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Archive for October, 2016


The best of Google Earth for October 2016

by Timothy Whitehead on Oct.31, 2016, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

The two biggest stories for this month were Hurricane Matthew (which caused major storm damage and flooding through the Caribbean and then up the east coast of the US), and an attempted landing on Mars.

NOAA post Hurricane Matthew imagery in Google EarthThere are two sets of post-Hurricane Matthews imagery available. The first set comes from Google Crisis Response and consists of satellite imagery from DigitalGlobe and Terra Bella of the Caribbean and the east coast of the US. See the imagery in Google Earth with this KML file. The second set of imagery is aerial imagery gathered by NOAA and covers the US east coast immediately after the hurricane and the flooding further inland in the following days. See the imagery in Google Earth with this KML file that we created. We describe how we created the second KML here and here.

Schiaparelli’s resting place and other Mars residentsThe attempted Mars landing was unsuccessful as the lander, named Schiaparelli, crash landed. We had a look at its final resting place as well as various other rovers and landers on Mars. We also had a look at various versions of the track of the rover Curiosity and were also able to find the rover in recent HiRISE imagery.

Halloween with Google EarthIt is Halloween today so check out Friday’s post to learn how to dress up Google Earth as a pumpkin and find some scary locations in Street View.
 
 
Avalanches in TibetWe had a look at two very large avalanches in Tibet using Sentinel 2 imagery.
 
 
 
 
The fires of Qayyara, Iraq, with Landsat and Sentinel imageryWe used Landsat and Sentinel imagery to have a look at some oil and sulphur fires in Iraq that have been started by retreating Islamic State forces.
 
 
 
Mapzen altitude tiles in Google EarthAfter our success with getting the post-Hurricane Matthews NOAA imagery into Google Earth we also set up a KML file that displays Mapzen altitude tiles in Google Earth.
 
 
 
‘Little Planets’ – Fisheye art from Google Earth imageryWe had a look at some images known as ‘Little Planets’ created using Google Earth 3D imagery. The artist since contacted us and gave us two links to more ‘Little Planet’ images he has created. See them here and here.
 
 
 
Panoramio shutdown date setGoogle announced that it is shutting down Panoramio. New signups and uploads will be stopped from November 4th, but the service should continue to function until November next year. Users can move their photos to Google Maps if they wish.
 
Floods around the world as seen in Google EarthWe had a look at various floods around the world as seen in Google Earth imagery. We looked at floods in Eastern Sudan, Skopje, Macedonia, Chetwynd, Canada, and Wuhan, China.
 
 
 
Wikipedia data for US Tornadoes in Google EarthWe took US tornado data found on Wikipedia and put it in Google Earth. It is an interesting collection, but has not proved useful in finding imagery of tornado tracks as the locations are rather inaccurate.
 
 
 
 
Landsat and Sentinel-2 data now on Google CloudGoogle has made available Landsat and Sentinel 2 imagery on Google Cloud. The Landsat collection is much more comprehensive than the equivalent collection on Amazon Web Services. However, Google does not provide thumbnails for the imagery, whereas AWS does.
 
 
Antipode Earth – turning Google Earth inside outWe had some fun turning the earth inside out by mapping every point to its antipode.
 
 
 
 
Google Earth weather layers being droppedGoogle announced that it was dropping two of the weather layers from Google Earth.

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Halloween with Google Earth

by Timothy Whitehead on Oct.28, 2016, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Monday is Halloween, so this is a good time to dress up Google Earth in preparation. To do so download this KML file originally created by Frank back in 2006.

Here are also a number of spooky places to visit in Street View:


13th Gate Haunted House, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. See in Google Maps


Zombie Manor House, Manchester, UK. See in Google Maps


Diagon Alley from the Harry Potter movies. See in Google Maps


A pumpkin headed man on the streets of Paris. Be sure to explore, as he is not alone! See in Google Maps

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Schiaparelli’s resting place and other Mars residents

by Timothy Whitehead on Oct.27, 2016, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Last week a joint mission between the European Space Agency (ESA) and Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) attempted to land on Mars. The landing was not successful and the lander, named Schiaparelli, crash landed on the planet.

NASA released these ‘before and after’ photos of the landing site captured by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) showing what is believed to be the parachute (white spot) and landing spot (dark patch).

We thought this would be a good time to see what other Mars landers / rovers can be seen in Google Mars or MRO imagery.

Curiosity

The rover Curiosity has particularly good coverage. We already managed to find it in an image from March 30th, 2016, which we showed you last week in this post. However, there is also good imagery of its landing area, including an image of it while still descending by parachute!


Top Left: Sky Crane. Top Right: Parachute on ground. Bottom Left: Rover on ground, 24 hours after landing. Bottom Right: Descent by parachute.

Also see here for a time-lapse of the parachute blowing about in the wind.

Opportunity

The rover Opportunity is not far from Schiaparelli’s crash site, but far enough that it probably could not get there to investigate.


In this image from August 26th, 2016, Opportunity just looks like a rock.

The location above was identified with the help of this thread which keeps track of Opportunity.


Top Left: Parachute. Top Right: Landing base. Bottom Left: Heat shield. Bottom Right: Track and multiple images of rover.

Spirit
The rover Spirit is no longer active, but we can see it in its final resting place as well as its parachute, lander and heat shield.


Top Left: Parachute. Top Right: Landing base. Bottom Left: Heat shield. Bottom Right: Final resting place.

Phoenix
The Pheonix Lander has good imagery in Google Mars showing the heat shield, the back shell, the parachute and the lander.


Top Left: Lander, Top Right: Heat Shield, Bottom right: back shell and parachute.

Beagle 2
The very best image of the Beagle 2 is these two white dots:

Also seen here in colour. Its parachute and rear cover are equally difficult to make out, but we have marked their locations in the KML file.

The above are just some of the residents of Mars. We will continue with the rest next week.

See the imagery and placemarks in Google Mars with this KML file.

Don’t forget to turn on Google Mars’s ‘Landers/Rovers’ layer for extra imagery, tracks, panoramas, 3D models and more.

To be continued …..

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Avalanches in Tibet

by Timothy Whitehead on Oct.26, 2016, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

On July 17th, 2016 there was a very large avalanche in the Aru Mountains of Tibet. This was followed by a second avalanche on 21st September, 2016. Planet Labs captured some imagery of the location of the second event and have created an excellent before and after, which you can find here.

For a more detailed analysis of the events see the excellent Landslide Blog Part 1 and Part 2. The Landslide Blog also includes some before and after images of the first event, which come from this page. One is a Sentinel 2 image captured after the first avalanche, and the other is a Landsat 8 image captured before the avalanche.

Now, there is Sentinel imagery available from after the second event we can do a full sequence:


January 23rd, 2016. Copernicus Sentinel Data, 2016
 

July 21st, 2016. Copernicus Sentinel Data, 2016
 

October 16th, 2016. Copernicus Sentinel Data, 2016
 

We have also put the Planet Labs images and the above Sentinel images into Google Earth. To view them download this KML file. The Sentinel imagery is actually slightly higher resolution than what you see above.

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