Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Google's GeoEye-1 Takes Its First Pictures

timothy posted about 6 years ago | from the seattle's-beauty-would-damage-the-sensors dept.

Google 152

Kev92486 writes "I was scanning through my RSS feeds today and happened upon an article about Google's GeoEye-1 imaging satellite which launched on Sept 6. Intrigued as to what the quality of the image was like, I decided to check it out only to find that the first picture was actually of my college campus, Kutztown University (Pennsylvania).
I had to make sure I was reading the article correctly as Kutztown is not a very large or well known campus. I'm not sure as to why they chose Kutztown for their first pictures. I would be interested if anybody could provide some sort of insight as to what process was used to select the first test location. Was the satellite simply in a convenient orbit to snap pictures of Kutztown?"
Update: 10/09 20:56 GMT by T : HotHardware has its own article up on GeoEye-1, if you'd like your words and pictures in the same place.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

I'll Tell You Why (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 6 years ago | (#25319755)

I had to make sure I was reading the article correctly as Kutztown is not a very large or well known campus. I'm not sure as to why they chose Kutztown for their first pictures. I would be interested if anybody could provide some sort of insight as to what process was used to select the first test location. Was the satellite simply in a convenient orbit to snap pictures of Kutztown?

Maybe you could explain this close up image [pcworld.com] of your campus? (It's from the lower right of the article's image)

Don't be coy, we all saw the lead up to this in the papers earlier this year [imageshack.us] . Kutztown's had this coming--it was one thing to invite Putin to talk but when he left those trailers, that was too far.

On a serious note, I'm certain they picked Kutztown based on the following:

Let P denote the number of lawyers a university has on reserve.

Let Q denote the number of lawyers Google has on reserve.

Let R denote said university's reserve resources for emergencies.

Let L be a function such that L(x) = the number of lawyers one can immediately hire with x dollars.

Is P + L(R) Q? Then I think we have a candidate! I found it on Google Scholar.

Re:I'll Tell You Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25319913)

Last line should read:

Is P + L(R) < Q? Then I think we have a candidate! I found it on Google Scholar.

Damn my inferior html skillz.

Re:I'll Tell You Why (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25320069)

Maybe you could explain this close up image [pcworld.com] of your campus? (It's from the lower right of the article's image)

For anybody interested in the close up image, wondering where it *actually* is (because it ain't in the article's image), take a gander here:

Google Maps (pops) [google.com]

The plane's actually sitting in a carpark in the western suburbs of Paris, France.

That's no moon... (5, Funny)

argent (18001) | about 6 years ago | (#25320377)

Maybe you could explain this close up image of your campus? (It's from the lower right of the article's image)

That's just a Mirage.

Re:That's no moon... (2, Interesting)

JakusMinimus (49854) | about 6 years ago | (#25320833)

I wonder how many readers here actually get the joke [wikipedia.org] ? The thing is, it looks more like an F-102 Delta Dart/Dagger [strategic-...ommand.com] to me.

Re:That's no moon... (1)

Neanderthal Ninny (1153369) | about 6 years ago | (#25322421)

No, it appears to be F-106. Look at the "coke bottle" shape body which the F-102 doesn't. Mirage III and 5 has a parallel body like the F-102. Mirage 2000 has a "coke bottle" shape.
I don't know when this image was taken but when I was at Maxwell Air Force Base at the Air University in the late 1980's there was a section that looked like that area for doing "emergency dispersal" in case of base attack and dispersing aircraft to different locations. I don't remember having an F-106 for this class but we did have several T-38 for that class.

Re:That's no moon... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25321255)

Maybe you could explain this close up image of your campus? (It's from the lower right of the article's image)

That's just a Mirage.

I see what you did there...

I thought that pic was one of the tanks! (2, Informative)

Gazzonyx (982402) | about 6 years ago | (#25322747)

You joke... if only you knew that at the top left, about another hundred yards further is a national guard post. They've got and old Abrams (at least I think it is) tank and a tracked anti-aircraft vehicle parked on the grass with signs that tell us students to keep of the tanks. No. Seriously. I'm currently a student at KU and I wish I were making up the part about 'keep off the tanks'... I've been meaning to steal that sign forever. It'd be wicked to put on the wall.

What a letdown (-1, Redundant)

mcgrew (92797) | about 6 years ago | (#25319815)

The picture they showed was nowhere near half meter pixels. I can get closer than that with what Google Maps has now. Still waiting to see the real deal...

Re:What a letdown (5, Informative)

dfm3 (830843) | about 6 years ago | (#25319921)

Yes, but the high resolution imagery currently on Google maps typically comes from areal photos, not from satellite imagery. The news here is that the images were taken from a satellite in orbit, not from a plane.

Re:What a letdown (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25320029)

aerial

Re:What a letdown (0, Troll)

garaged (579941) | about 6 years ago | (#25320637)

obsesion I sense ?

--- Austin Powers obligated cite ---

Gold Member - Austin Powers Faya !
Dr. Evil - Fattttther, Austin Powers Fattther

Re:What a letdown (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25322813)

obsession

Re:What a letdown (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | about 6 years ago | (#25320409)

There are many parts of the world that don't have aerial photographs available (look at Google maps of GreenBay, WI; [google.com] or Bowling Green, KY). [google.com] This will improve Google Maps for people in those areas dramatically.

Re:What a letdown (5, Informative)

rockmuelle (575982) | about 6 years ago | (#25320535)

Well, it's not really news. If you understand the different data sources, it should come as no surprise that these images are not as good as the high-resolution aerial photos and as good as good satellite photos (think of the before/after tsunami photos)

Good aerial photos have a pixel resolution of 6 inches. Decent ones are 12 inches. GeoEye-1's resolution is 50 cm, or about 19 inches. 19 inches is good for working with large objects, but not useful for fine-grained measurements. (it will be fine for 99.9% of the apps Googlers develop)

For a good example of 6 and 12 inch data, look at the state of Indiana (in the US) in Google Earth. In 2005/6, Indiana re-imaged the entire state with aerial photos. The whole state is at least 12 inches and all metro areas are 6 inches.

I'll be really excited when we can get continually updated 6 inch data... My only concern is that with Google's dominance, we'll be stalled at 19 inches for a long time and people will start to think that's the best we can do.

-Chris

Re:What a letdown (4, Informative)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | about 6 years ago | (#25320903)

Why would Google's dominance have anything to do with the 50cm limit? That's a government restriction on what's available for civilian use. The wired article says that it actually is capable of ~40cm but NGA degrades the resolution before releasing it to Google or anyone else. I know of another spacecraft that had to be placed in a higher orbit in order to keep the resolution below the limits.

Since the US commercial space industry is effectively isolated by ITAR restrictions, but is still dominant overall for now, a US restriction basically leads to a world-wide restriction for everyone but other governments. A loosening of US regulation is the only real way to improve commercial space imagery in the short term, although if ITAR isn't loosened soon, the world's going to catch up and surpass the US anyway. But of course, saying you want to stop fighting international arms trade is about as easy as saying you want to make life easier for pedophiles or terrorists, and I can't see it passing anytime soon.

Re:What a letdown (1)

rockmuelle (575982) | about 6 years ago | (#25321423)

My point has nothing to do with government limits or anything like that.

What I mean is that by Google using this as their primary data source and with 50 cm being "good-enough" for a lot of applications, there will be less incentive to invest the better aerial data. It's just the simple fact that once the market is flooded with 50 cm data, most people won't know that there are better resolutions available and most consumer applications will be built around 50 cm as the standard.

If Google used 40 cm or 6 inch data, the same would be true. I just worry that we'll be stuck with 50 cm data for the foreseeable future because of this. (and I'm greedy and want the world at 6 inches!)

-Chris

Re:What a letdown (5, Interesting)

gbridge (746125) | about 6 years ago | (#25321471)

Good aerial photos have a pixel resolution of 6 inches.

Do you mean 6 inches per pixel? This [192.com] might impress you. I think it's 4cm per pixel but only available over central London for the time being.

Re:What a letdown (1)

jacquesm (154384) | about 6 years ago | (#25321561)

just one word: wow

Re:What a letdown (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25321633)

Good aerial photos have a pixel resolution of 6 inches. Decent ones are 12 inches. GeoEye-1's resolution is 50 cm, or about 19 inches. 19 inches is good for working with large objects, but not useful for fine-grained measurements. (it will be fine for 99.9% of the apps Googlers develop)

I dunno, the average nipple is what? One inch across maybe? The Internet demands higher resolution.

Re:What a letdown (1)

Spykk (823586) | about 6 years ago | (#25322277)

I'll be really excited when we can get continually updated 6 inch data

I'm pretty sure there is a joke in there somewhere...

Re:What a letdown (2, Funny)

edumacator (910819) | about 6 years ago | (#25322411)

Six inches...that means from space, you'll finally be able to see my...wait...I meant at twelve inches.

Re:What a letdown (1)

GetTragic (21640) | about 6 years ago | (#25322477)

Cool until your employer (or wife) looks at the continually updated feed from above your house and sees your car is not there, on a day you are supposed to be home sick...

Re:What a letdown (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about 6 years ago | (#25320691)

True. A lot of people miss that - the really good resolution pictures on G are typically taken from aeroplanes or (more rarely) helicopters. Who knows what military/intel sats can do - for sure they'll never share. One thing they have in common with commercial sats tho' is problems with clouds and other stuff (moving fast high in sky, extreme angles of incidence, blah blah. The bs about being able to read your newpaper is just that...bs).

Still, pretty damn good picture.
As to why this place? Probably the first decent shot they could get (with no clouds etc) of someplace vaguely interesting - a lot of the earth is either sea, fields, woods...

Re:What a letdown (0)

nasch (598556) | about 6 years ago | (#25321243)

Would these [google.com] be areal photos (NSFW)? Or at least areol photos?

Re:What a letdown (1)

dinther (738910) | about 6 years ago | (#25321579)

Not so sure it is satellite. I would have thought that the perspective would be straight down. In the picture you can see the sides of buildings as if it ware taken with a wider angle lens such as used on aerial photography.

I think that with the extreme telelens required for satellites you would not see sides of buildings.

Re:What a letdown (1)

BlackSabbath (118110) | about 6 years ago | (#25322829)

Dude, if you're able to take high resolution areola photographs from an aeroplane you are doing very well.

Re:What a letdown (4, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | about 6 years ago | (#25319965)

Oops, mod that down. The picture in TFA isn't good, but one linked from TFS is big and sharp.

I had the feeling someone was watching me today... (2, Funny)

FireStormZ (1315639) | about 6 years ago | (#25319827)

..

the tracking system is broken (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25319923)

From what I understand they were actually trying to get a snapshot of Pottsville, PA. Home of America's oldest brewery(Yuengling).

Kutztown? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25319925)

Kutztown

Gesundheit!

Summary of the Submission (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | about 6 years ago | (#25321721)

Kutztown Kutztown Kutztown. Kutztown? Kutztown Kutztown Kutztown Kutztown, Kutztown Kutztown! Kutztown, Kutztown Kutztown: Kutztown.

Kutztown?

Lameness filter encountered.
Your comment violated the "postercomment" compression filter. Try less whitespace and/or less repetition.

Cousin Town University? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25319943)

Ok, so what's the second picture?

Re:Cousin Town University? (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about 6 years ago | (#25320539)

Ok, I'll take a wild guess. The second picture is Kutztown University, little bit to the left of the first one.

The reason (-1, Flamebait)

rubycodez (864176) | about 6 years ago | (#25319949)

*someone* in the world has to be from any chosen at random backwater Bumfuck Egypt hicktown; congrats, that's you

mirror (4, Informative)

Exstatica (769958) | about 6 years ago | (#25319959)

this is probably gonna hurt but here goes anyway http://mirrors.mednor.net/slashdot/10092008/geoeye-1-kutztown.jpg [mednor.net]

Re:mirror (1)

jcr (53032) | about 6 years ago | (#25320439)

Thanks, that image is amazing.

I wouldn't have guessed it was from a satellite. With that kind of resolution, I'd have expected it to be shot from an aircraft.

-jcr

Re:mirror (1)

Annymouse Cowherd (1037080) | about 6 years ago | (#25320469)

Why don't people use nyud.net anymore?

Re:mirror (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | about 6 years ago | (#25321139)

It doesn't rhyme well enough.

 

Re:mirror (1)

TheDreadedGMan (1122791) | about 6 years ago | (#25320565)

Thanks for the mirror!

Picture is quite clear, can't wait for Google Earth to be refreshed.

google ceiling cat.... (-1, Offtopic)

djirk (763517) | about 6 years ago | (#25319971)

... is watching you masturbate.

Re:google ceiling cat.... (1)

Deadplant (212273) | about 6 years ago | (#25320339)

As someone with a wiener big enough to be seen from space I am concerned by this.

sure encrypt everything (-1, Offtopic)

frovingslosh (582462) | about 6 years ago | (#25319997)

Sure, encrypt everything. It's not like we live in some oppressive country where the boarder guards are likely to say "Why would you want privacy if you have nothing to hide?". It's not like they would confiscate you laptop out of spite, and make sure that when and if you got it back that it wasn't working or that all of the important files were gone. No one thinks that America has become that kind of oppressive society, do they? And if you know anyone who is so un-American to think that, turn them into the secret police for further scrutiny, they are most likely terrorists.

Nice Football Field (4, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 6 years ago | (#25320051)

Sooo, Kev92486, how are the *squints eyes and leans closer to his LCD screen* Golden Bears doin' this year?

Re:Nice Football Field (5, Funny)

jbeaupre (752124) | about 6 years ago | (#25320155)

The endzone is in good enough shape to read. That might be a clue.

Re:Nice Football Field (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25320189)

Can't tell you, season starts Saturday.

http://www.kutztown.edu/goldenbearnetwork/

Re:Nice Football Field (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25321339)

Why do so many college campuses have cemetaries?

Re:Nice Football Field (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25321409)

Where else can they dig a tunnel and grab bodies for their autopsy classes?

Tennis courts (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25320079)

It bothers me that the tennis courts are not equally spaced. Can they fix that and take another picture?

Here's why... (4, Funny)

SamMichaels (213605) | about 6 years ago | (#25320131)

I think they were aiming for the First United Church of Kutztown, but the coordinates were off. Rumor has it the abbreviation is written on the roof.

Re:Here's why... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25320197)

I think they were aiming for the First United Church of Kutztown, but the coordinates were off. Rumor has it the abbreviation is written on the roof.

Abbreviation? So Fstuntdchurkutz? Confusing but thank god they didn't put their acronym on the roof though!

Friends University... (4, Funny)

zooblethorpe (686757) | about 6 years ago | (#25320579)

My father-in-law got his undergrad education at Friends University of Central Kansas. No joke. I'd even just settle for a sweatshirt with the big "F.U." in the middle.

(It's even funnier in some respects when you know that "Friends" here refers to the Quakers. :)

Cheers,

Re:Friends University... (1)

Pontiac (135778) | about 6 years ago | (#25322015)

My Cousins went to Ball State University.
http://cms.bsu.edu/

My Father in Law loves the BSU hat we got him.

Re:Here's why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25321019)

I think they were aiming for the First United Church of Kutztown, but the coordinates were off. Rumor has it the abbreviation is written on the roof.

acronym

Why (0, Troll)

OrangeTide (124937) | about 6 years ago | (#25320161)

Why is it necessary for Google to spy on me? They collect all these pictures, send people around with automatic cameras on their cars. Are they just collecting data for the eventual creation of SkyNet?

Re:Why (3, Funny)

veeoh (444683) | about 6 years ago | (#25320345)

...because they can.

and now you have complained on a public website they will watch you good.. mwuahahahah.

Have you looked at the car parked across the street, watching?

Sleep tight.

OH NOES (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | about 6 years ago | (#25321173)

*Waits for Google employees to T.P. his house and egg his car*

Re:Why (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | about 6 years ago | (#25321161)

Because you are actually the unwitting star of a reality TV show.

Smile!

Re:Why (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | about 6 years ago | (#25321479)

But what I was trying to ask is what is the point. What value does having pictures of everything in the world have? I think it detracts from the world rather than enhances anything.

Re:Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25321615)

Why do you think it detracts from the world?

Re:Why (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25322005)

Because when you take someone's photograph you steal their soul.

Waiting for Green Bay (2, Insightful)

ckotchey (184135) | about 6 years ago | (#25320169)

Even more curious to me is why Google Earth still has such a low-res image of Green Bay, WI (Packers!!), but I can see Cochranton, PA (population: a few dozen or so) clear as crystal. Go figure.

Re:Waiting for Green Bay (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25320381)

Even more curious to me is why Google Earth still has such a low-res image of Green Bay, WI (Packers!!), but I can see Cochranton, PA (population: a few dozen or so) clear as crystal. Go figure.

Note: Resolution is directly proportionate to intelligence per capita. Having worked "Packers!" into every single one of your discussions your entire life has left you devoid of intelligence and full of beer & cheese, hasn't it? However I'm sure you've managed to mate with another manatee and spread your seed to annoy the hell out of other states with your dumbass unfounded allegiance to one of football's most mediocre teams.

How's Brett?

Re:Waiting for Green Bay (4, Informative)

Zadaz (950521) | about 6 years ago | (#25320511)

Could be any number of things. My farm in rural Iowa is at such a low resolution that it's difficult to make out large buildings. (And it's obviously reconstructed form false color images. Probably less than 30m resolution.

However a mile to the west there's a huge strip of very high resolution images. ~0.5m resolution. Why? It just so happens that there is a large wind farm going up in that strip of land. It seems that the wind farm company paid for a high resolution survey of the area and that just got added to the data pile. Until someone wants to see what yet another soybean farm looks like, I'm SOL. (Which is too bad because I'd really like to see how the crops are doing from a few thousand miles away.)

Re:Waiting for Green Bay (1)

Joe Tie. (567096) | about 6 years ago | (#25321127)

I'm moving to a fairly large sized town that is actually split right in two with google earth/maps. The eastern side of town is horrible quality, and the left is normal. Which is a little annoying given that it's only a few hours drive away from one of google's offices. I really hope this winds up filling up some of the nearly dead spaces.

They used what was available and cheap. (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about 6 years ago | (#25321351)

As I understand it, Google used what was available (and cheap) when they were starting up the service. If something had been of interest to someone ELSE there'd be higher resolution imagery available.

For quite a while my rural retirement house in Nevada had a very low resolution picture of the construction site from years before. Then Steve Fossett disappeared after taking off from a place a half-hour's drive away and google upgraded the imagery of the area to help with the search. The new pics are not as sharp as this latest imagery. But you can see the house, garage, and propane tank just fine.

Uhhh no, it's something else (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25320255)

Actually the government took the satellite project over and they wanted to spy on what the infamous Kutztown 13 are doing today.

Re:Uhhh no, it's something else (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | about 6 years ago | (#25320411)

Looks like those two near the left side are trying to make 14.

don't ask slashdot (5, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 6 years ago | (#25320321)

go outside, write your question and your email address on a poster, and point it skyward

then go inside and wait for a reply in your inbox

if you don't like google's answer, go outside, and stick your middle finger up to the sky

Re:don't ask slashdot (1)

Gazzonyx (982402) | about 6 years ago | (#25322709)

Too bad I didn't know about this... I would have done it. That shot is a mile or two from my apartment and I'm the secretary of the Kutztown Technology Association and the president of the Kutztown Linux Group :) It's unfortunate that they didn't show the whole town. It only extends a mile to the north... that road in the middle is Main Street; small town, lots of corn fields. But an awesome little Main Street.

not impressed with orbit (4, Informative)

FunkyELF (609131) | about 6 years ago | (#25320395)

Wikipedia says that the GeoEye-1 [wikipedia.org] was supposed to be in Sun-synchronus orbit [wikipedia.org] ... but look at the shadow on the water tower

Re:not impressed with orbit (5, Informative)

NameIsDavid (945872) | about 6 years ago | (#25320537)

Is there something wrong with the angle? Sun-synchronous orbit means that each time the satellite appears over that same university campus, it will do so at the same time of day. So, unless you see multiple shadow angles implying that the image was taken over multiple passes and that the shadow angle changed with each pass, I don't see what's specifically unimpressive about the orbit. Can you explain your observation?

Re:not impressed with orbit (1)

atteSmythe (874236) | about 6 years ago | (#25320619)

From my reading of the Wikipedia article (and this is my introduction to sun-synchronous orbit, so I could be wrong), the neat part is that wherever the satellite is overhead, it's at the same point in time.

Again from Wikipedia, GeoEye-1's orbit is 10:30 am sun-synchronous...I think those shadows look like about 10:30 AM in the autumn.

Re:not impressed with orbit (1)

NotmyNick (1089709) | about 6 years ago | (#25322639)

From my reading of the Wikipedia article (and this is my introduction to sun-synchronous orbit, so I could be wrong), the neat part is that wherever the satellite is overhead, it's at the same point in time. Again from Wikipedia, GeoEye-1's orbit is 10:30 am sun-synchronous...I think those shadows look like about 10:30 AM in the autumn.

Congratulations, Sherlock. It is Autumn. FTA:

GeoEye-1 was launched Sept. 6 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and has been going through calibration and check-out since it was launched. This week, the satellite returned its first images.

What exactly was your point?

Re:not impressed with orbit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25320657)

There are only two ways to obtain surface images with no shadow:
1) Image only between the tropic of cancer and tropic of capricorn on the right day of the year
2) Use a really big mirror

Re:not impressed with orbit (1)

speroni (1258316) | about 6 years ago | (#25320663)

Just because it is sun synchronus doesn't mean it is directly below the sun. It could be sun synchronus with an off set angle.

If it was directly in line with the sun, the glare from bodies of water would be pretty intense.

Re:not impressed with orbit (1)

thisisauniqueid (825395) | about 6 years ago | (#25321325)

You can only take photos without shadows at one point on the earth at any given time: specifically, the area immediately around where your satellite's shadow is projected onto the earth. Sun-synchronous orbit just reduces the number of shadows you're likely to see, unless you're always imaging directly downwards. This picture is taken north west of the satellite's shadow, so the buildings have shadows too.

Re:not impressed with orbit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25321439)

If you're referring to the length of the shadows, that is mainly the result of the sun elevation of that area this time of year. You'll get shorter shadows (all else equal) during the summer months when the sun angle is closer to 90 degrees.

So does this mean full satellite coverage... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25320403)

... on google maps and if so how long will it take?

Fairly Random (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25320405)

The actual image collected was a 16 km wide swath cut through PA and part of New York. The swath was chosen based on timing and that it would be fairly close to nadir. As for why Kutztown in particular, I'll ask around, but I think it was basically just something interesting to look at(read:not trees). The calibration and focus were probably pretty good at that point in the image too. Keep in mind this is literally the very first image from the satellite, using preliminary calibration and focus, with the color bands aligned by hand. The imagery from this satellite is going to be exceptional once everything is said and done.

Re:Fairly Random (2, Informative)

jcr (53032) | about 6 years ago | (#25320489)

The swath was chosen based on timing and that it would be fairly close to nadir.

I think you mean perigee [wikipedia.org] not nadir [wikipedia.org] .

-jcr

Re:Fairly Random (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25320627)

The swath was chosen based on timing and that it would be fairly close to nadir.

I think you mean perigee [wikipedia.org] not nadir [wikipedia.org] .

-jcr

Nope I meant nadir

The nadir angle is basically how far to the side the satellite is pointing from its ground track. The farther off nadir the more you're looking at the sides of buildings and trees vs. the top. You're generally off a bit, but anything above 30 starts to get useless for most things.

More info on the sat (3, Interesting)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about 6 years ago | (#25320741)

Since there's nothing interesting in TFA

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GeoEye_1#GeoEye-1 [wikipedia.org]

*end oblig wikipedia karma-whoring*

Re:More info on the sat (1)

inKubus (199753) | about 6 years ago | (#25321143)

Man if they can do 41cm for $200M, imagine what the expensive ones can do.

Wonder if that multispectral imagery is available? (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about 6 years ago | (#25321531)

Wikipedia says the satellite also produces 1.65 meter multispectral imagery. I wonder if that is available publicly (without space-high fees) and how to go about getting hold of it?

(Back in the late '60s and early '70s I was working on multispectral recognition and mapping programs to process aircraft, Skylab, and ERTS/Landsat data. Missed renewing my ham license due to a rush project hacking up a "clustering" algorithm to come up with a recognition map for a hunk of Italy for which we had data but no "ground truth" for calibrating the recognition algorithm. I always wanted to be able to play with that stuff personally, outside a sponsored research context. Now the computing power and storage is trivially cheap, so all that's needed is access to the data.)

Playing catch up... (2, Interesting)

I.M.O.G. (811163) | about 6 years ago | (#25320825)

This was the one feature that maps.live.com had over google maps - they had this clarity before Google did, and they also offer the birds eye view which gives you an angled perspective rather than straight down.

I'm glad Google now offers something similar as I like their service much better. In all fairness however, it should be acknowledged that Google was beat to the punch by Microsoft on this.

Go Bills! (1)

jayayeem (247877) | about 6 years ago | (#25321147)

Lot of Andre Reed fans out there at Google, I guess.

Goes back to Kutztown's NWB designation from 50's (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25321201)

In 1958 Kutztown was classified NWB: Nuclear whipping boy. In the event of another World War, all friendly nations will immediately fire their nuclear warheads at Kutztown to calibrate their weapon systems.

Chromatic abberation (1)

scaryjohn (120394) | about 6 years ago | (#25321213)

Does anyone else notice that the colors (of say vegetation) bleed from one shape to the other? I might be deceiving myself, since I know the color and contrast images were taken at different resolutions.

It kinda reminds me of Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky's pseudo-color photos [wikipedia.org] of Imperial Russia.

Kutztown Golden Bears? (1)

Fear the Clam (230933) | about 6 years ago | (#25321381)

Talk about a specific fetish.

I think the photo data is misaligned... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25321461)

If you look carefully, there is a purplish ghosting about 2 pixels down/left of everything.

WHere is the business value? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 years ago | (#25321737)

Owning a satellite to take images that are already available through other sources seems a tad wasteful.

What else are they going to do? Are they positioning themselves to sell the images to other people/governments?

Where indeed? (1)

fm6 (162816) | about 6 years ago | (#25322309)

I'd say RTFA, except neither the submitter nor the editor bothered either. Google doesn't own GeoEye-1. It belongs to a company called (wait for it) GeoEye. Google only figures in the article because they're a big purveyor of sat photos.

Why are the parking lot lines visible? (1)

Espinas217 (677297) | about 6 years ago | (#25322027)

If the resolution is 50cm/px how can we see the lines on the parking lots which would have, at most, 15cm wide?

Re:Why are the parking lot lines visible? (2, Informative)

4D6963 (933028) | about 6 years ago | (#25322723)

Basically a line in an image has frequency components perpendicular to the line that are evenly spread over the spectrum. If you line is 10 cm wide and that you have a resolution of 50 cm/pixel then the brightest parts of the line will be 5 times dimmer (with respect to the darker background) than the colour of the paint. So you'll still see the line, it'll just be greyer, blending in the surrounding greyness.

0.41 m B&W vs 1.65 m colour resolution? (2, Interesting)

4D6963 (933028) | about 6 years ago | (#25322735)

TFA says that when the satellite shoots in black and white it gets 16 times more pixels than in colour mode. I don't get it, how can it be?

It's because (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25322743)

they currently have terrible pics

http://www.google.com/maps?ie=UTF8&ll=8.88765,-79.7791&spn=0.007272,0.013915&t=h&z=17

Mmmh.. (1)

4D6963 (933028) | about 6 years ago | (#25322749)

Is it me or does your campus look like a game of Tetris from space? Maybe I should lay off the booze some..
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?