As brother Jeff and I have conducted our (lackadaisical) search for an apartment to share, I have been spending plenty of time in Google Maps/Earth. While my knowledge of Chicago’s streets has improved by leaps and bounds in the past year, I still need the frequent assist in the form of a nice satellite photo. Jeff, on the other hand, has so much ground-level Chicago experience he could give the Google Maps team corrections*. He warned me the sat photos were sometimes well out-of-date.
How right he was. Just yesterday I pulled up the following map of a Chicago landmark:
Note in particular the distinctive squiggly shape. Now check out the satellite version:
Wait, where’s the squiggly thing? That just looks like a big parking lot. And therefore we know this photo was taken before Millennium Park opened in July 2004. Well before, presumably, because the “squiggly” is actually the Frank Gehry-designed 925-foot pedestrian bridge across Columbus Drive, shown here from another angle:
Of course, even at 3 years old I’ll take what I can get. Beats getting up out of my chair in a Chicago winter.
*No, really. Even now, one block of the very street upon which he used to live is incorrectly marked as an eastbound one-way. Technically a NAVTEQ problem, but still…