Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Where are all the Google Earth Cameras?

Monday was a horrible day for me because I lost my Google Earth (GE) cameras. If you've followed along my writing journey, you know I rely on those GE cameras for research. I've done a couple posts here and other places showing how much I rely on those GE vehicle mounted cameras which roam the streets all over the world to bring us photos of what it really looks like.

That GE camera vehicle was even in my hometown taking a photo of our 30' tall Eiffel Tower. I especially liked seeing that on GE.

However on Monday, I was using the cameras like I usually do, which is to look around at the landscape, then go to another one a few hundred yards up the road and look through that one. Then suddenly, the GE cameras all disappeared! I spent 2 hrs of writing time looking for them on 2 different computers in case it was a glitch but nope, they're gone.

Now, I know there were issues where people complained the cameras were an invasion of privacy, but for a research tool to people who didn't have time and money to visit the actual locations, those street view cameras were the next-best thing. :(

Today's photo is of Canada's famous military aerobatic team the Snowbirds. At least I think it's the Snowbirds' jetstreams. While I was looking for the GE cameras, I heard a noise outside as if a jet was passing over the farm, but it was so much louder than normal. I went outside and saw 5 jetstreams and took a photo of them. They were travelling from the direction of their home base at CFB Moose Jaw which is a couple hours away.

Then my  brain kicked in gear and I turned to see the actual jets, but this is all I got. I'm not sure where the 5th one went. Looks like they decided to play a bit since by that time they would've been over an area with scattered farms and very sporadic towns and villages.

And if you're wondering about the difference in the sky colour, the sky was cloudy to the left (SE) of the sun.

Anyway, if anyone knows what happened to those GE cameras, can you fill me in? It sure would be nice if I discovered it was a glitch after all.


  1. I must confess, Anita, that I have never used Google Earth, though I have heard a lot about it.

  2. Hmmm. I tend to go all conspiracy theory on these things. When something on this big technological web gets glitchy, I think Aha! this is it. THEY'VE finally figured out how to bring the U.S. to its knees...

    When Yahoo crashes or the satellite can't show my storm front moving in, I realize how much I take for granted and subsequently how much we (the internet addicted world population) depends on it to be there. Perhaps I should be writing apocolyptic thrillers instead of waiting for someone to invent the common household match so my characters don't have to go around at dusk and light the candles from a 'starter' flame.

    Beyond that little rant, I have to say I love Google Earth. I've also used it to look at street corners and historic buildings that my characters see from their 174 year old reference. I also love it to plan or dream about vacations. Where else can you fly like a bird along the highway taking you to your dream location?

    Thanks for a nice little break. I hope GE comes back. I haven't used it for a week or two.

  3. Josi, Google Earth is a free download. It's an amazing tool. Before I travel anywhere, I GE it to see the actual lay of the land so that it's set in my mind before I actually leave. I feel more confident and don't have that 'lost and out of my element' feeling.

    I went to visit my mom and GE'd right down to her Senior's apartment bldg. She saw her parking space with no van. She said it can't be real because her van was there, outside. So I explained how the images could have been taken a year or so ago. She had a better understanding then. But sometimes when I talk to her, she says everytime she goes outside, she feels like someone's looking down at her through their computer. LOL

    If you have a computer, it can't be beat for knowledge. And if you do use it, check out the palm tree subdivision on the coast of Dubai. In the top left corner of the GE screen where it says 'Fly to' type in The Palm Dubai. It's considered 'The Eighth Wonder of the World'. I'm not sure about that, but they're digging up the ocean to add 72 miles of coastline in this extravagent and beautiful setting. Amazing.

    Thanks for stopping by for a virtual cup of coffee. :)

    Anita Mae.

  4. Hey Deb, it's not GE that's gone, but their camera icons. Those little icons were the heart and soul of GE for me. I really don't understand how it can be an invasion of privacy, because it's not like they went into people's backyard and took pics of people sunbathing nude. Heck, anyone with GE can do that on an intensive sweep of flat city rooftops. Haha

    If I knew those camera shots were going to disappear, I would've spent inordinate amounts of time on research. Now I'm floundering. Yes, I can write my story without it, but I'm the type of writer who needs to visualize what my characters will see.

    Thanks for sharing, Deb.

    Anita Mae.


Come on, tell me what you think...