Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Proof is in the Pudding...

...or in the Google Earth images. Let me just start by saying, technology is awesome! Everything about it, and all kinds too. Electrical, mechanical, I don't care. The tractor is one very mechanical technology that continues to impress me, as I've indicated with numerous previous posts. I recently started playing with couple of newer (to me) technologies in the form of GPS and Google Earth. My recent acquisition of the GPS enabled iPhone made me start to wonder what all I can do with this. I realize I have just started to scratch the surface of the potential, but the little bit I've played with has given me a new perspective on our project out there. I started by looking for some GPS tracking apps and was recommended the MotionX app. With this, I was able to walk around the land and mark certain spots. Then I overlayed these spots on a Google Earth image to get a much better feel for location and orientation on the land. I had started messing with this a couple of weeks ago, but got sidetracked. When I revisited it yesterday, I stumbled upon the fact that Google Earth had updated their images and I was now looking at an aerial photo of our land from November 2009 while the previous photos were from before we purchased the land. Now you can actually see the REAL progress being made out there!






This little discovery was very exciting and very rewarding (I'm not going to address the potential privacy concerns in this discussion, but instead focus on the coolness of this information). You can even see the RV parked along the southern fence line and the tractor just northwest of that.



How freakin' cool! My next step was to create a barn and house in Google Sketch-Up and then place that onto my Google Earth image so I can better visualize size and orientation. I made some headway yesterday, but had a hard time with placement. I'll get to that later and post updated pics. Anyway, that's my "technology is cool" rant. Thanks for bearing with me.

3 comments:

ruralaspirations said...

Way Cool! I only just discovered this about the iPhone but didn't think to use it in this way. We are going to view a 4 acre property this weekend and I'll be sure to take snaps of the various landmarks and boundaries as you have done. Using Google Sketchup to place proposed buildings is also a fab idea. So glad I found your blog!

jer said...

Thanks! Glad to hear this is giving you some ideas. I took a look at your blog and saw that you have definitely decided against raw land - did we have something to do with that? :) Sounds like narrowing the property search is a good idea and we look forward to hearing how the GPS/iPhone app works out for you!

Jon said...

Yeah, great post! The more uses I find for my iPhone, the more I'm convinced that it is the Star Trek tricorder I always wanted as a kid. Yup, a technology geek-out to be sure but you can do some really cool stuff.