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Google Earth Date/Timestamp

When was that picture taken, anyway?
  [vote for,

When looking around Google Earth, I often wonder when particular images were taken. I find myself looking for time cues: well, it was before that elementary school was bulldozed, but after the Olympic skating rink was built - etc, etc...

I propose a system of date displays, with possible extension down to the time level (time being nearly trivial, though, with shadows and known date). I am not going to advocate a particular method of display - (and forgive my skirting the "let's all" hole, here) - but a grass-roots effort of competing for the most ingenious methods of altering your environment in such a way that a two-meter resolution image will be able to discern it, and with enough regularity that the image of the display will unambiguously indicate the date.

Some clocks (or should I call them calendars?) will be designed in such a way as to be directly readable; others may require a notation on Google Earth Community explaining the method of deciphering the date.

Here are a couple of examples of what I am talking about:

A company places three small trailers in their parking lot. Each morning, the position of one or more of them is adjusted. The trailer in the first parking row might be in one of spaces 1 throught 31, the second row has a trailer somewhere in spaces 1 through 12, and the third row has a trailer parked in a particular space a year at a time before changing. (The top of each trailer has a design / color scheme making it distinct from surrounding cars.)

A park might have a set of teeter-totters (see-saws? your terminology may differ) which are resistant to change by playground users, but staff can change their orientation a few degrees each day.

I don't have much space to lay claim to, but I *will* figure out a way to do this.

lurch, Feb 05 2007


       I enjoy trying to figure out the dates - I'm always amazed how recent much of it is and how often it updates. My in-laws bought a house in an unbuilt development recently, I could watch it being built from space.
wagster, Feb 05 2007

       Bah, I just want a live feed updated at least every five seconds. Now that would be fun... My own personal spy satellite. :)
Bluewraith, Feb 05 2007

       //My own personal spy satellite.//   

       Which is also available for use by every other human on the planet.
theleopard, Feb 05 2007

       Here's one of the problems with people's perception of Google Earth: they think it is constantly updated by satellites taking their pictures every five seconds.   

       First, covering a continent with daytime, well-lit, cloud-free satellite coverage can take a year or two. Second, satellite photos available on Google Earth are the low-resolution base map. Resolution is measured in acres per pixel. The hi-res portions are aerial photographs. Airplanes and cameras, people, not satellites. Covering a continent with daytime, well-lit, cloud-free aerial photographs can take a long time indeed - particularly if you're interested in an area that there's no particular reason for somebody else to take pictures of.   

       Then Google has to decide which image datasets it makes sense to shell out the bucks for...
lurch, Feb 05 2007

       I have a terraserver photograph of my old apartment building, and terraserver states the dates the images were taken right on their website (often, you get to choose between several mapsets). My old car is even in the photograph, helping to both validate the photo's provenance and my own existance. Reluco, ergo sum.
shapu, Feb 05 2007

       I don't know about yours, but my version of Google Earth tells me the year when the picture you are looking at was taken, at the bottom of the picture (as a copyright notice).
dbmag9, Feb 05 2007


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