High res in Africa

High res in Africa

You know that Google Maps will allow you select any spot on Earth and zoom in via pre-recorded (not live, of course) satellite imagery. And while in the most populated areas (like big American cities) you zoom in close enough to make out your house, you can’t really make out individual people.

Or can you?

Apparently, in at least one location you can. Interestingly enough, it’s in the middle of the Sahara Desert.

If you go to the this location, you will find a very small area of very high resolution imagery in the midst of a very large area of very low resolution imagery. How high resolution is it?


Well, if you use a little Google hack trick, you can make out some guy tending the camels. Spy satellite close.


What’s even weirder is that some of the guys around the water hole are looking straight up as if they know that they’re being photographed.

What’s going on here? Did some secret images get slipped into the Google database? Was this taken by an airplane flying overhead while some Google employees were on a safari vacation?

If you’re interested, the coordinates are 15.298683, 19.429651. Type that into a Google search and you find some sites speculating on the story behind the image.

Update: Doing some more research, it looks like this is part of a National Geographic project connected to Google Earth. This isn't actually a satellite image, but a photo taken from an aircraft of National Geographic Explorer Michael Fay during one of his "megatransects" of Africa. Still very cool though.

Technorati Tags: | | | | |