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Bye-Bye Bing Bird's Eye...

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  • Bye-Bye Bing Bird's Eye...

    In the name of progress, Bing appears to have added updated birds eye imagery to major metro areas...and removed all other birds eye imagery as it is now "outdated."

    Pretty disappointing as I found it extremely useful for planning (fishing in particular, but hiking as well). Anybody know if the old coverages are available anywhere?

  • #2
    I agree that this is disappointing. I also found the Bing site very useful, and as it has deteriorated over the last year, I have been complaining about it to Microsoft (of course to no avail).

    Also discussed it here:

    http://www.adkforum.com/showthread.php?t=23841

    I am also very interested to know if the Bird's Eye view data is still available somewhere else.

    Comment


    • #3
      No great loss. A wise man told me "If you really want to know, you will spend time in the woods, not on an app."




      Bird's eye imagery was recorded at oblique angles ("oblique imagery"; recorded at an angle of 45 degrees) and provided better depth perception. It was unique feature to Bing Maps but, for whatever reason, Microsoft has chosen to reduce its availability to metro areas. For example, I live in a suburb of Montreal and there's no Bird's Eye imagery for my area (any more). However, it is available for the downtown area.

      Alternate sources of orthoimagery (geo-referenced satellite images), albeit not oblique imagery, are Google and ESRI. NYS GIS currently offers Essex county in 2-foot resolution recorded in the spring of 2013. It's useful for planning bushwhack routes and for mapping purposes because you can see details on the forest floor wherever there are leafless deciduous woods. According to this page, they will be releasing an updated version, for Essex county, late next year. The new orthoimagery will offer 1-foot resolution.
      Looking for Views!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Trail Boss View Post
        No great loss. A wise man told me "If you really want to know, you will spend time in the woods, not on an app."

        Touche! It's nice that we can have so much fun with these silly subjects.

        Comment


        • Trail Boss
          Trail Boss commented
          Editing a comment
          I like the word "passionate". We're *passionate* about these (silly) subjects.

          Sometimes it also feels like a giant waste of time, especially after witnessing, and reading about, hikers repeatedly making age-old mistakes. You only have to read a few of the ranger reports to get that "whistling in the wind" feeling.

          This past week's Essex County incident is a classic: http://www.dec.ny.gov/press/111811.html

          Flashlight? Map? :(

      • #5
        The ADKForum thread presents a workaround to view old birds eye imagery via Stripperguy's link: https://binged.it/2fgn2C2
        Can pan and zoom to any area so long as you don't leave birds eye view.

        *EDIT* I spoke too soon; while birds eye is available through that link, it is pretty patchy, and doesn't cover the high peaks.

        Originally posted by Trail Boss View Post
        No great loss. A wise man told me "If you really want to know, you will spend time in the woods, not on an app."
        perfect

        Originally posted by Trail Boss View Post

        Alternate sources of orthoimagery (geo-referenced satellite images), albeit not oblique imagery, are Google and ESRI. NYS GIS currently offers Essex county in 2-foot resolution recorded in the spring of 2013. It's useful for planning bushwhack routes and for mapping purposes because you can see details on the forest floor wherever there are leafless deciduous woods. According to this page, they will be releasing an updated version, for Essex county, late next year. The new orthoimagery will offer 1-foot resolution.
        Thanks for the reminder. I use the imagery tiles often in AutoCAD and GIS for work, but that would be cumbersome for trip planning. I forgot the viewer had full-res imagery as well. 1' res is already available for much of the state!
        Last edited by FoulHooked; 11-08-2017, 10:54 AM.

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        • Trail Boss
          Trail Boss commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks for the "side door" to Bird's Eye.

      • #6
        tcd

        Have you considered Google Earth? It has also been discontinued but continues to work (although it does freeze-up on me occasionally). The imagery is higher resolution than Bird's Eye ... but it lacks Bird's Eye's hyper-realistic appearance (where sharpness is cranked up to eleven). You're not limited to 45-degree viewing angles plus you can import tracks (and much more). "Flying" over the terrain is easier because you can use the mouse, and mouse-wheel, to zoom, tilt, pan, and rotate.

        This is Schofield Cobble at max zoom in Bird's Eye (next magnification level causes image corruption).

        Click image for larger version

Name:	Schofield Cobble - Birds Eye.JPG
Views:	1
Size:	90.7 KB
ID:	481647

        Same place in Google Earth. It can be magnified some more but then it gets fuzzier.

        Click image for larger version

Name:	Schofield Cobble - Google Earth.JPG
Views:	1
Size:	225.5 KB
ID:	481648
        Looking for Views!

        Comment


        • Trail Boss
          Trail Boss commented
          Editing a comment
          Are you sure? The small pic above is taken from an oblique view of Marcy: https://binged.it/2iEd1Ph

          If I switch from "Bird's Eye" to "Aerial" I get a flat, overhead view of Marcy with completely different imagery that is definitely of lower resolution.
          https://binged.it/2iFQl19

        • FoulHooked
          FoulHooked commented
          Editing a comment
          No, I'm not sure. But it is decidedly not the same product that is available elsewhere. I'm not convinced that the image was taken at an oblique angle, but I agree it is possible. In some places it is clearly distorted, indicating it may be overhead imagery draped over the topo (a la google earth) rather than the bird's eye view imagery. Take a look at roostercomb (https://binged.it/2iFd3WS); there are clearly multiple data sets displayed.

        • Trail Boss
          Trail Boss commented
          Editing a comment
          Ah! Right you are! Not real oblique imagery in all areas but standard orthoimagery draped on a surface defined by a digital elevation model. I agree that's what I'm seeing in the High Peaks area. Oh well.

      • #7
        Apple Maps has a bird's eye feature (tap 3D and satellite on the map screen). As generic as this sounds is not bad and has gesture controls for rotate, zoom, direction, flyover, etc. Its not quite as sharp as Google Earth but its arguably simpler to use and less glitchy. A good litmus test for any of these platforms is a northeast facing side by side comparison of Saddleback's ledges at max zoom.
        My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.

        Comment


        • #8
          Of note, the images in the "Bing" links in this thread and in the thread on ADKForum have now been taken down. When you go to any of these links now, a fuzzy part of the image appears for a moment, and then the screen switches to the "road map" view. So even these "workaround" links are now gone.

          I wonder where you can get real "oblique" images now? They are very useful for my game, which is "looking for cliffs." Naturally, vertical cliffs do not show up very well in standard "straight down" photos. And Google Earth is not useful. The "tilted" view in Google Earth is a "pretend" tilted view. There is no additional or different image data. You are just looking at a tilted copy of the same "straight down" photo. The old, now unavailable Birdseye view actually had different data; the Birdseye photos were actually taken from an angle, and they provided a great deal of additional information.

          So anyone have any leads on where that data can be found? I'm sure the data still exists somewhere, even if the Bing interface is gone. After all, Microsoft did not fly the satellite and take the photos. So the data must be in some government's satellite data base...

          Comment


          • #9
            I've been using Google Earth for several years. Here is an image of a my map segment of the Yukon River near Circle, AK. I use GE to plan my race route, on the Yukon River 1000 mile canoe race in this case. I calculate wayponts (in tenths of miles) from Whitehorse and plot them and the linked route on GE. I have found registration of GE waypont coordinates with on-site reality to be excellent. For training I run the route by watching GE "fly" on track down the river while I am working out on a paddling machine.

            "Leave the beaten track behind occasionally and dive into the woods. Every time you do you will be certain to find something you have never seen before." - Alexander Graham Bell

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