Katrina on Google Maps

Saturday 3 September 2005This is close to 18 years old. Be careful.

I’ve never known the first thing about the geography of New Orleans, but in the last week I’ve looked at it on Google Maps quite a bit. Each time, I was aware of this odd sensation: I was looking at the satellite pictures to understand this recent disaster, but the pictures themselves were showing me a happy healthy New Orleans. I’ve thought, “I wish I could see the way it looks now.”

Today I went there to find out where Bourbon Street is, and I noticed that in addition to their original three choices of Map, Satellite, and Hybrid, they’ve added a fourth: Katrina. It shows satellite imagery of New Orleans taken on Wednesday, August 31st!

The pictures are darker than usual, so it’s hard to tell what I’m looking at, and hard to tell what is flooded, and what is not. But it’s awesome that it could be done.


DigitalGlobe (who's providing the images to google) posted the images the same day they were received:


(to help you make sense of the images, see the analysis documents).

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