# What's wrong with this picture

1. May 23, 2007

### Monique

Staff Emeritus
Google earth image of mid-town NYC

http://img48.imageshack.us/img48/2357/whatswronghereuy0.jpg [Broken]

Rockefeller center is in the middle of the picture.

Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
2. May 23, 2007

### neutrino

Buildings seem to lean in opposite ways?

3. May 23, 2007

### Moridin

I can think of several logical explanations for the weird image.

Perhaps it is manipulated? Each section represents a distinct difference in angle.

http://www.filehive.com/files/0523/lined.png

It is true that strong winds can move the top of the larger buildings several meters, but I'm not sure that sounds reasonable from the image. It also would not explain how tow buildings standing next to each other would sway in different ways.

Images compiled from different sources or points in time?

4. May 23, 2007

### Staff: Mentor

5. May 23, 2007

### brewnog

Yeah, looks like photos from different aerial viewpoints have been stitched together, last time I checked these were pretty low-range photos taken from aircraft rather than satellite images or anything too fancy.

6. May 23, 2007

### BobG

The guy is the NY Giants cap is jaywalking at the corner of 52nd and Madison.

7. May 23, 2007

### matthyaouw

Google's high res imagery is done by making mosaics of lots of different aerial photos, so angles will often seem a bit off. Just to confuse things more, the photos aren't always from the same date, so you can pass between up to date photos and those several years old without knowing.

8. May 23, 2007

### Astronuc

Staff Emeritus
Different satellite positions, which means different orbits/different times. There could be sequential frames which would have different angles E-W orientation, the different N-S angles indicate different orbit assuming the same camera orientation.

Shadows are different, so that clearly means different time of day or different days.

The composite certainly could be 'manipulated' from different satellites.

9. May 23, 2007

### robphy

Ground sinking in NYC?
Gravitational wave passing?
Buildings lean according to political affiliation?

It might interesting to see the scene from a different viewpoint (i.e. not overhead)... of course, without the 3D building layer.

10. May 23, 2007

### Astronuc

Staff Emeritus
:rofl: Good eyes, Eagle Eye Bob!

11. May 24, 2007

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
:rofl: The images on Google Maps are not live images, they're composites of many images, often taken from different angles and times of day. Where my house is, Google Maps still shows a big clearing of dirt from 3 years ago when construction started here. There are a lot of places where high resolution images aren't available yet, and they get patched in as they get them. In all likelihood, they had several aerial photos of NYC, but then a gap was left for Rockefeller Center, so a single photo of that block was added between the other stitched-together images.

I do agree that it's very Escher-esque though.

12. May 24, 2007

### Monique

Staff Emeritus
Normally you can very clearly see the stitching, sometimes you can see summer and winter scenes next to eachother in the same image the guy that stitched this image back together really must be a perfectionist: at the first eye nothing is wrong with the picture, even when looking closer you cannot see any stitch lines, the fact that the picture leaves you a bit 3d-disoriented is the only clue that something is wrong

13. May 24, 2007

### neutrino

14. May 24, 2007

### Monique

Staff Emeritus
That definately is an amazing picture, but it doesn't take a geneious to put it back together: there is special software that can piece together an image when there is about 20% overlap at the edges.
I doubt that is being done with the Google images, since the pictures are so different. How would the software know that the building that is leaning over the wrong way should be projected over the street of the picture next to it and not under the street?

15. May 24, 2007

### robphy

If you want some fancy stitching in 3D, check out
http://labs.live.com/photosynth/ , a preview from Microsoft.
(Don't run this on an old or slow computer.)

Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2017