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1 de Abril 2007

New Orleans Pre or Post-Katrina

[UPDATE: see the release of new imagery for New Orleans.]

New Orleans Post Katrina in Google EarthMany folks in the media (and even in Congress) have been asking Google why last September they changed the imagery for New Orleans, a year after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city, to show New Orleans the way it looked before the storm. Here is Google's official response:

In order to publish the best data possible, we must take into account a combination of factors including imagery date, resolution, and clarity. The latest update from one of our information providers substantially improved the imagery detail of the New Orleans area. The detailed imagery was taken before Katrina.

We are working to update Google Earth with more current New Orleans imagery, and continue to make post-Katrina imagery available on a dedicated website: http://earth.google.com/katrina.html

In fact, even with the free version of Google Earth you can get the network link for post-Katrina imagery (from the web page they provide) and see the overlay of all the images available. Click on the colored placemarks, which show the hundreds of photos available) and you can download images for the area you want to see - including New Orleans (the screenshot here shows the stadium).

Google was given great credit by the media for its efforts after Katrina for georeference thousands of aerial photos taken by the government and making it available within a day or two after the Hurricane struck. It was a great aid to the efforts of officials to help rescue countless people, and to establish initial damage estimates. Although it probably wasn't the best decision to replace the imagery with pre-Katrina, it's not like the post-Katrina photos weren't available.

Enviado por FrankTaylor at 1 de Abril 2007 a las 08:06 AM

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  • Comentarios

    Frank, has there been any mention of who actually started this little 'uproar'? I'm curious if it's not just another shill who began the attention, which created so much of this confusion. Though, without a source for the attention, that might also spark yet another little 'conspiracy rumor'. Tread lightly and wisely.

    I do still think, however, it's an interesting starting point for a wider debate on issues relating to how remotely sensed imagery has the capacity to affect psychological and sociological outcomes due to availability and decision making moving forward.

    Enviado por: Daniel at 1 de Abril 2007 a las 12:26 PM

    I understand that Congress should not interfere in Google's business but we need to know that something funny isn't going on. Try to understand that here in Lousiana we need to know whether Ray Nagin may have paid off Google with FEMA money to hide the map images. He will do anything to get the tourists back down here. That FEMA money should go to people rebuilding, not Google! Even if it was just an accident and Google lost the maps I think the letter to Congress is a good thing.

    Enviado por: Donnie Davies at 1 de Abril 2007 a las 04:46 PM

    The pre-katrina image available via this page does not show the entirity of New Orleans. The area which I am seeking data for, the lower 9th ward, is also one of the hardest hit areas of New Orleans. (In particular, I am seeking data on the Cypress Triange in the Lower 9th.) Is the satellite image for this area of New Orleans available? If not, why is only a cropped image of New Orleans available?

    Enviado por: zeraph at 14 de Mayo 2007 a las 03:48 PM

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