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Colden46, do you have access to BirdsEye data?

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  • Colden46, do you have access to BirdsEye data?

    Starting a new thread on this - I was reminded of this today while bushwhacking:

    I use the wonderful "Topo Map Browser" that Colden46 developed at the AdirondackPark.net site, and it works well. Of course the satellite photos are mostly the Google "straight down" photos. But in some locations, when you zoom in, the view switches to the angled, rotatable "Birds Eye" view. (A good place to see this is at Hoover Dam.)

    Interestingly, on Bing's own site, the Birds Eye view is NOT available at Hoover Dam. But it IS available on the "Topo Map Browser."

    So Colden46, somehow your topo map software is tapping into the old "Birds Eye" data at some locations. Do you know how it's doing this? Is it possible we might be able to recover access to this data base in the Adirondacks?

  • #2
    I sent him an email with the link to this thread.

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    • #3
      Thanks, Justin!

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      • #4
        Colden46, you out there?

        I used to use the Bing data a lot; I really hope you have a way to get access to it.

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        • #5
          Also, I note that the adirondack-park . net site has been down for a couple days. Hope it comes back soon!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by TCD View Post
            Starting a new thread on this - I was reminded of this today while bushwhacking:

            I use the wonderful "Topo Map Browser" that Colden46 developed at the AdirondackPark.net site, and it works well. Of course the satellite photos are mostly the Google "straight down" photos. But in some locations, when you zoom in, the view switches to the angled, rotatable "Birds Eye" view. (A good place to see this is at Hoover Dam.)

            Interestingly, on Bing's own site, the Birds Eye view is NOT available at Hoover Dam. But it IS available on the "Topo Map Browser."

            So Colden46, somehow your topo map software is tapping into the old "Birds Eye" data at some locations. Do you know how it's doing this? Is it possible we might be able to recover access to this data base in the Adirondacks?
            MS corp decided to refocus / streamline their business, thus Bird's Eye has been re-directed to areas of "most eyeballs" (cities and metro areas).

            Availability:
            https://blogs.bing.com/maps/2017-11/...e-on-bing-maps

            The old data is (at least partially) still on the servers somewhere, but is considered outdated / obsolete and thus not really accessible. Perhaps older SDK can still pull some of it out, the new SDK does not seem to access any of it.

            More info on SDK here:
            https://blogs.bing.com/maps/2017-10/...er-2017-Update

            Last spring ('17) there was an obvious imaging flight/mission over SE Catskills (repeated, fairly low passes in same direction of same aircraft on a fair weather day). I have no idea who was doing it, but NYS did not have any official plans for new ortho imagery in that part of the state.
            Feverishly avoiding "a steady stream of humanity, with a view that offers little more than butts, boots, elbows and backsides". (description quote from Joe Hackett)

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            • #7
              Thanks...What's an "SDK"?

              I have looked at those Microsoft advertising pieces before, and they're pathetic. They have chopped out 95% of the Birdseye coverage, and they are trying to sell it as though it's an upgrade. And the Birdseye images they are selling as a "new experience" are the exact same images in the same resolution as before - nothing is new or improved. It's actually an enormous downgrade - it's like if I took a dollar from you, gave you back a nickel, and tried to tell you that it was a good deal because the nickel was "new."

              I'm hoping someone has an avenue to get to the old data that I am sure still exists. Somehow Colden46's site was getting at least some of it, that Google was not getting, so I have to believe there's an avenue...

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              • #8
                SDK=software developer kit
                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_development_kit

                Hosting and serving bird's eye data takes money, the only way to make any money without charging the user is through ads...
                Ad driven platforms search for most clicks and eyeballs.

                That aside, some of that imagery is getting pretty old (5 years+, things do change). They may have liability or other considerations as well.

                I doubt they'd discard any data willingly, but disk array failures and other causes of data loss do happen (esp. if they didn't fund the upkeep).
                It's possible the data was an "asset" that was licensed or sold to someone else. Or it could be the data was never MS property, rather they were using it under license from someone else... (even though they had to host it)

                If you can still see it, you can examine the network requests from your browser and try to find how it's being accessed. It probably won't yield any greater dataset/access though.
                Feverishly avoiding "a steady stream of humanity, with a view that offers little more than butts, boots, elbows and backsides". (description quote from Joe Hackett)

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                • #9
                  Thanks for the education! I am by no means an expert on this stuff...

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                  • #10
                    You're welcome.

                    There's definitely more "oblique imagery" (technical name or bird's eye type photos) available today. Commercial providers are selling it with higher resolution and less than one year old for most populated ares.
                    I'm not sure if anyone does flights to capture it over the woods (probably not much paying clientele).
                    Feverishly avoiding "a steady stream of humanity, with a view that offers little more than butts, boots, elbows and backsides". (description quote from Joe Hackett)

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                    • #11
                      Thanks again. Yes, I understand there's no money in taking new pictures of wilderness areas.

                      But I am not looking for new pictures. I am only looking to regain access to the old oblique photo data for the Adirondacks. Bing used to provide that old data, but they have now decided to lock it up so no one can see it.

                      Ten year old data is perfectly good for what I am looking or; not sure why they chose to lock it away...maybe they are hoping some one will offer to pay for it?

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                      • #12
                        Hey TCD,

                        The topo page should be back up and running. Sorry about that.

                        You can also check out www.adirondack-park.net/newtopo which should have the location searching working again (though perhaps not perfectly), and look a little nicer with a full-screen map. I've been working on that on-and-off for a bit, and there are some other features I'd like to add back in (like the private land shading, with updated data) which is why it's under a different link, but as you may have guessed these things aren't super-high priority in my life right now...

                        As for the birds-eye imagery, I didn't do anything special to get that to show up, it just kind of came along with the Google interface I'm using. Unfortunately I have no idea how to get all that data back, because I agree in some places it was very very useful and it's sad that it's gone!

                        Anyway, sorry for being slow here, and hopefully everything will stay working again.

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                        • #13
                          Thanks, Colden46. And thanks for creating such a great site!

                          Yeah, that birds eye imagery thing is a mystery. It shows up automatically in some places, but not in others.

                          Thanks for responding! I will keep hunting for that data set.

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