identify this aerial photo
February 17, 2005 6:30 PM   Subscribe

Can anybody identify this aerial photo? Take a quick peek and let me know if it looks familiar.

A friend has challenged me to identify it. I need the location, I guess. Does anybody know where it is? Alternately, does anybody know where I could begin to look to identify it?
posted by MiG to Travel & Transportation (44 answers total)
If this helps anyone, I think there's a stadium in the upper right corner.
posted by drezdn at 6:32 PM on February 17, 2005

Response by poster: I thought so too. The challenger says it's not in North America.

What kind of stadium is that?
posted by MiG at 6:36 PM on February 17, 2005

Is that an airport in the middle left portion of the page?
posted by darkmatter at 6:44 PM on February 17, 2005

It does look like an airport, but then that would mean the dark green isn't forest like it appears.
posted by smackfu at 6:58 PM on February 17, 2005

I would make the vaguest guess that it's not in North America, based just on the layout of residential versus farmland and lack of laid-out blocks.

But really, I have no idea at all.
posted by jennyjenny at 6:59 PM on February 17, 2005

Response by poster: Ok, from what I understand, it's not in North America, and not in the southern hemisphere. It is not a place where they use English as an official language.

Thanks for any help guys.

That dot seems to be over a farm or something?

Anyway, it's a challenge, and this is sort of cheating, but um, you'll be helping to make me look more intelligent if you can identify it.
posted by MiG at 7:06 PM on February 17, 2005

try google ask.

Or try downloading some huge geological datasets and try to match the pic. The red, aliased dot in the middle would indicate that he got the picture off the internet, so it's probably deep in some database out there.

Why did you accept the challange, anyway?
posted by delmoi at 7:07 PM on February 17, 2005

I think I saw a photo much like this of Sweden or Denmark.
posted by Jairus at 7:20 PM on February 17, 2005

I believe there's a way to store metadata inside a jpeg file (exif or something similar). Try checking if this image has any. If your friend grabbed this from some database or commercial site, there might be some helpful copyright info or similar in there.
posted by kickingtheground at 7:21 PM on February 17, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks kickingtheground, I've tried that, but no go. It was apparently stripped of all its metadata.

It may be a site of a recent news event. Anything noteworthy happen recently in Sweden or Denmark on the corner or a farm?
posted by MiG at 7:31 PM on February 17, 2005

Perhaps pass it around a Swedish/Danish site?
posted by Jairus at 7:42 PM on February 17, 2005

If it helps, that red dot tells me the image is from Terraserver.

Here's a sattellite view of Rome for example.
posted by vacapinta at 8:08 PM on February 17, 2005

I'm taking a wild, wild guess here...

Could it be Stonehenge? Towards the bottom center of the image, you see a triangle. Sort of looks like this map of Stonehenge I found doing a Google Image search. There's apparently airfield near Stonehenge as well.

Then again, what may be Stonehenge in the photo looks like it's not nesting in the triangle.
posted by icontemplate at 8:15 PM on February 17, 2005

If it helps, that red dot tells me the image is from Terraserver.

The headers read "Ducky Adobe".
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 8:34 PM on February 17, 2005

You havent given us the full context. Is it possible your friend chose a location that is meaningful to you both but that we would have no chance of guessing?
posted by vacapinta at 8:38 PM on February 17, 2005

Could it be in Portugal?
posted by Vidiot at 8:57 PM on February 17, 2005

Re: airport. The three angled lines in the green patch do resemble an arrangement of runways and could be grass strips, which are common across the United States (e.g. this one). However, I doubt it's an airfield for a few reasons. First, it would be odd to have an airstrip in a relatively well-populated area be so densely surrounded by trees. Second, it would be a bad idea to have intersecting runways where an aircraft on one runway can't see traffic on another. Third, the creek apparently crossing one of the runways would make for a bumpy landing!

Instead, my guess is that those light strips through the forest are where the trees have been cleared to make room for power lines.
posted by tss at 9:03 PM on February 17, 2005

Response by poster: It's not Portugal ( is my site, I'm the guy from Portugal, not the challenger).

Further clue: country of the photo is not landlocked.
posted by MiG at 9:16 PM on February 17, 2005

Response by poster: Also, it's not stonehenge, I checked.
posted by MiG at 9:25 PM on February 17, 2005

Response by poster: Ok, the guy basically posted the image, and challenged a few of us to guess where it is. We've been able to get some info out of him:

Not in North America.
Not in Southern Hemisphere.
English is not an official language there.
Not landlocked.

It does look like a terraserver image, especially with the red dot.
posted by MiG at 9:34 PM on February 17, 2005

Tell us more about your friend. Is it someone from the theater, into science? How did the challenge come up? A random post on a specific site?
posted by ontic at 9:40 PM on February 17, 2005

Response by poster: I'll link to the challenge, though I don't want it seen as a self-link.

He's definitely into science, and French is his first language. He just likes asking these kinds of questions: is the original post.

It's sort of cheating for me to ask here ;-) But I like to win.
posted by MiG at 9:43 PM on February 17, 2005

Response by poster: And, as you can see from the original thread, it seems it's in France.
posted by MiG at 9:45 PM on February 17, 2005

posted by normy at 9:53 PM on February 17, 2005

I see no image. Is there another version somewhere?
posted by kokogiak at 9:54 PM on February 17, 2005

Those could be wine fields. It could be Bordeaux.
posted by ontic at 9:57 PM on February 17, 2005

Haha! "A bit of social engineering".

/have no idea where it is but this is fun
posted by timyang at 11:04 PM on February 17, 2005

Are we supposed to focus on the red dot? I wonder if it's incidental to the problem, or whether it pinpoints the exact location we're supposed to identify.
posted by Vidiot at 11:17 PM on February 17, 2005

I'm pretty sure it isn't Lourdes -- I don't see the dramatic river bend in that town.
posted by Vidiot at 11:28 PM on February 17, 2005

Response by poster: Yeah, I'm not sure either. So it's definitely France, anyway. It looks like the photo has been cropped from a larger screenshot. I'm not sure what the dot is supposed to be... it doesn't look like it's in an interesting place, in the corner of a field.
posted by MiG at 11:32 PM on February 17, 2005

Response by poster: Anybody know any famous addresses or lat/longs from France that we could punch into

It looks like it's a standard 15 metre resolution photo too.
posted by MiG at 11:34 PM on February 17, 2005

What's stymieing me is that I can't think of a single famous/well-known feature in France that:
--isn't in a big city;
--isn't on the coast;
--isn't obviously something other than this picture.

I thought of Versailles, but it isn't even close.

I think the circular feature near the upper-right corner may be a decent clue. Could it be a soccer stadium, or perhaps a bullring?

Also, my impression is that there aren't any rivers in the picture. I see the dark lines as roads. Does anyone see anything that's river-like?
posted by Vidiot at 11:47 PM on February 17, 2005

Do you know where in France your friend is from?

I see that you've narrowed it down to NE France.
posted by Vidiot at 12:15 AM on February 18, 2005

Response by poster: Yes, NE France. He's Canadian, actually, but I'll bet he can trace his ancestors to France. He's Acadian. Hmmm...
posted by MiG at 12:16 AM on February 18, 2005

Strasbourg, Troyes, Metz, Reims, Nancy, and Epernay don't seem to match, as far as I can tell.

I think you're right; it's an EarthSat image at 15m resolution.
posted by Vidiot at 12:38 AM on February 18, 2005

The circular feature at top right could be a Roman amphitheatre, given that the straight line running diagonally from the centre bottom to top right is most likely a Roman road. The other major line feature could be a TGV (high speed rail) line. Somewhere along the Rhone Valley?
posted by jonathanbell at 1:52 AM on February 18, 2005

From the thread linked to above, we know that it's in Northeastern France, and it isn't within 100 km of Reims. (though it might be just outside that radius, since the original poster said that that was a "tough one" and he had to check multiple maps to come to that conclusion.)
posted by Vidiot at 10:00 AM on February 18, 2005

Best answer: Putting all the clues together:
a crescent-shaped ridge
the odd linear features is on the ridge (argues against airport)
meaningful to a Canadian
Northeast France

Probably Vimy Ridge and the Canadian War Memorial there?

Or another battlefield -- Ypres/Passchendale is in Belgium I think but what about the Somme?
posted by Rumple at 10:31 AM on February 18, 2005

Best answer: Ooops, Vimy War Memorial air photo
posted by Rumple at 10:32 AM on February 18, 2005

Rumple nailed it.

Here's what I got when I did a Terraserver search for Vimy.
posted by Vidiot at 10:39 AM on February 18, 2005

Yay me. I await my case of Portugese wine.

More information on Battle of Vimy Ridge
posted by Rumple at 10:55 AM on February 18, 2005

odinstream: indeed many airports do have intersecting runways, including the one I linked to, but what I was hoping to say is that it is a rare and unfortunate field whose runways are mutually obscured by obstacles (like forest).
posted by tss at 11:03 AM on February 18, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks Rumple, you got it!

I'll wait a bit before I let him know how I found the answer, then I'll link to this thread.
posted by MiG at 11:23 AM on February 18, 2005

I have nothing to contribute to this thread except: WOW! The AskMeFi crew is amazing -- political differences aside, MeFi has some serious brainpower.
posted by davidmsc at 5:36 PM on February 18, 2005

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