So How Close Can Google Maps Really Get?

Want to see some crazy stuff? In some areas of the world, you can zoom in to an absurd level. Pretty close to being able to actually identify an individual.

Let’s take this scene for example… some people in Africa with their herd of camels and cows, gathered around a well. I mean come on… you can see footprints, and some dude who must have known his picture was being taken, because he’s looking right at the camera. ๐Ÿ™‚

Almost looks fake huh? Well you can see it for yourself here:


So like maybe Google could use some of their satellites and computing power to find Osama bin Laden and collect whatever huge reward there is for him… just a suggestion for anyone listening…

34 thoughts on “So How Close Can Google Maps Really Get?”

  1. Hi Shawn

    AFAIK, these photos with the really high detail were taken by National Geographic from airplanes on fly-overs of the areas in question. These are actually highlighted with overlay markers as part of a collection available for Google Earth.

  2. It almost looks like the picture was taken from a plane… there are several people looking up if you look at the whole area. And I’m pretty sure you can’t hear a satellite fly over (or see one in the daytime).

    Pretty amazing stuff though!

  3. It’s actually a photographer on his giraffe. Did you not see the documentary about this shot on Nat Geo?

  4. Having it on Google Maps naturally makes you think it was taken from a satellite.
    It would be great for real life Where’s Wally pictures. ๐Ÿ™‚

    @ Patrick^^^: that is very interesting, I couldn’t zoom all the way back in either.

  5. I heard you could manipulate a few variables on google earth’s url string and get closer than you could if you just clicked.

    Anyone hear about this?

  6. So like maybe Google could use some of their satellites and computing power to find Osama bin Laden and collect whatever huge reward there is for him… just a suggestion for anyone listening…

    hemm, do you think FBI doesn’t know where Osama bin Laden is?

    crap, Osama bin Laden has got his own servers and he is already connected to the internet…

    Qaeda and Taliban have their websites, why FBI doesn’t shut them? heh

  7. Never seen Google Map showing this close look.

    Anyways, Osama wouldn’t be sitting in open to be identified and caught ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Last I heard satellites “only” have a resolution in the double digit centimeters range, can’t remember an exact figure. To have a resolution like in the picture above you’d need a resolution of about 3 or 4 cm since you can see the eyes of a person.

  9. By the way, didn’t you notice that there’s just a few hundred square meters (sorry, foot) available? “Let’s take this super high resolution picture and crop it so it doesn’t take up so much space.” :p

  10. Very detailed picture, until I read the comments.

    I was going to suggest be careful, if google earth was this good, there would be a whole new meaning to peeping-Tom.


  11. If you copy the coordinates: 15.298499, 19.429727

    into google earth it is on there as well it is just a detailed photograph (not from satlites) just one square in the middle of africa ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  12. It came so close to my house, you could actually see a pile of dirt lol.

    Google needs a refresh…my house is 2 years old and all google sees is a blank field!


  13. i so wanna know how to do this on this house lol in Oz 19 Connels RD Woolooware or if sum1 else could do it for me please send me the pic if u can or the link lol please!!! my addy [email protected]

  14. I wonder how often satelite updates photos.I am writing this after third month from the actual post and it still shows the same picture.

  15. very nice to see that close image, i could not belive my eye but after some research find that it is not satelite but it is image taken from plane..

  16. So how come a year later I still see the same guy standing there looking up? I think it’s just a picture of the area. It’s not live and they probably only have live satelite images over the developed parts of the world

  17. Out of all these answers still nobody has answered the question best for me I would say, If you know how to zoom closer than 50 meters please let us all know.

  18. it’s completly fake. that’s the only area that it can zoom in on, and cows get cut off.

  19. Hello Shawn,

    Fantastic image from Google. About using Google earth to find Osama, I’m afraid he’s doing to same (using Google earth) to track his next target

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