earth enough to make out the individual buildings; where I went to college, though, you can’t see unless you zoom out enough to see the entire town at once. Dunno why… my home was way out in the country, all that you can see are trees, more trees, and pastureland, plus scattered houses and barns.

  12. steve_h says

    #11. If you have a fast internet connection, try downloading Google Earth. That allows you to tilt the map and see the terrain in 3D, with the 2D stuff projected onto it. It even has a built-in flight simulator.

  13. JJR says

    Invasion of the killer cursor! Zoom away, dude, zoom away!

    Funny short film, nice work.

    The Google map of my house is out of date, too, showing an umbrella in the back yard patio table that isn’t there anymore.

  14. October Mermaid says

    Anytime I’m out in open areas, whether they be a front yard or a parking lot or whatever, I always make sure to shake my fists at the sky and scream “Damn you, Google Earth! Does it bring you pleasure to watch us toil about sea monkeys!?”

    People look at you funny, sure, but they probably looked at Galileo funny, too, back when he used to yell at Google Earth.

  15. October Mermaid says

    I actually meant to say “toil about LIKE sea monkeys,” but to be honest, I kind of like the cryptic elegance of the words “sea monkeys” just appearing in a sentence seemingly at random. It’s the sort of thing you’d expect to see carved onto a tree at the site of a mass dissapearance. Historians would puzzle over it for centuries.

  16. monyNH says

    #15, you are not alone–Mr. Mony and I cracked up at this one!

    The only thing I learned from Google Maps is that the island in the middle of our lake is shaped like a seahorse. That’s good to know.

  17. NelC says

    I’m alright, I live down the road from GCHQ (the UK equivalent of the NSA), the GoogleEarth pics are lousy, no doubt as part of a (probably misguided) attempt to preserve the secrecy of the place. Of course, that doesn’t protect me from GCHQ’s attentions….

  18. MH says

    Cephus #7: “While Google Earth sees my house and even my cars, it’s at least 3-4 years out of date. It still shows a huge orange grove across the street that was torn down 3 years ago and doesn’t show the apartment complexes they started building 3-4 years ago about a half-mile away.”

    That was the Google Earth cache you were looking at. ;-)

  19. says

    No street view in the UK as yet, but the normal map seems to have been updated since I last looked at it. A few months ago there were a few newer buildings missing, roads were laid out differently and our car was parked at the house we lived at 3 years ago!

  20. Strakh says

    Re#15 by C. M. Baxter:

    Nope, I thought it was hilarious as well. A cute little vignette very reminiscent of the old B-movie horror flicks. A little bit too true, a little bit too paranoid. Knowing where the balance in this area exists is going to be a topic for many years…