Incredible article! There's a seriously impressive amount of work in that.
Really interesting on the cartography front, but as someone working in the mobility space, it's also very insightful as to how these enhances could be applied to driving and mobility futures.
I sent the author an email just because we happen to be from the same tiny rural area of Illinois. But I also wanted to share this comment with him:
"A little comment about how Google is gathering this data: You say in the article that they're capturing this data via satellite. This is probably not entirely accurate. Google does use satellite imagery for some extents (distances) in their maps, but almost all of their detailed imagery is captured by plane. I work for a county agency and our county creates its own aerial maps so we have the most up-to-date data and dont have to wait for Google. These mapping flights are flown in an overlapping grids and each image captured is actually 5 images: 1 straight down (ortho photography) and 1 angled in each direction - forward, back, left, right of the center camera (oblique photography). Combining all of these photos with know elevation data, allows Google to create 3D models of all ELEVATIONS, not just buildings. So while they publish the shape of structures, they also have 3D models of this like satellite dishes, HVAC units, and stairs on the front of churches as you point out. They also have 3D data for trees and playgrounds and cars, and people and anything else that not laying flat on the ground.
This data isn’t very difficult to create. Our agency, being a conservation park district, creates its own maps on a regular basis to track plant species and water levels, with a Drone and an iPad app"
Whole time i'm going through this I think "there must be a lot of comments" when seeing the scrollbar. Truly impressive amount of detail in this. I feel like I can barely utilize all characters in a tweet, and then i see this
I love this series of articles so much.
I too was blown away by this. It's so in-depth.
One other interesting part of this data begets data strategy is integrating it with projects that are only partially concerned with mapping like Project Sunroof.
Wow. Excellent analysis of the process of gathering and parsing data. Still astounds me the amount of data that Google gathers that we all passively take for granted.
WOW !!! So detailed analysis.