This is yet another application for looking at the Earth, similar to the satellite images on Google Maps and including same, but also including aerial photography, Microsoft VE, Yahoo!Maps, Ask.com, Openlayers, and the wonderful NASA Terra images.
I started at the world view, then drilled down to Newfoundland, then the Avalon, then St. John’s, and finally down to the small boat basin near the Narrows. I was able to identify fishing boats, figured out it was mid-morning from the shadows, and could see it was fairly breezy when the aerial photo was shot (from the waves in the harbour). You can also rotate the images. However, to capture an image you need to do a screen capture, and this application isn’t quite legal yet.
As a side note, one of my favourite applications for real time satellite imagery are the images from the Aqua and Terra satellites. You can access the images from the MODIS rapid response system. You can see images up to four times per day for any area on the globe with resolutions ranging from 2 km down to 250 m, and with visible and many infrared channels. It is used for many purposes, including forest fires, oil spills, damage from natural disasters and wars, etc.
For example, here is:
- Nova Scotia on a day with afternoon Bunny Clouds at 2 km resolution
- The Nile, the Sinai, and Eretz Israel on (you guessed it) a sunny day at 2 km resolution and at 500 m resolution. The Nile River Valley really stands out, doesn’t it? Can you pick out the Suez Canal?
- Oahu and Mauna Loa at 2 km and 500 m. There’s always a problem with satellite images of islands in the tropics; the larger ones tend to develop clouds even when there is very little convection elsewhere. Of course a fair bit of convection is par for the course in the tropics, which you would see if you looks at any of a series of images for the Dry Tortugas (I had to slip in a Pirates of the Caribbean reference).
As a side note, looking for convective clouds piled up near the horizon was one of the signs the Polynesians used when looking for new islands, or when searching for an expected landfall.