More Necking & Beer Goggling (with Google Earth Overlays)

Goosenecks of the San Juan River, June 11, 2005

Doc‘s been at it again! Posting more great air photos of the spectacular geology of the Colorado Plateau. This time he’s necking with the San Juan River.

Doc asks:

By the way, I’m wondering why Google Maps and Google Earth can’t be tied into Earth Observatory. The whole Goosenecks area (starting in the picture above and continuing west) is in low-res on Google Maps and Google Earth, yet Earth Observatory has this high-res photo.

Maybe some kind of mash-up, perhaps?

Of course, Google Earth allows you to make this sort of mash-up yourself by creating an image overlay. As easy as that is to do, if you’re working with images that were shot at any sort of an oblique angle (rather than orthophotos – shot directly overhead) you’ll quickly find that it’s impossible to get every feature to register (line up properly) if you’re working in an area with any significant topographic relief. To illustrate this, check out the Google Earth placemark/overlays of the Goosenecks regionGoogle Earth Placemark that I made with the high res image Doc references. Because the high res image is not exactly orthogonal, I was unable to make it register perfectly, so I made two overlays – one that attempts to register the river (more satisfying when using the tilt function in Google Earth) and one the attempts to register the plateau (more satisfying for overhead satellite/map views where the roads register better). I threw in the placemark for the Goosenecks cubic QTVR above, for good measure.

Makes you really appreciate the spectacular job the Google Earth folks did to get the high resolution imagery to register properly in the Grand CanyonGoogle Earth Placemark.

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