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Screwy... - Mark's Journal
There's brand-new 1-meter imagery in Google Maps for Ithaca, which I'd estimate was shot mid-summer 2007 but wasn't online last I looked. But there's a blotch of lower-resolution imagery, as far as I can tell the only one in the area, centered on our parking lot. Our buildings and the heating plant and the NYSEG substation and the Queen of Tarts are obscured, but everything outside that zone is crystal clear. The stuff on campus that I'd think might be obscured isn't. The airport is, though there's no way you could mistake the fuzzy runways for anything else, even if it weren't labeled. The other power substations I can see are also not obscured.
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fabunobo From: fabunobo Date: September 11th, 2008 05:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
What does "obscured" mean in this context? Do they edit things out for Patriot Act reasons or something?
mhaithaca From: mhaithaca Date: September 11th, 2008 05:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

Digitally blurred, instead of fully visible in detail. Go look. I'd kind of expect military installations to be obscured. The cyclotron might be but isn't. The Vice President's residence is but the White House isn't. :-)

Edited at 2008-09-11 05:53 pm (UTC)
retrev From: retrev Date: September 11th, 2008 05:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
They do edit things out...usually it's by request of the owner.
fabunobo From: fabunobo Date: September 11th, 2008 05:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
How fascinating! I never would have thought that would be necessary or desirable, but I guess I can see where too much detail is too much detail in the wrong, nutty hands.
mhaithaca From: mhaithaca Date: September 11th, 2008 06:00 pm (UTC) (Link)

Makes me wonder what dyanearden is really up to down there!
chesther From: chesther Date: September 11th, 2008 05:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Maybe they were aiming for Wilson lab, even though it allegedly no longer has noocyuoolar material, but missed.
mhaithaca From: mhaithaca Date: September 11th, 2008 06:00 pm (UTC) (Link)

That was the first place I looked after finding us blurred. :-)
ruhe From: ruhe Date: September 11th, 2008 06:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Honestly, it looks like mainly a corrupt/bad data pixel more than anything deliberate--almost like there's a mis-match. I wonder if their data providers didn't clean it up enough.

Even the "stuff" around my office doesn't look like that (although there are a few things that are basically grayed out).
perisoft From: perisoft Date: September 11th, 2008 06:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nah, that's very deliberate. It's actually quite like the 'dust and scratches' noise filter in Photoshop - it eliminates high frequency data without quite as much smearing as a straight gaussian blur would. It kind of cartoonifies stuff.
ruhe From: ruhe Date: September 11th, 2008 06:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
And the bleed-over? I haven't seen that used elsewhere.
retrev From: retrev Date: September 12th, 2008 02:44 am (UTC) (Link)
That's an artifact of the mosaicing algorithm used. They take multiple pan sharpened images and use a combination of ndvi and AVHRR data to determine best pixel masks which are treated as transparency masks. Since most of what's masked out are clouds, you end up with large blotchy areas that have strange bleeding along the edges...if the whole image tiles with those buildings were blurred but not neighboring and overlapping tiles, this could lead to the strange effect you are seeing.
ruhe From: ruhe Date: September 12th, 2008 03:21 am (UTC) (Link)
So it wasn't deliberate obfuscation then? AVHRR (unless I'm mistaken/need to review my facsts) doesn't have sufficiently detailed visual data to do one-meter resolution, or is it just how they use the cloud cover data?

(Space News has to have some info on this--if I were willing to go through 2 years worth of back issues).
retrev From: retrev Date: September 12th, 2008 01:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
They use AVHRR to locate cloud cover and haze. I don't know the exact details of the algo since it's proprietary, just the general description and the 80% or so if it that's non-proprietary. The "magic" part is how they generate the masks. It's possible that the resolution of the AVHRR (1km I think) may be a significant factor in the blotchyness.
zikzak5 From: zikzak5 Date: September 11th, 2008 06:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
ITH is fuzzified, but not JFK?? Post some pictures of the power plant and the airport on Panoramio and Fight The Man.
dyanearden From: dyanearden Date: September 11th, 2008 06:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

I'd tell you but I'd have to shoot you

Probably because that's where most of the utilities for campus run through. We got your electricity, your heat, and your air conditioning funneling through that area one way or another.

Could also be the new power plant we're putting in.
zercool From: zercool Date: September 11th, 2008 10:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Decent high-res of most of the county is available at http://local.live.com - with orthographic views from all four directions.
kaitl From: kaitl Date: September 12th, 2008 02:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Dude-- awesomeness! I've been wanting views of Urbana, IL for over a year and googlemaps doesn't have them!
zercool From: zercool Date: September 12th, 2008 02:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Apparently you're in luck with Urbana. Not every place is covered by them yet... Tompkins is covered because the county paid for the photographic overflights, but the company doing the pics retains image rights - and sells them to live.com.

There is some fun stuff in there though.
willdevine From: willdevine Date: September 12th, 2008 03:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I just checked out my apartment, which Google Maps initially places at the wrong location on my street. Once I scrolled up a bit, though, I saw my old car parked in my space. *sniffle*
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