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A Closer View of Google Maps.

Google Maps has a hidden feature that allows anyone to zoom in extremely close on some satellite pictures. This screenshot shows the closest zoom available for a location in the Sahara desert. Using this hidden feature, you can zoom in a little closer in almost any Metropolitan area, and MUCH closer in select areas.

Here's Google Blogoscoped's instructions on utilizing this feature:
1. Select a location and switch to satellite view
2. Zoom in as far as you can, and click “link to this page” at the top right
3. Now replace the “z” parameter in the URL with a higher value, e.g. 20, 22, or 23, and wait. Some locations will now show more detailed imagery

Since people are good at identifying faces at low resolutions, someone should be able to identify the guy looking skyward in the upper right. My vote is that he's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian President, in hiding.

Click on the Link [Google Maps] to navigate the rest of this location. Via Google Blogoscoped

That 'study' on identifying faces at low resolution was completely misleading -- as proven by your statement. It showed that people could distinguish faces from non-faces at low resolution, not say who a person is.
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A guy just asked me if you could zoom in that far on any French beaches. Sorry, it looks like the answer is no.

However there is a beach in Sydney with similar dress requirements that is located in Google Maps: Beach Zoom-In.

I'll leave the zooming to you ;)
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So why is the guy in the upper right looking up at the camera?

Did he hear the click as the satellite took his picture?
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ted - it's actually taken from a plane. Google just integrates it in such a way to make it look like it came from a Satellite.

Even military grade satellites couldn't provide an image nearly this crisp (this image has a resolution of ~1cm per pixel. The best military spy satellites are at best 5cm per pixel, but more likely 10-20cm).

I initially thought it was a satellite too until I did the calculations. Even the Hubble Space Telescope could only produce a picture with a 5-8cm / pixel resolution. To get to 1cm, the government would have needed to build a telescope that was ~8 times wider than Hubble, which wouldn't be feasible.
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Can anyone explain the "ghost cars" one sees in the fully-zoomed in satellite (or plane) images of L.A. freeways? After some investigation, I have no definitive answers. Anyone know about these?
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I'm pretty sure I heard that most satelitte cams take two shots. One high-res b&w shot for the detail, and a lower quality color shot for the coloring. The slight delay between the pictures means high-speed targets get shot in two locations. The "ghost" occurs when the two images are merged.

Sorry I don't have a source, and don't remember where I heard it, so I could be completely off.
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Most extremely close up shots are actually taken from a flyover plane rather than satellite. It would be in cases where you see city buildings that this becomes evident... in order to preserve the scale and accuracy in the photographs, street wise, you get strange effects with buildings leaning at different angles, often towards each other.
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yes this was more than likly a plane, explaning why the man is looking up to see the plane not like it is one huge coineserdance( not sure about spelling :( ) that he just happens to look up as the satellite was taking the picture..........

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i tried it and i got the number in but it wont zoom in and then i tried it zooming out and it wouldn't zoom out.. so i guess my question is once you change the number what are you suppose to do?
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