Are the pictures on Google Earth in real-time?
October 12, 2006 2:23 PM   Subscribe

Are the pictures on Google Earth in real-time? If I look at my street via Google Earth on the computer at 6:00pm, can I see my kids playing outside (if indeed they are outside at that time)
posted by sandra194 to Computers & Internet (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
No. In fact, some of the maps are quite old.
posted by dcjd at 2:24 PM on October 12, 2006


Nope, but damn would that be cool.
posted by chrisamiller at 2:31 PM on October 12, 2006


I've noticed (due to construction in my area) that the google-earth pictures are up to two years old. Also, when i look at them at night-time they still show light (therefore not real time). And cars are not moving.
posted by b33j at 2:38 PM on October 12, 2006


Although it's the stuff of spy/military thriller movies & books, real-time sat imaging is still a long way off. Someone needs to send that twit Clancy a memo.

No, not real-time, and yes, some images (the google earth "globe" is essentially a mosaic of hundreds of images) are quite old, and/or of very low visual quality.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 2:40 PM on October 12, 2006




From my own inspection of Google Earth images, I'd peg the dates anywhere from 1997 to 2004. It would be nice though if they would document the images like Microsoft Terraserver does.
posted by zek at 2:49 PM on October 12, 2006


The images from my neck of the woods are at least two years old.
posted by unixrat at 3:06 PM on October 12, 2006


"Although it's the stuff of spy/military thriller movies & books, real-time sat imaging is still a long way off. Someone needs to send that twit Clancy a memo. ..."

Not to derail, but if they're willing to spend the fuel to position a KH-12 directly over a target, while getting any break on weather conditions, and if they put on the online network, computer resources, and image analysts to do the job, the folks in Washington can easily tell which way soccer balls are spinning while the ball is still in the air, for kicks greater than 6 meters distance.

And all KH-12's are not created equal ;-)
posted by paulsc at 3:30 PM on October 12, 2006 [1 favorite]


If it were real time, you would see vehicles moving on the roads.
posted by event at 4:30 PM on October 12, 2006


If it were real time, you would see vehicles moving on the roads.

Not necessarily. It could be realtime and only refresh every minute or so, thus the cars would remain stationary.
posted by c:\awesome at 4:36 PM on October 12, 2006


If it were real time, half the earth would be dark.

I can only assume that Sandra194 has not actually ever seen or used Google Earth, but has only heard about it.

The answer to the question is no. It's not real time. You can't track your kids' movements with it.
posted by JekPorkins at 5:03 PM on October 12, 2006


In the novel Snow Crash, Neil Stephenson describes a program called "Earth" that is almost exactly like Google Earth, but updated in real time.
"There is something new: A globe about the size of a grapefruit, a perfectly detailed rendition of Planet Earth, hanging in space at arm's length in front of his eyes. Hiro has heard about this but never seen it. It is a piece of CIC software called, simply, Earth. It is the user interface that CIC uses to keep track of every bit of spatial information that it owns - all the maps, weather data, architectural plans, and satellite surveillance stuff."
(One of the creators of Google Earth says it was inspired by Snow Crash.)
posted by mbrubeck at 5:11 PM on October 12, 2006


Well, I imagine that PentagonEarthâ„¢ might do the job, but a single seat license is, what, $300 million or so. And the upkeep is a bitch. But the zoom is, well, to die for. As many do.
posted by dbiedny at 8:01 PM on October 12, 2006 [1 favorite]


No.
posted by 31d1 at 9:37 PM on October 12, 2006


The building I'm sitting in right now is under construction on Google Earth.
posted by lampoil at 6:27 AM on October 13, 2006


Not to derail, but if they're willing to spend the fuel to position a KH-12 directly over a target,...

Putting a recon asset in a geosynchronous orbit would be hugely, idiotically wasteful. Which is to say that the DoD upper echelons might do it if the NRO didn't keep them in check.

...the folks in Washington can easily tell which way soccer balls are spinning while the ball is still in the air, for kicks greater than 6 meters distance.

And pretty much anybody with an MS in photogrammetry can distinguish spin on a soccer ball.

The truth, I'd wager, is somewhere between Tom Clancy's wet dreams and Corona imagery.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 7:18 AM on October 14, 2006


SnooKloze, even in Clancy the sat isn't stationary. I presume everyone is talking about the terrorist training camp raid in "Patriot Games." The raid is purposely timed when the satellite is passing over the camp, and the text (as I remember) quite clearly indicates the satellite is moving and eventually goes out of range.
posted by lhauser at 9:52 PM on October 14, 2006


My workplace isn't even built yet in Google Earth.
posted by WCityMike at 8:10 AM on October 15, 2006


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