Thursday, July 31, 2008

this town, aaah aaah, is burning like a ghost town

Here's some more interesting stuff done by people with far too much time on their hands which they've spent gazing deeply into Google Maps and finding weird stuff. I posted a few links back in January, most notably this one, though that particular blog seems to have gone a bit quiet recently.

Here are my couple of contributions:

Multimap uses Microsoft Virtual Earth for its aerial photography map overlays. This seems a bit (by which I mean a lot) less up-to-date than Google Maps. I'll give you an example - have a look at these two photographs of the Usk in central Newport and see if you can spot the difference. No prizes or anything as it's pretty obvious.

The City Bridge (pictured in the second photo above) was opened in 2004, and the first picture doesn't even show any signs of construction work, so I would guess that must date it at 2002 at the latest. Time for an update, I think. Other things to note: the version of the Multimap page with the maps overlaid shows the current road layout, which apparently magically transports cars over the Usk on a cushion of air. Also, the map renders the Welsh for the river Usk as Brynbuga - this is incorrect as Brynbuga means "Buga's hill" (make up your own jokes at this point) and refers to the town of Usk about 10 miles away up towards Abergavenny. Afon Wysg is the Welsh rendition they were after.

Sticking with the aerial photo map thing, I was looking at some aerial shots of Cardiff on Google Maps the other day, as one does, and I spotted an odd feature up by junction 29 of the M4, where the A48(M) branches off from the M4 - a "ghost" road not connected to anything, and which you'd never know was there from ground level. It turns out this is the original eastbound carriageway, as Cardiff was the original western terminus of the M4 when it was built. More detail can be found here. The excellent Pathetic Motorways database has more "ghost" roads (including the deeply unimpressive remains of the A18(M) in Yorkshire) as well as lots of other interesting stuff, if you're interested in that sort of stuff.

Other examples include the never-built northern spur of the M23 south of London, and, rather more interestingly, Centralia, Pennsylvania. Some of Pennsylvania highways 54 and 61 have been re-routed to avoid the largely abandoned town of Centralia. Why is it abandoned? Cause it's ruddy well ON FIRE, that's why. And has been for over FORTY YEARS. Crikey.


Anonymous said...

The Bird's eye is spot on though!

electrichalibut said...

Hey, you're right. I wonder if there's some intermediate view where it sort of flickers in and out of view like the Tardis (with that weird swooshing noise and everything).