- November 13, 2007
- Posted by: EARSC
- Category: EARSC News
Viewing detailed satellite images of objects on earth was once the province of government agencies, but it is now commonplace. Anyone with a computer and an Internet connection can look at satellite photos for free using services like Google Earth and Yahoo Maps. However, when zoomed in too close, these images become blurry. In addition, the preferred view of most objects is not directly from above.
As often occurs in the course of progress, one advancement leads to another. In this case, the widespread use of satellite imagery has created the need for ground-level photos to clarify what has been photographed from space. There are some new tools available to meet this need. The most well known is the “Street View” option available on Google maps. These images are captured by dedicated vehicles that traverse the roadways of major cities taking pictures on all sides along the way.
The limitation of Google Street View imagery is that it can only show the view from the road. And, just like the satellite photos, you can only zoom in so close. In addition, there is no way of knowing when the Street View photos were taken and therefore no way of knowing how obsolete the images may be.
Google’s offering is useful in some situations, for instance, if a person wants to see the color of the front door on a particular building. However, Street View is of no use if the building is off the main road or the object of interest is the back door of the building rather than the front.
In these circumstances, a different type of service fills the niche. A network of amateur photographers, some using nothing more than the camera built into their cell phone, will go take pictures of anything upon request. This new service, named GoSee4Me (http://www.GoSee4Me.com), can provide these types of photos inexpensively because they have photographers located everywhere around the world. Furthermore, the photographers bid against each other to provide the photos, which drives the price to the lowest level.
Satellite photos can be very useful. However, sometimes the images raise questions. An array of new services are on the horizon to answer those questions.
GoSee4Me is a privately-held web service located in Irvine, California. The company provides the first and only service that connects people who need photos of remote objects with other people who can provide those images inexpensively.
Josh Rothman (www.GoSee4Me.com)