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Looking at Google Maps.with detective's eyes - Off in the distance
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May 2016
 

The Bellinghman
Date: 2009-04-23 21:45
Subject: Looking at Google Maps.with detective's eyes
Security: Public
Looking at the photographic view of our house, I see that the picture has been updated.

It was taken last year: the yellow lines are fresh on the road, so it was no earlier than last year, yet the trees are in full leaf, the cherry not in bloom, so it's not this year.

My car is there, bellinghwoman's is not (and my manager's one is in his parking space at work - he normally uses the space next to mine in the overflow carpark, and yes, this is probably the same scan).

So it's a weekday, approximately 9:00, give or take 45 minutes.

It's not Monday: the bins aren't out.

The trees are casting shadows, so the weather is good.

Aha: the harvest has been done, with the last of the bales still in the fields. So probably September last year.

All the people parked down our street, only light traffic on the roads: the rush hour period is definitely over, it's probably closer to 9:30, give or take 15 minutes. So, there's only 2 hours a week in which it is likely to have been, and probably only a half-dozen or so weeks that it could have been. That's a total of twelve hours, admittedly spread out, during which it is probable that the aerial view was taken.

With full weather records, plus my manager's time sheets, I could probably narrow it down further if I really wanted to.
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Jos Dingjan
User: happydisciple
Date: 2009-04-23 20:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm going out on a limb, and guessing it was taken in, errm... July. July 2008. In fact, 30 July 2008 sounds about right.


(I cheated: Google Earth gives you the date in the corner of the screen :-)
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2009-04-23 21:05 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Meep! Right at the very start of the (unstated) period.

I'm intrigued to see that all around, it's giving a 2003 date, so the harvest fields, while self-consistent, are half a decade earlier, and my deductions as to the actual time were incorrect. I should have realised the fields were much brighter than the town.

Thanks for narrowing it down to a single half-hour. Now I'm off back to St Malo harbour, to gaze at the islets.
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desperance
User: desperance
Date: 2009-04-23 21:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Damn. I was so constructing a crime scene, where the patient detective would work out the time of death just like bellinghman above...
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2009-04-23 22:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Heh. I think you probably could do an interesting crime story based round Google Street View images.

On the other hand, Google isn't error free. Having already fired up Google Earth, I just now wandered it along to outside my old house in Cambridge.

It's got a photo bubble marked as being at 90 Ross Street, Cambridge. Funnily enough, though, the house number, prominently visible, is 96. It looks like their indexing is slightly off.
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User: pir
Date: 2009-04-23 23:33 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Street indexing in the UK is usually off. The companies that provide that data... well, they don't so much blow as...
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2009-04-23 23:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I find it interesting that 'good enough' seems to be perfectly acceptable in this day and age. A younger me would have got all upset, and moaned about the flaws in the data.

The older me goes 'Well, it's close enough, isn't it?'. And then points out as that 100% accurate data is actually impossible, how many 9s accuracy am I willing to pay for?

As far as geographic data is concerned, a little native intelligence is assumed. Not that SatNav users always have that ...
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Simes
User: bslsimes
Date: 2009-04-23 21:05 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
All those nefarious villians need now is a time machine and they could totally rob people's houses in the past.

DAMN YOU GOOGLE!
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Kelvix
User: kelvix
Date: 2009-04-24 08:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
ours has been updated too - it has to be from late August onwards, because the pampas grass is blooming furiously. The day looks very sunny. it's not Friday, or the bins would be out. If I've identified the cars correctly, then it's at a weekend - (or one of the cars would not be there). So a weekend from August through to end of September not including the con weekend?
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