Saturday, 27 October 2012

Google Earth - useful tool?

The advent of Google earth & it's street viewer (other brands are available) revolutionised the way Surveyors could tender for jobs, we could actually see the site without leaving the comfort of our offices.  This meant less down time was spent on the tendering process, and there were far lower overheads required in preparing the tender (no travel, less time).  If they could bring out an online viewer for tendering internal measured building surveys it would be useful, but I think that really would be an invasion of privacy!

However since 29th June 2005 a lot of time has passed and the images used are becoming increasingly out of date.  Where Google shows a nice grassy site in 2005, by 2012 it's a little more of a challenge with brambles & nettles over your head.  All Surveyors at sometime or other have been caught out by this and under priced a tender.  You can try and get round this using a combination of websites to view the site at different points in time, but without regular updates on the photographs we may see an increasing shift of tendering through site visits coming back, which will of course mean pushing up costs to cover these additional overheads.  Where street viewer hasn't been there is the option of using the birds eye view through Bing which gives you a slightly better idea of the site than the flat aerial images, but again the situation on site is always liable to change - any chance we could get free access to MI5 satellites??

Some weeks ago I did see the 'google' car out and about taking new streams of photographs - I keep checking the site to see if I've made the cut but as yet the images have not be uploaded.  The last picture was taken in March 2009 (according to the site), so that would mean at least three years between images.  Has anyone else found any images from pre 2009?

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