Sunday, October 15, 2006

Kid Stuff II

Another memory I have growing up was a fascinating picture I would often sneak away from my parents as a kid.

No...not THAT kind of picture. Sheesh.

This one I would take out of the glove box of our car and spread out on the living room floor. I could stare at it forever.

It had so much detail and perspective on the place I was growing up. I couldn't take it all in.

And it had a wicked looking green tint to it.

What was it?

Nothing less than an aerial photo of my hometown with a street-map overlay.

Yeah. Go to Google Maps and click the satellite view and you can see the world. Not so exciting anymore is it?

Anyway, apart from Google Maps ruining my was really neat at the time. I could take in places of town that we never drove in, see the refineries, the storage tanks, how the city was laid out. I would imagine I was a pilot and that was my view as I flew over in my P-51 Mustang fighter.

Oh, yeah baby! I was an ace.

I can still waste a good bit of time between Google Sightseeing and general satellite voyeurism. There is still something captivating about it.

Maybe I should have been a cartographer. I like maps.

Want to capture your own aerial map? Want to do it without pasting screen-capture elements together?

Let Claus tell you how!

Download the freeware application USAPhotoMaps from JDMCoxSoftware. The full installer file is just 478KB.

It allows you to select a location, and download USGS aerial photography and topographical maps from Microsoft's free TerraServer website. You can save the file on your local drive and the zoom, scroll, add routes and text and other fun stuff. Take some time to review the help-file and check out all the download, image selection, contrast, GPS, and topo options. There's a lot in there to fiddle with!

If you are really groovin a flashback, I bet you are clever enough to save the image file, then import it into Photoshop to give it that awesome green photo-tint the originals had when we were growing up.

See you in the skies,

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