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Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Lawrence pinpointed as center of Google Earth

City’s prominent location on map ‘intentional’

December 21, 2005

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Finally, there's proof that Lawrence is the center of everything.

Start up "Google Earth," a free satellite photo mapping program available on the Internet, and you see a distant view of the planet. Use the zoom feature to magnify the planet, though, and you end up with a bird's-eye view of Lawrence.

"A lot of people think that Kansas is in the middle of nowhere," said Mayor Boog Highberger, who first heard about Lawrence's Google distinction a month ago in an e-mail from Georgia. "I prefer to think that we're in the middle of everywhere. And Google apparently agrees."

The director of engineering for Google Earth is Brian McClendon, whose online biography says he is a 1986 graduate of Kansas University.

"It's intentional," said Megan Quinn, a Google spokeswoman, when asked about Lawrence's prominent location in the middle of the map. McClendon was unavailable for comment on Tuesday.


Roberta Floyd, resident manager of Meadowbrook Apartments, stands behind a computer displaying the city of Lawrence as portrayed by Google Earth satellite imagery on Tuesday in the apartment complex offices. When Google Earth is opened and zoomed in on without changing coordinates, the satellite view centers on Lawrence and, more specifically, the Meadowbrook Apartments.

Roberta Floyd, resident manager of Meadowbrook Apartments, stands behind a computer displaying the city of Lawrence as portrayed by Google Earth satellite imagery on Tuesday in the apartment complex offices. When Google Earth is opened and zoomed in on without changing coordinates, the satellite view centers on Lawrence and, more specifically, the Meadowbrook Apartments.

The program debuted online last summer. Users can type in any address or latitude and longitude and the location zooms into focus, creating the sensation of flying over the landmark. A professional version of the program is used by news organizations, such as CNN, to spotlight news locations.

The New York Times on Tuesday reported the alarm Google Earth has caused in some foreign countries, including India, where officials have said the satellite imagery might reveal too much detail about military installations.

But officials at Meadowbrook Apartments in west Lawrence - the ultimate centerpoint on the opening Google Earth map - were thrilled.

The complex, at the intersection of Bob Billings Parkway and Crestline Drive, has about 1,000 tenants. Many are KU students, but apartment managers on Tuesday didn't know if the Google Earth creator had ever been one of them.

Center of the Google Earth

"I think it's real neat," said Roberta Floyd, Meadowbrook's resident manager, after her office staff downloaded the program.

Steve Schwada, whose father built the complex more than three decades ago, wasn't surprised.

"I meet people everywhere who have lived at Meadowbrook," he said. "Chicago, on the airplane, friends of friends."

Schwada said he might try to use the news in some advertisements. But he's not taking Meadowbrook's place on the map for granted.

"I suppose," he said, "that the city will try to get the focal point moved to City Hall."

Comments

gravity 9 years ago

Joel....I tried to tell you! It is all about Gravity! It all revolves around ME! That is why Meadowbrook is the center of Google Earth. Come on, interesting concept, no?

Nikki May 9 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

neopolss 9 years ago

Its derived from images taken overhead and submitted. I guess no one has a good reason to fly over Lawrence.

bthom37 9 years ago

Um, maybe the black hole of poor management that is meadowbrook causes this?

badger 9 years ago

See, I was able to see my old apartment complex in Lawrence, complete with someone who was reasonably me-shaped walking down the stairs. Based on the cars, the picture was (at the time) between 4-6 months old (it had the car of a former neighbor, and also of a neighbor's girlfriend who started coming around about that time).

I can find my current complex in Austin, but due to the tree cover around my apartment, there's not a lot of detail.

yourworstnightmare 9 years ago

Lawrence is the center of the universe. Notice how when you are in Lawrence, as things are farther away they look smaller?

Irrefutable proof that Lawrence is the center of the universe, now validated by Googlemaps.

Bubarubu 9 years ago

Badger--

That's strange. I can't get good resolution here in town, but at my parents' old house in St. Louis, the most recent shot clearly shows my car sitting in their driveway.

Both of my old places in Austin, however, clear as a bell.

coach 9 years ago

I've noticed that also. Lawrence has a low resolution when zoomed in, yet when you zoom in on other towns its a higher resolution.

badger 9 years ago

It depends on where you are in town, I think. Some parts are kind of fuzzed out, and some are clear.

I can see my place in Austin OK, it's just that since I live right on the GreenBelt, my apartment complex is half-covered with trees so there's not a lot of detail.

blakus 9 years ago

i know on the terraservers site they have photos of lawrence high before it was added on to... and also before freestate was built.
the reason for the fuzziness in googleearth is because most hi res photos are saved for the people that pay up for the service. as the article says, lots of news shows use google earth, but they don't use the free version like us. they pay up some good money. The difference is very real, as with a free version you may see a neighborhood with individual blocks and houses, but paying means you'll know who mowed recently or forgot to take out the garbage.

but don't worry, there's a competitor out there gaining ground, and when companies compete, we win!

Ragingbear 9 years ago

To involve itself in this new cash source, Wal-Mart is pleased to announce Wal-Mart Earth. Simply enter an area, and it will tell you that there is a wal-mart there...

BlondeTiger 9 years ago

great. now everyone can see where i live....i... am..... ..thrilled?

Nikki May 9 years ago

man, what did I say to get editted out? I've never been deleted before.

james bush 9 years ago

I really like going to Lawrence and that it's googled in the center. Too bad it's also center for congregating the ICLU liberal left progressive anti-religious bigots.

Bubarubu 9 years ago

bagder-

Greenbelt, got it. I was off of Oltorf, 1/2 mile east of 35, then on 30th at Duval. Much less tree cover.

b_asinbeer 9 years ago

Wow, that's pretty cool. Never noticed that Lawrence was at the center of the Google Map engine.

punkrockmom...don't worry about getting deleted...they'll do that to you sometimes. Even as innocent as catching them for plagiarism (yes, I caught them once, so what did they do? They deleted my post....) Bad LJW!

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