browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

Mad Google Earth Skills

Posted by on May 19, 2017

I’ve always loved Maps and Geography. If I hadn’t had an interest in Computer Science back in high school, I probably would have gone into cartography (if not into law). My favourite books growing up were my National Geographic Our Fifty States, Our World, and Our Universe books. And every month the actual National Geographic magazine came, I would snatch the map out of it (if there was one) and pour over it like I was planning some big trip. Some were more interesting than others, and those usually were based on political maps of the world.

Way back when I first learned about this software called Keyhole in 2003, around the time of the Iraq invasion, I bought the software and immersed myself in the possibilities of what one could do with it. When they were acquired by Google, I was first disappointed because I had paid for a product which was then crippled and released for free, but eventually all the features were added back on.

I’ve been using Google Earth to plan my trip to France, and look at places and routes to ensure that roads aren’t gravel, or that there’s water along the route, or what’s the state of the town in the middle of the route. I find it funny that for a country the size of Texas, France has so few street-level miles as compared to Texas itself. One whom lives in the USA just expects there to be street-level views of pretty much any street in any city, but in France you might be lucky to just have the main road thru town.

One of the things I delight in doing is to find the actual house in a French Property listing. For example, most if not all of the property listings in France may mention the actual town the house is in. Most will note the closest towns or cities. But when looking through the pictures of the house, I’ve been able to find the exact house that is in the listing.

Today’s exercise was a bit different. One of the local cycletouring companies around Mont Ventoux posted up a “What village were we near” picture.

Now when looking at that picture, you can see Mont Ventoux and the ski slopes of Mont Serein, therefore he’s on the northern side of the mountain. Using Google Earth, the first place that really looks good is from the top of the Col d’Ey, but the angle of the ski slopes is off, and as a hint, he says it’s not the Col d’Ey. Plus looking at the view from Google Earth, that road is lined with trees, and his picture has a field below him, and is not so tree lined.

So moving the sight point to the west, we can tell he’s going to be over closer to plains north of Vaison-la-Romaine, but not completely on the plains because of the slight mountain gap that he’s peering thru.

Eventually I found the exact spot:

on the side of the D347… And it even had a street-level view…

I love maps.

Comments are closed.