Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Google Businesses The Internet Science Technology

How Google Earth Images Are Made 122

Posted by Zonk
from the it's-all-in-the-f-stop dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Google Librarian Central site has up a piece by Mark Aubin, a Software Engineer who works on Google Earth. Aubin explains some of the process behind capturing satellite imagery for use with the product. 'Most people are surprised to learn that we have more than one source for our imagery. We collect it via airplane and satellite, but also just about any way you can imagine getting a camera above the Earth's surface: hot air balloons, model airplanes - even kites. The traditional aerial survey involves mounting a special gyroscopic, stabilized camera in the belly of an airplane and flying it at an elevation of between 15,000 feet and 30,000 feet, depending on the resolution of imagery you're interested in. As the plane takes a predefined route over the desired area, it forms a series of parallel lines with about 40 percent overlap between lines and 60 percent overlap in the direction of flight. This overlap of images is what provides us with enough detail to remove distortions caused by the varying shape of the Earth's surface.'
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

How Google Earth Images Are Made

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29, 2007 @09:46PM (#18923381)

    "Most people are surprised to learn that we have more than one source for our imagery." Must be people who never leave the US border? How can you possibly miss what a hodge-podge of a patchwork Google Earth is? It's especially apparent if you zoom in on a small island.

  • by SpeedyDX (1014595) <speedyphoenix@gm ... m minus language> on Sunday April 29, 2007 @09:47PM (#18923387)

    We collect it via airplane and satellite, but also just about any way you can imagine getting a camera above the Earth's surface: hot air balloons, model airplanes - even kites.
    So THAT'S what the creepy guy in front of the elementary school near my house was doing with the kite and camera. They need some uniforms. I called the cops on that guy. Boy, I bet he had a great time trying to explain himself.

    My bad.
  • by Wonko the Sane (25252) * on Sunday April 29, 2007 @09:59PM (#18923467) Journal
    Not to mention those different copyright notices on different parts of the world
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29, 2007 @10:14PM (#18923571)
    Actually according to our most detailed imagery, your ass isn't shiny and contains only about 1% metal, mostly calcium, potassium, sodium and magnesium ions. -Google team
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29, 2007 @10:39PM (#18923709)
    No, he meant the schoolgirls should have uniforms, 'stead of those loose-fitting low-cut tops the guy was looking down.
  • by forkazoo (138186) <wrosecrans AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday April 29, 2007 @10:57PM (#18923811) Homepage

    We collect it via airplane and satellite, but also just about any way you can imagine getting a camera above the Earth's surface: hot air balloons, model airplanes - even kites.

      So THAT'S what the creepy guy in front of the elementary school near my house was doing with the kite and camera. They need some uniforms. I called the cops on that guy. Boy, I bet he had a great time trying to explain himself.

    My bad.


    Hey, don't worry about it, dude. I'm used to it at this point. It was just nice to get out of the house and fly the kite, even if I did get hassled by the cops. By the way, you should really have that mole looked at. And, tell your wife to go with the blue one.
  • Re:We? (Score:3, Funny)

    by alisson (1040324) on Sunday April 29, 2007 @11:23PM (#18923913)
    Pfff, the government works for google. We allllll work for google, just with varying degrees of separation o_o

    Anyway, yeah, it does sort of make it seem like that. "Oh yeah, we just take some kites with cameras on them, and set up a good delay. Ya know, like 30 seconds or so, eh? Then we launch it up real good, and when it comes down, sometimes it's a real good picture, yaknow, eh?"

    Apparently they're all Minnesotan or Canadian.
  • by viking80 (697716) on Monday April 30, 2007 @12:31AM (#18924241) Journal
    If you think a regular flight is boring, you have never been the pilot on a picture taking flight:
    1. You fly straight (GPS and autopilot) for half an hour, then
    2. turn around, and fly back.
    3. Repeat this until the fuel is used up.
    4. Refuel and repeat.

    The only fun thing to do is when you turn: with the google photographer on his stomach with the camera, you do a Chandelle or Wing-over http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerobatic_maneuver [wikipedia.org] This gives you a few seconds of weightlessness, and with the photographer in the back now floating in the cabin, he smacks on the floor with an "ooommpf" when gravity is reapplied.

    The first few times he complains, but you just tell him you have to do this to properly align the aircraft for the reverse leg of the flight pattern.
    So the routine for the photographer is something like:
    1. click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click
    2. "Whoooooooooo, ooommpf"
    (I wonder if he reads this?)
  • by glwtta (532858) on Monday April 30, 2007 @12:35AM (#18924259) Homepage
    Dude, you find the oddest shit to be all superior about.
  • by Jugalator (259273) on Monday April 30, 2007 @01:39AM (#18924531) Journal
    So Google is basically saying that anyone willing to help them out can go fly a kite?

    Hmpf.
  • Re:We? (Score:4, Funny)

    by laejoh (648921) on Monday April 30, 2007 @01:39AM (#18924533)

    ... with mental images of Googlites flying kites and riding hot air balloons...

    My mental images consist of Googlites duck taped to the bottom of 747's holding a digital camera...

  • Re:We? (Score:1, Funny)

    by Shadowruni (929010) on Monday April 30, 2007 @01:52AM (#18924613) Journal
    It brings a whole new meaning to "I'm a leaf on the wind."
  • by Vexler (127353) on Monday April 30, 2007 @08:52AM (#18927033) Journal
    Deckard: Enhance 224 to 176. Enhance, stop. Move in, stop. Pull out, track right, stop. Center in, pull back. Stop. Track 45 right. Stop. Center and stop. Enhance 34 to 36. Pan right and pull back. Stop. Enhance 34 to 46. Pull back. Wait a minute, go right, stop. Enhance 57 to 19. Track 45 left. Stop. Enhance 15 to 23. Give me a hard copy right there.

There must be more to life than having everything. -- Maurice Sendak

Working...