Area 51 Altered in Google Earth?

I was having a bit of fun yesterday with Google Earth. I was joined by Tim King of style:guide podcast. Apart from Tim finding my house only using text messages (quite an acheivement I thought) we found something quite strange in Area 51.

I was looking at Area 51 because I heard that there were aliens there (inserted by the Google crew), but apparently that was only an April Fools gag. But what I did find was not.

I found an area that upon first glance looked like just another strip of dirt. But on closer inspection the dirt colour looks like it has been “pasted” onto a structure. The image looks to have been altered in some way. There are a few points that you might want to consider when you look at it:

  • It could be something white, like roofing iron; laying on the ground but it seems an odd shape for that
  • Note the edges of the dirt colouring, it looks to be pixelized and uneven, especially where the white is
  • Have a look at the shadow at the top right, something with height is casting that shadow
  • If the dirt colour is just the colour of a structure then why is there no shadow at the top of the image? Compare this with other structures that are in close proximity and the shadow direction and length
  • The colour that looks to have been pasted over the top doesn’t match at the top and left side

So it might be nothing and just a quirk of the image. However, Tim is a web designer and works extensively with image software. He maintains that the image has been altered in some way. He does admit though that he is not an expert in satelite imagery. Then there is the “… it just doesn’t look right” feeling you get when you look at it, and it does’nt.

If there is someone with some expertise that can tell us what is going on with this image then that would be great! Because it has us stumpped. We tried to think of just what would do it without manipulating it. We could not think of anything.

Here is a link to the specific building/structure in Google Earth, this link is a .kmz link and requires Google Earth to work. Note that the placemark in Google Earth is not on the area of interest the “>>>>” point to it. If you do not have Google Earth then you can link to the image on Google Maps.

The exact co-ordinates of the building are:

Lattitude: 37°13’24.41″N

Longitude: 115°49’7.51″W

Google Earth Image

This image has not been resized or altered by the author of this post

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Amazing Google Earth Image

This has more than likely don’t the rounds of the Internet but I have just discovered it. This image is a screenshot from Google Maps™. The Coordinates work for Google Earth as well.

The place is between Medicine Hut and Maple Creek in the state of Alberta, Canada.

Exact Location: 50° 0’38.20″N 110° 6’48.32″W

Or click the image for a direct link to the Google Map

Google Maps Image Head

To say that this is amazing is an understatement. What are the chances of a mountain or old creek/riverbed eroding in such a manner as to create a giant carved head that we would recognise or associate with as being human in form? Or is there a bigger story here. By the way I am not convinced that it is a message from aliens but it is interesting. Nature is indeed amazing!

Google Maps Now Cover Oz!

Google Maps ImageSorry I have been very, very, quiet this last week but this infection in my sinuses has knocked me for six. But I am trying to do some blogs so bear with me. I found out today via O’Reilly Radar, who also have a great RSS feed; that Google has decided in their wisdom to give Oz the map treatment.

Funny but I have just taken it for granted that we are the last to get things like this. But I think this has come pretty quickly, all things relative. I was surprised to learn that Australia had been covered. This is a nice addition to Google maps. The one reason for me that makes it great is the fact that I have had many times where I would have loved a decent map of Australia to show people that I meet online where I live. Now I do! I just had a plod around the site and I could even see the street that I live in… even down to the block of land that the house sits on – cool. Thanks Google – take that Google it will not come from me that often, you scare me too much.

It will be interesting to see if this whole Google Maps businesses will be able to be utilized for more than curiosity in the future. I suppose that even now you could save the web page or access these maps via your phone or laptop and navigate around the place. While this might be able to be done in large cities, Australia is not known for it’s wide WiFi coverage! I think though this is a sign of the future rapidly approaching and consuming our existence without us noticing.

For me though, right now this just has great novelty factor and will be great to “show” people where I am in the world.

By the way New Zeland was covered as well, but heck someone tried to sell New Zealand on eBay last week. What do I want a map for, the new owner might rename all the streets!