Yesterday Google updated their web application Google Maps, now including satellite photos from DigitalGlobe and Earthsat, covering United States and Canada.

It is fun to zoom in on your favorite places, such as the rusty Golden Gate bridge (check out the illusion of a pylon created by the shadows), the island of Alcatraz, french quarter of New Orleans, Boston’s North End area (what’s up with the Big Dig?), Manhattan… Hey, even Winnipeg!

Look for the shadows cast from the tall buildings, the only way to extract any sense of height from the satellite photo. For instance, try the Washington Monument in central Washington D.C.

Capitol in Washington D.C. What to look for.

Speaking of Washington D.C., I noticed that the area around Capitol is blurred and only available at a far lower resolution than the rest of the town. Perhaps it’s another creative act from the Homeland Security department? If anyone wants to know the exact scale of that building, there are far more reliable sources than Google maps.

Update: The Capitol area is no longer dimmed.

Update 2: In addition to previous maps, there is now satellite coverage of several major European cities.


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