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Exploring Google Maps

cyq8891

Cyburbian
Messages
32
Points
2
I have been a Google Maps junkie for years, but today I just found out that Baidu has come out with a crazy alternative for Chinese cities: create a SimCity-like 3D CGI generation of the center of major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen. The reason for this is because the Chinese gov't censors all satellite images of major cities, thus Google Maps is blocked in China. To get a leg up on Google, Baidu must have spent an insane amount of time and energy to generate these 3D maps because the detail is absolutely ridiculous. Every street corner, building, hutong, tennis court, and even billboards and trains coming out of the rail stations are included.

Anyone who's interested in Chinese cities/urban development, I recommend that you check this out: map.baidu.com

It does help if you know Mandarin, but to get the maps for the cities, just type in the city name in English, for example Beijing, and the first one down in the autocomplete is the name of the city in Chinese. Then click on the 3D button, which should say "三维“ , and then you can start checking out Google Earth on steroids.
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Messages
26,146
Points
50

Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, VA

Here's the roller coaster where I very nearly tossed my cookies when I made the unfortunate decision to hit the rides AFTER partaking of the free beer samples.
 

Rygor

Cyburbian
Messages
2,718
Points
17
Been to that Busch Gardens many times. I used to have a season pass back when I was stationed at Ft. Eustis. For some reason the posted speed limit when you go into the park is 13mph. That always amused me.
 

Queen B

Cyburbian
Messages
3,179
Points
24
Google maps has updated our maps in the last couple months. It is great to be able to check on new building since our last county maps. They are very detailed too.
 

TOFB

Cyburbian
Messages
2,067
Points
21
There are very new oblique aerials of my neighborhood taken most likely Sunday August 14, 2011. There a bunch of folks in the pool but can't distinguish who.
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,329
Points
30
Ore Docks & Cool Blog Site

This morning I was exploring (Bing Maps) Duluth-Superior. I have been through the Twin Ports a few times in my lifetime. I can recall, years ago, when Superior still had a number of giant ore docks and the main highway zoomed under the trestles that fed the docks. Some of those trestles are now gone. Wanting to learn more I Googled "Lake Superior Ore Docks" and found a really cool blog site. Chances are you will like this. Check it out.

Bear

http://pcgladiator.blogspot.com/2009/03/ore-docks-of-lake-superior.html

EDIT: Should mention that the site is called MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES.
 
Last edited:

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Messages
26,146
Points
50
For an interesting aerial view, check out Aouzou, Chad. No street view is available (it's about as remote as remote gets) but the ortho view of the buildings alone is worth the price of admission.
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,329
Points
30
Industrial Sites

This morning I was enjoying a BING MAP trip to various industrial sites, via the "we can see you" satellites. Views included the large aluminum smelting plant in the Evansville, IN area, and auto manufacturing plants in Tennessee. I also checked out the Bonnaroo view. Perhaps our future includes satellite views that are real-time, with sound. :p:D

Bear
 

TOFB

Cyburbian
Messages
2,067
Points
21
Maybe it is posted elsewhere, but what is up with the miles and miles and miles of graded, but not paved streets northwest of Albuquerque? it is practically as big as the City itself.
 

wahday

Cyburbian
Messages
3,960
Points
22
Maybe it is posted elsewhere, but what is up with the miles and miles and miles of graded, but not paved streets northwest of Albuquerque? it is practically as big as the City itself.
Uh, I can respond to that. Its called Rio Rancho - actually its own municipality that borders Albuquerque. It began in the 1960s when land sold under questionably misleading circumstance began to be built on by the largely New York retiring population that had purchased the lots. It has, since the 1970s, been one of the fastest growing "cities" in New Mexico (and is the 3rd largest after Albuquerque and Las Cruces in the south). The guys who started Amrep, the corporation that sold the original lots, I believe even did some time for the deal.

The area is classic suburban, sprawl-style development even though it is its own city with a local government and everything. But its largely residential with lots of insular housing developments that spill out onto perpetually expanding arterials. And lots of leapfrog development that costs the City a lot of money to extend services, water, sewer, electrical lines, paved roads, fire and police, schools, etc. They are now trying to carve out and build some sort of downtown. They are likely to be facing some serious water issues in the near future because the water table is going down rapidly.

Growth is progressing apace as many people have purchased lots WAY out to the western edge (which is bounded by a mostly dry "river" called the Rio Puerco). The crazy thing is that in order to sell those lots they had to bulldoze the road ROWS and parcel out the land so you can see that all from the aerials. If you look closely enough, you can see what has been built vs. what has yet to be. They have probably built less than a fifth of the eventual size which is horribly frightening. Its pretty rough land out there - very sparse high desert - and, in my opinion, not anywhere humans should be living (no natural source of water, mountain or natural feature of any note).

Homes tend to be fairly affordable, as do the "westside" developments to the south of that area. This has driven a lot of people out there who, as you can imagine, bear the hidden costs of the affordability through commuting time and gas (and wear and tear on vehicles). There just isn't much of a job base out there - a tempurpedic factory, a lot of call centers. And many of the homes have a reputation for being poorly constructed and/or being constantly inundated with blowing dust and sand.

One of the weirdest stories about RR is that in the 1980s when they lacked a job base, they enticed Intel to locate a number of chip manufacturing plants there. In order to sweeten the deal, the county there waived gross receipts tax in perpetuity and allowed them to use virtually unlimited amounts of pure aquifer water for the manufacturing process. They pay property tax and that is it. So what's the long term benefit to RR? Jobs? Think again. Today, the majority of Intel employees live in Albuquerque and commute to RR. They did convince them to build a very nice high school for them for free, though.

There is another large, graded but unpaved area on the north side of Albuquerque (but still part of the City) just east of I-25, the N-S running interstate that passes through the heart of the City. Its called North Albuquerque Acres and is similarly platted for large growth but with only a fraction of that area actually built out. Its interesting to zoom in on aerials and see what is really happening on the ground.

Aren't you glad you asked?
 

btrage

Cyburbian
Messages
6,423
Points
25
Uh, I can respond to that. Its called Rio Rancho - actually its own municipality that borders Albuquerque. It began in the 1960s when land sold under questionably misleading circumstance began to be built on by the largely New York retiring population that had purchased the lots. It has, since the 1970s, been one of the fastest growing "cities" in New Mexico (and is the 3rd largest after Albuquerque and Las Cruces in the south). The guys who started Amrep, the corporation that sold the original lots, I believe even did some time for the deal.

The area is classic suburban, sprawl-style development even though it is its own city with a local government and everything. But its largely residential with lots of insular housing developments that spill out onto perpetually expanding arterials. And lots of leapfrog development that costs the City a lot of money to extend services, water, sewer, electrical lines, paved roads, fire and police, schools, etc. They are now trying to carve out and build some sort of downtown. They are likely to be facing some serious water issues in the near future because the water table is going down rapidly.

Growth is progressing apace as many people have purchased lots WAY out to the western edge (which is bounded by a mostly dry "river" called the Rio Puerco). The crazy thing is that in order to sell those lots they had to bulldoze the road ROWS and parcel out the land so you can see that all from the aerials. If you look closely enough, you can see what has been built vs. what has yet to be. They have probably built less than a fifth of the eventual size which is horribly frightening. Its pretty rough land out there - very sparse high desert - and, in my opinion, not anywhere humans should be living (no natural source of water, mountain or natural feature of any note).

Homes tend to be fairly affordable, as do the "westside" developments to the south of that area. This has driven a lot of people out there who, as you can imagine, bear the hidden costs of the affordability through commuting time and gas (and wear and tear on vehicles). There just isn't much of a job base out there - a tempurpedic factory, a lot of call centers. And many of the homes have a reputation for being poorly constructed and/or being constantly inundated with blowing dust and sand.

One of the weirdest stories about RR is that in the 1980s when they lacked a job base, they enticed Intel to locate a number of chip manufacturing plants there. In order to sweeten the deal, the county there waived gross receipts tax in perpetuity and allowed them to use virtually unlimited amounts of pure aquifer water for the manufacturing process. They pay property tax and that is it. So what's the long term benefit to RR? Jobs? Think again. Today, the majority of Intel employees live in Albuquerque and commute to RR. They did convince them to build a very nice high school for them for free, though.

There is another large, graded but unpaved area on the north side of Albuquerque (but still part of the City) just east of I-25, the N-S running interstate that passes through the heart of the City. Its called North Albuquerque Acres and is similarly platted for large growth but with only a fraction of that area actually built out. Its interesting to zoom in on aerials and see what is really happening on the ground.

Aren't you glad you asked?
I can't ever imagine wanting to live in an environment like that. Not so much because of the suburban-ess, but just the climate and lack of green anywhere.
 

rcgplanner

Cyburbian
Messages
1,730
Points
18
Maybe it is posted elsewhere, but what is up with the miles and miles and miles of graded, but not paved streets northwest of Albuquerque? it is practically as big as the City itself.
Nice find TOFB! That may be one of the strangest things I have ever seen on Google Maps. Imagining all of that paved and developed is mind-boggling, especially in that harsh environment. :-c
 

TOFB

Cyburbian
Messages
2,067
Points
21
Uh, I can respond to that. Its called Rio Rancho - actually its own municipality that borders Albuquerque. It began in the 1960s when land sold under questionably misleading circumstance began to be built on by the largely New York retiring population that had purchased the lots. It has, since the 1970s, been one of the fastest growing "cities" in New Mexico (and is the 3rd largest after Albuquerque and Las Cruces in the south). The guys who started Amrep, the corporation that sold the original lots, I believe even did some time for the deal.

The area is classic suburban, sprawl-style development even though it is its own city with a local government and everything. But its largely residential with lots of insular housing developments that spill out onto perpetually expanding arterials. And lots of leapfrog development that costs the City a lot of money to extend services, water, sewer, electrical lines, paved roads, fire and police, schools, etc. They are now trying to carve out and build some sort of downtown. They are likely to be facing some serious water issues in the near future because the water table is going down rapidly.

Growth is progressing apace as many people have purchased lots WAY out to the western edge (which is bounded by a mostly dry "river" called the Rio Puerco). The crazy thing is that in order to sell those lots they had to bulldoze the road ROWS and parcel out the land so you can see that all from the aerials. If you look closely enough, you can see what has been built vs. what has yet to be. They have probably built less than a fifth of the eventual size which is horribly frightening. Its pretty rough land out there - very sparse high desert - and, in my opinion, not anywhere humans should be living (no natural source of water, mountain or natural feature of any note).

Homes tend to be fairly affordable, as do the "westside" developments to the south of that area. This has driven a lot of people out there who, as you can imagine, bear the hidden costs of the affordability through commuting time and gas (and wear and tear on vehicles). There just isn't much of a job base out there - a tempurpedic factory, a lot of call centers. And many of the homes have a reputation for being poorly constructed and/or being constantly inundated with blowing dust and sand.

One of the weirdest stories about RR is that in the 1980s when they lacked a job base, they enticed Intel to locate a number of chip manufacturing plants there. In order to sweeten the deal, the county there waived gross receipts tax in perpetuity and allowed them to use virtually unlimited amounts of pure aquifer water for the manufacturing process. They pay property tax and that is it. So what's the long term benefit to RR? Jobs? Think again. Today, the majority of Intel employees live in Albuquerque and commute to RR. They did convince them to build a very nice high school for them for free, though.

There is another large, graded but unpaved area on the north side of Albuquerque (but still part of the City) just east of I-25, the N-S running interstate that passes through the heart of the City. Its called North Albuquerque Acres and is similarly platted for large growth but with only a fraction of that area actually built out. Its interesting to zoom in on aerials and see what is really happening on the ground.

Aren't you glad you asked?
I knew someone would know. Thanks!
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
9,288
Points
28
Agreed with the nice find to TOFB and the great explanation from wahday. After I saw the posts and checked it out on the map I was amazed by the sheer size of the platted space - much bigger than what I was expected. I had heard of Rio Rancho and knew it was a relatively populous city but it's nice to know a bit of the back story for the area.
 

wahday

Cyburbian
Messages
3,960
Points
22
Rio Rancho is always an interesting story. How about the giant obsolete subdivision east of Belen, about 25 miles south of Albuquerque? Supposedly development is just starting to take place there.
I thought I read somewhere that in the last census, the area down there called Rio Communities cropped up as the fastest growing area in the state, but I can't seem to find that info so I may be wrong. Which isn't to say its very populated, just growing fast. Much like RR, those platted areas were created and sold off years ago and its taken this long for anything to begin there. That's some crazy stuff. Not sure who is buying it. Either people hoping to retire there or people seeingi t as a long term investment I guess. But there is no job base down there, so presumeably those folks would work in Albuquerque and with the cost of fuel being what it is, I don't know how anyone could think that was a viable way to live.

I still want to go to Iceland...
 

TOFB

Cyburbian
Messages
2,067
Points
21
Noticed that the EAA is in full swing at the Oshkosh, WI airport . . .
 

mgk920

Cyburbian
Messages
4,202
Points
26
Noticed that the EAA is in full swing at the Oshkosh, WI airport . . .
I was actually able to narrow the time that that image was shot to within about a half an hour - it was shot between about 13:30 and 14:00 CDT (Sun angle) on Sunday, 2011-07-24. Note that the four main exhibit halls do not have people walking in and out. That was because they were closed while the exhibitors were still busy setting up and the early arriving attendees were out wandering around, scoping things out for the big opening the following day. Also note the stage being set up on the 'show center' tarmac for the Monday opening-day concert.

Why 2011? Construction progress on the six-lane upgrades to adjacent US 41.

:)

Mike
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,329
Points
30
This Is A Nutty Story

This morning I decided to follow I-5 from my son's home in Lake Oswego, OR up to Seattle. My son occasionally drives this route for Seattle meetings. I also remembered that there is a Toledo, WA along this route. So off I went, heading northbound.....

When I came to Longview, WA I decided to take a break and go to Wiki to read about that southwestern Washington burg, primarily because I noticed a ton of industry and commerce between I-5 and the Columbia River. The Wiki article was informative (as always). But of most interest was "the squirrel bridge".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutty_Narrows_Bridge

Very strange, indeed.

I love the interwebs. :)

Bear
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,168
Points
51
Noticed that Google Street View covers Belgium now.

"Driving" through Charleroi, I get the uneasy feeling like I'm going to get mugged by a gang of Wallonians.

For all those who have some idealistic image of European urbanism, Googlemapping through Belgium might change your mind. You know how there's density without urbanism in much of the Sunbelt, suburban Toronto, and the like? Belgium seems like the opposite: urbanism without density.
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Messages
26,146
Points
50
Noticed that Google Street View covers Belgium now.

"Driving" through Charleroi, I get the uneasy feeling like I'm going to get mugged by a gang of Wallonians.

For all those who have some idealistic image of European urbanism, Belgium will change your mind. You know how there's density without urbanism in much of the Sunbelt, suburban Toronto, and the like? Belgium seems like the opposite: urbanism without density.
Cool! do you know if they passed through Lux too?
 

DetroitPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
6,241
Points
26
Noticed that Google Street View covers Belgium now.

"Driving" through Charleroi, I get the uneasy feeling like I'm going to get mugged by a gang of Wallonians.

For all those who have some idealistic image of European urbanism, Googlemapping through Belgium might change your mind. You know how there's density without urbanism in much of the Sunbelt, suburban Toronto, and the like? Belgium seems like the opposite: urbanism without density.
Good thing us 'ganders don't have to leave the mitten to have those adventures!
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Charlevoix,+MI&hl=en&ll=45.287448,-85.104218&spn=0.259418,0.439453&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=37.325633,56.25&vpsrc=6&hnear=Charlevoix,+Michigan&t=m&z=11

Wallon is right next to Charleroi!
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,168
Points
51
Cool! do you know if they passed through Lux too?
Looks like they stopped right at the border.

At every Belgian border crossing I've seen, the pavement is always in better condition on the other country's side.


Looks like the Flanders side is much better off than the Walloon side. On both sides, though, Belgium is quite sprawly. The frontage development there make Ohio seems like amateurs, for one thing.

A bit of traffic on the A-12 ... hey, what's that? :b:
 

TOFB

Cyburbian
Messages
2,067
Points
21
Been exploring San Diego in advance of my trip in a couple weeks. The hang gliders airborne near Torrey Pines GC are pretty cool.
 

Tarf

Cyburbian
Messages
699
Points
13
Very difficult to get a t-time there. Try Steele Canyon. Great course. That's where The Man shot his hole-in-one. I was a witness, yes I was.
Encinitas Ranch all the way... nothing beats panoramic views (180 degrees +) of the ocean. Also a public course... though a bit of a drive from the downtown area (about 20-40 minutes, depending on traffic).
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Messages
26,146
Points
50
Was 'driving' around Oslo and then Mexico City. I think one would be hard pressed to find two national capitals that have such vastly different built environments.
 

stroskey

Cyburbian
Messages
1,212
Points
17
Was 'driving' around Oslo and then Mexico City. I think one would be hard pressed to find two national capitals that have such vastly different built environments.
Can you show us the most drastic examples?

I noticed Oslo has very few people walking around anywhere.
 

wahday

Cyburbian
Messages
3,960
Points
22
Was poking around looking at houses in my city for fun last night and found a place at a bizarre and fascinating nexus of diverse land uses and activities. Will try to find again and post. From a fairly close-in aerial, you can see: roads, train tracks, industrial activities, warehouses, active farming, lower income, small lot development, and large lot luxury homes. Also gridded streets, cul-de-sacs, irrigation and drainage ditches and bizarre loop roads. All within about 1/2 mile radius. Not too unusual for this town, but unlike anything I have experienced elswhere.
 

HomerJ

Cyburbian
Messages
1,035
Points
15
Google maps never ceases to amaze me. Now you can type in a city, county, state, country and get the red outline of the boundary lines. Awesome
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,028
Points
41
Last week, Extreme Makeover Home Addition aired their final episode where they built 7 new houses in Joplin Mo. I just looked on Google Maps and was surprised that to see that it was last updated within weeks after the tornado. It is shocking to see how wide spread the damage is. :-c
 

Tarf

Cyburbian
Messages
699
Points
13
Last week, Extreme Makeover Home Addition aired their final episode where they built 7 new houses in Joplin Mo. I just looked on Google Maps and was surprised that to see that it was last updated within weeks after the tornado. It is shocking to see how wide spread the damage is. :-c

Also interesting to compare the street level view to the aerial.
 

mgk920

Cyburbian
Messages
4,202
Points
26
They also have fairly recent new images of the Greensburg, KS area showing the progress of the city's reconstruction from the tornado hit that they took a few years back, both aerial and Streetview.

(The next thing that I'd like to see Google Maps do is for them to start uploading toggleable 'historic' aerial images of the various places.)

Mike
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,028
Points
41
(The next thing that I'd like to see Google Maps do is for them to start uploading toggleable 'historic' aerial images of the various places.)

Mike
THAT WOULD BE AWESOME! Oh I hope they do that too. It would be crazy to see places like Milwaukee from before the freeways were put in, or NO before the hurricane.
 

mgk920

Cyburbian
Messages
4,202
Points
26
THAT WOULD BE AWESOME! Oh I hope they do that too. It would be crazy to see places like Milwaukee from before the freeways were put in, or NO before the hurricane.
I have seen 'before' aerial images of Milwaukee (mid-1950s) and the thing that is most striking about them (besides the lack of freeways) is that nearly every residential street in the pre-WWII parts of the city is completely lined with solid canopies of HUGE trees.

Then, during the 1960s, Ophiostoma ulmi arrived and the canopies disappeared....

:-(

Mike
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,168
Points
51
I like looking at European border crossings in Google Streetview.

Sitting on the border of France and Switzerland, outside of Geneva, I found ...

http://goo.gl/maps/NdlH

... a junked Buick from the 1980s.

I saw a lot of old Malaise Era Detroit iron in Belgium, too, for some reason.
 
Messages
8
Points
0
Google maps is up whenever I get on the computer!
Not to tout my own area, but you should check out a suburb near me, called Carmel, Indiana. The city has a very development and transportation-oriented mayor. Over the past few years, he's turned quite a few major intersections into roundabouts. He turned Keystone Avenue, a local highway, into a parkway with odd elevated roundabout interchanges. He also built a large Romanesque concert hall in the town center (3rd Ave SW & City Center Dr), called "The Palladium", along with seven story tall European-type mixed-use buildings. While developing the new town, he redesignated the gridded historic town center (Main & Range Line) as an Arts and Design District, even mandating that all new businesses along Range Line Road, the historic center route through town, have storefronts directly at the street.
I mean, it still mostly looks like an average suburb from the 50+ years of previous growth, but he has very progressive policy, when it comes to bike lanes, greenways, new urbanism etc. Especially for a Republican in a very conservative community. Of course, the city is ringing in massive debt...:p
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,168
Points
51
We've had the [map] tag here for a while, but nobody seems to use it. I just added a button in the editor; all you have to do is type an address, highlight it, and click on the little "map" button in the bottom toolbar.

 

Iron Ring

Cyburbian
Messages
91
Points
4
THAT WOULD BE AWESOME! Oh I hope they do that too. It would be crazy to see places like Milwaukee from before the freeways were put in, or NO before the hurricane.
Download Google Earth. Click the date in the bottom left corner and it will bring up a "time" slide bar in the top right corner. We have the technology.
 

Rygor

Cyburbian
Messages
2,718
Points
17
THAT WOULD BE AWESOME! Oh I hope they do that too. It would be crazy to see places like Milwaukee from before the freeways were put in, or NO before the hurricane.
They also have fairly recent new images of the Greensburg, KS area showing the progress of the city's reconstruction from the tornado hit that they took a few years back, both aerial and Streetview.

(The next thing that I'd like to see Google Maps do is for them to start uploading toggleable 'historic' aerial images of the various places.)

Mike
Download Google Earth. Click the date in the bottom left corner and it will bring up a "time" slide bar in the top right corner. We have the technology.
The problem with Google Earth is the aerials don't usually go back all that far.

Here, try this: http://www.historicaerials.com/

Now be prepared to have productivity go to zero. ;)
 
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