Thursday, November 15, 2012

New Google satellite imagery for Fresno (summer 2012)

Google has just pushed out updated satellite coverage of the Fresno area on Google Maps. This happened in the past 24 hours, because just yesterday I coincidentally booted up Google Earth to see if a secret update was available (one not shown on Maps). Nothing was there, and yet today when looking up something completely unrelated, I noticed a roundabout that wasn't in the last update...meaning brand new recent pictures. The roundabout caught my eye because a couple of months ago someone emailed me to let me know it was being built. I'll write about that in the near future.

The imagery updated today was taken on August 26, 2012. That's pretty damn recent for Google. There's a lengthy turnaround time from when the images are taken because of all the processing and such required to make sure all the pictures line up perfectly, and there are no clouds or shadows.

The last images we had were from April 25, 2011, and I announced that update as well. I was getting worried that we would not get anything this year, as summer is the best time for the pictures to be taken, again due to the lighting and lack of clouds, and that had obviously already passed.

Fresno is actually really lucky that the perfect summer weather allows for these annual update. Some well populated areas are still looking at pictures from 2009 or 2010. Areas outside the US, even major cities, many times have even older pictures Fresno has now gotten an update four years in a row.

The new pictures let us look at new development, changes to the landscape and so forth. I will be writing a post about some of the more important changes, and many relate to things I've written about - trails, subdivisions, road treatments and much more.

For day-to-day use, it's obviously best to have the freshest pictures possible, to be able to navigate well and know what to expect when visiting a new place.

Tonight, just load up maps.google.com with your favorite zip code and enjoy the August imagery. Any changes you find noteworthy?

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