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Surfin': Mapping Up

10/30/2009

This week, Surfin' gets geographical with new online mapping features and applications.

Last week's "Remembering the Woodpecker" garnered this missive from Jim Kearman, KR1S: "Around 1978 or so, Tom McMullen, W1SL, and I were tuning up a 30 MHz IF for microwave gear, that itself had a 10.7 MHz IF. We were in Tom's basement in Rindge, New Hampshire. We could not get rid of the motor-boating in the 10.7 MHz stage! Tom finally figured out it was the woodpecker, leaking in through a couple of inches of test leads."

Meanwhile, Sergey Paskevych e-mailed me with links (here and here) to his photo report from Chernobyl that includes images of the infamous woodpecker. And Mitch Wolfson, DJ0QN, sent in this link to view the woodpecker on Google Maps.

By the way, I just discovered a new (to me) function on Google Maps -- the "Show My Location" button. The button appears on the left side of the Google map between the map zoom and the map pan controls.

The "Show My Location" function displays your current location on the map with a blue dot and a shaded blue circle indicating an estimate of the accuracy with which your location is displayed. Evidently, this function has been there for a couple of months, but I just noticed it today. I don't know how I missed that new feature because I use Google Maps almost every day.

I did notice that Google Maps recently updated their satellite view for my neck of the woods. The new satellite images are so good that I can see my tower and log periodic antenna if I look real close. Meanwhile, Google Maps Street View is getting closer to home and is now only 1.5 miles from my hacienda. So soon you will be able to drive by my house and see my antenna farm, as well as the million or so unraked leaves burying my lawn.

Meanwhile, over at Bing Maps, there is a new "3-D" feature called "Bing Maps 3D" that allows you to view buildings and landmarks in three dimensions in many "popular cities and areas." It is similar to the 3-D function of Google Earth with two big exceptions: (1) Bing Maps 3D only runs on Windows Vista and XP, and (2) "Bing Maps 3D" includes three-dimensional renditions of buildings in my little podunk of a hometown. Needless to say, I was very surprised to see familiar buildings around town in 3-D, whereas I am used to seeing those same buildings as flats using Google Earth.

Until next time, keep on surfin'!

Editor's note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, has never met a map he didn't like. To contact Stan, send him e-mail or add comments to his blog.

 

Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor



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