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 Satellite images; related track planning questions
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Author Previous Topic: Need help planning 0n30 layout Topic Next Topic: Braking cars...  

dsteele
Engine Wiper

Posted - 09/15/2005 :  10:24:07 AM  Show Profile
I'm in the earliest stages of researching designing my own track plan for my "next" layout. I want to model what I see daily -- the UP and BNSF if central Illinois.

It seems to me I've seen mention of websites that offer satellite images of the USA that "might" offer me a bird's eye view of a 10-20 mile stretch of the UP that runs behind my house, and an equal distance of the BNSF that runs a few miles north of home. Any idea about web addresses?

In a related vein, how does one go about learning the proto names of stretches of mainline? That is, the tracks behind the house probably start in Chicago and carry, largely but not exclusively, coal to two power plants along the Illinois River in the Peoria area. Do I contact the PR folks at UP and/or BNSF, or are their other on-line resources I can use to garner this info?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts, ideas, and help.

Dennis

Country: USA | Posts: 400

slimrails
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 09/15/2005 :  10:38:13 AM  Show Profile  Visit slimrails's Homepage
Yo, Dennis!

If you go to Google's website, download their program 'Google Earth'. This is an EZ to use satellite photo program that allows you to view most any area on the planet. You can enter your own home address and it'll zomm right in...from there you can move in any direction and change resolutions. As for what division the tracks are associated with, I dunno...can't really help ya out there. But try Google Earth...it may be whatcher lookin' for.

Russ



Country: USA | Posts: 8486 Go to Top of Page

slimrails
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 09/15/2005 :  10:38:13 AM  Show Profile  Visit slimrails's Homepage
Yo, Dennis!

If you go to Google's website, download their program 'Google Earth'. This is an EZ to use satellite photo program that allows you to view most any area on the planet. You can enter your own home address and it'll zomm right in...from there you can move in any direction and change resolutions. As for what division the tracks are associated with, I dunno...can't really help ya out there. But try Google Earth...it may be whatcher lookin' for.

Russ



Country: USA | Posts: 8486 Go to Top of Page

On30fan
Crew Chief



Posted - 09/15/2005 :  11:46:32 AM  Show Profile
Google Earth is great for railroad tracks. Yesterday I was looking at the port at Long Beach CA, that is an amazing area. Also at the commuter rail in the bay area and at frontier yard here in Buffalo. The detail is good enough that you can see pretty much what type of car is on the rails, if your area is covered by the high res photos.

Cheers,
Steve
San Juan Lumber Company
Niagara Frontier Traction Company

Country: USA | Posts: 506 Go to Top of Page

On30fan
Crew Chief



Posted - 09/15/2005 :  11:46:32 AM  Show Profile
Google Earth is great for railroad tracks. Yesterday I was looking at the port at Long Beach CA, that is an amazing area. Also at the commuter rail in the bay area and at frontier yard here in Buffalo. The detail is good enough that you can see pretty much what type of car is on the rails, if your area is covered by the high res photos.

Cheers,
Steve
San Juan Lumber Company
Niagara Frontier Traction Company

Country: USA | Posts: 506 Go to Top of Page

leeflan
Fireman

Posted - 09/15/2005 :  11:49:08 AM  Show Profile
I agree with Russ, Dennis. Google Earth is a very useful tool. You can also use Microsoft Terraserver (terraserver.microsoft.com). You have to be careful with both sites, though. The image resolution varies with different areas of the country. For example, for the area of Georgia I am modeling, the images on Terraserver, although B&W, were much more useful than those on Google Earth. For other areas of the country both are just great.


Country: USA | Posts: 2447 Go to Top of Page

leeflan
Fireman

Posted - 09/15/2005 :  11:49:08 AM  Show Profile
I agree with Russ, Dennis. Google Earth is a very useful tool. You can also use Microsoft Terraserver (terraserver.microsoft.com). You have to be careful with both sites, though. The image resolution varies with different areas of the country. For example, for the area of Georgia I am modeling, the images on Terraserver, although B&W, were much more useful than those on Google Earth. For other areas of the country both are just great.


Country: USA | Posts: 2447 Go to Top of Page

dsteele
Engine Wiper

Posted - 09/16/2005 :  09:12:44 AM  Show Profile
Ok, guys. Thanks. Have downloaded the Google Earth software but haven't had time to take a peek at it. Appreciate the info!!

Dennis



Country: USA | Posts: 400 Go to Top of Page

dsteele
Engine Wiper

Posted - 09/16/2005 :  09:12:44 AM  Show Profile
Ok, guys. Thanks. Have downloaded the Google Earth software but haven't had time to take a peek at it. Appreciate the info!!

Dennis



Country: USA | Posts: 400 Go to Top of Page
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