Archive for May, 2011

California’s nuclear power plant on the coast

After the tsunami hit the Fukashima reactor in Japan, shutting it down and causing damage and some radiation leaks (but no deaths), many people wonder if it couldn’t happen here.

It could. The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station between Los Angeles and San Diego is exposed to the sea, much like the Fukashima power plant is.

Lat/lon: 33.368922 -117.554784

This view below from aerial photography show just how close the two reactor vessels and all the infrastructure are to the sea.

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U2 Spy plane takes off from Beale AFB

This image from 2003 was snagged from the Google Earth timeline feature. It shows Beale Air Force Base, near Marysville, CA Lat/Lon:  39.126055° -121.433353°

Many who are in the “spook” business will recognize this silhouette and shadow:

click to enlarge

What’s even more interesting is what is parked at Beale’s tarmac, ready to roll today. A fleet of U2’s plus the Global Hawk unmanned live imaging recon plane:


Abandoned cold war missile complex in California

This aerial photo is of the Live Oak Titan 1 missile complex, which has been closed, gutted, and sealed off. You can see the three missile silo doors are closed.

click to enlarge

Lat/lon  39.275158° -121.829382°

More info here on the Titan1 at Wikipedia

Here is what it looked like during construction, along with an amzing video touring an actual complex: Read the rest of this entry »


New imagery updates in Google Earth online

From: The Google Earth imagery team

The Google Earth and Google Maps Imagery Team will be publishing the latest batch of imagery in our next update, and as always, there are numerous fascinating and notable areas around the world.

One of the areas that was already slated for this regular update is Abbottabad, Pakistan, which is of particular interest given yesterday’s news. The imagery of this area that is currently available in Google Earth and Maps is from 2005. Higher resolution imagery taken in May 2010 has been prepared for our next imagery update release. However, given the number of inquiries we have received about this area, and to help users better understand recent events, we’ve published an advanced preview KML of the new imagery for viewing in Google Earth. This imagery will be pushed live in Google Earth and Maps as part of our next periodic imagery update.

In addition, as part of our continued effort to provide up-to-date imagery, we’ve worked with our provider again to obtain even fresher satellite imagery of Abbottabad, Pakistan from this morning local time. We have provided this imagery, which is of lower resolution than the scheduled update, to the media. This imagery will be accessible in the near future through the Historical Imagery feature of Google Earth.

This round of imagery also includes many other interesting sites, a few of which are shown below.

Here’s an image of the Harris County Court House of 1910, located in downtown Houston, Texas. Here you can see the ongoing restoration of the building, returning to glory its halls of justice. It is one of the most important historical buildings in Houston, and is often considered one of the best examples of historic courthouses in Texas.

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Tornado outbreak tracks mapped in GE

National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) map below shows tornado tracks logged by NEXRAD Doppler Radar

Bright reds, oranges and yellows show tracks of where rotation was strongest as detected by NWS Doppler radars during the April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak. -click to enlarge to 1920x1080 HD size

NOAA’s preliminary estimate is that there were 211 tornadoes on April 27-28, 2011.

  • During the multi-day period of April 26-28, The National Weather Service (NWS) estimates there were a total of 288 tornadoes.
  • NWS issued outlooks five days in advance, watches hours in advance, and tornado warnings with an average lead time of 24 minutes. NWS issued warnings for more than 90 percent of these tornadoes.
  • The largest previous number of tornadoes on record in one event occurred from April 3-4, 1974, with 148 tornadoes.

There are also aerial damage photos now available in GE.

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Osama bin Laden compound in Abbottabad

UPDATE: In the fog of war, early reports are often erroneous. This was no exception.

Zeroing in on the compound. Threes a charm.  The first two seemed plausible, especially the second one with the high walls. Now the official Google Earth Blog weighs in:

click to enlarge

Lat/lon  34.169314°  73.242304° see it on Google Maps

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