Osama bin Laden’s mansion in Google Earth

Ever since the news of Bin Laden’s death last night, people have been digging around in Google Earth trying to find the location of the mansion in which he was killed.
[UPDATE 4: View some 3D models of his mansion.]
[UPDATE 3: GeoEye has captured some imagery of the compound from earlier today.]
[UPDATE 2: Some newer imagery of the compound has been discovered.]
[UPDATE: The location has essentially been confirmed by the BBC (via Ogle Earth).] You can fly there with this KML file or view the image below:

bin-laden2.jpg

Google Maps Mania takes a shot at it, but admits that it’s difficult to find. However, it seems that the location pinpointed by The Atlantic isn’t quite right.
Stefan at Ogle Earth takes a shot at it as well, and seems to have it pinned down quite well.
The problem is that the newest imagery from the area is only from 2005, which is when the mansion is reported to have been built. Assuming that construction began before June 15, 2005, then Stefan’s map seems to be the most likely.
Here is a KML file that shows the locations that Stefan mentions.
Other sites (such as Watts Up With That) are showing a building that fits the description quite well, but the imagery was from 2001 so it’s not likely the correct location.
For now it seems that Stefan’s map is the most accurate, though we don’t know the precise location because there are a few possibilities in that area. We’ll update this post as we learn more.

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.



Comments

  1. According to sources (news websites), a mud road goes to the mansion where Osama lived. The above image (by Stefan) is not likely to be correct because it is located on the main raod leading to Pakistan Military Academy. I don’t think this road was a mud road on 2005.

  2. you got it all wrong…..
    Just google “osama bin laden compound” to view the right building.

  3. This looks far more likely:
    34 10 10N
    73 14 33E

  4. Pete — Most of those listed under that search query are incorrect.
    theyre — You’ve correct. I’ve updated the post to reflect that. Thanks!

  5. ABC news has posted a powerpoint from the Pentagon that shows the compound. Your picture above is correct.
    http://abcnews.go.com/images/Politics/Graphics%20for%20background%20briefing.pdf

  6. sry! tks for the new data!

  7. Is this a likely candidate for the compound?
    34.187595, 73.242669

  8. I found the Lat/Long of your picture and that matches better:
    34.169355, 73.242534

  9. The BBC are linking to the same location as you. I think you have it!

  10. Mickey says:

    Keir — Yep! It took a few tries, but we got there.

  11. jake berryhill says:

    This is one hundred percent for sure.
    34°10’9.43″N
    73°14’33.28″E

  12. I found his house using the coordinates listed blow based on the pictures I saw from the Pittsburgh post gazette. If you look from the ABC photos there you can see the words on the mountain in the a background. It says 2005 the same year his compound was built. Does anyone know what this is or means?
    34.1420644622, 73.2355695685

  13. Mickey says:

    Stan — The Frontier Force Regiment (popularly known as the “Piffers” or the “FF”) is one of six Infantry regiments in the Pakistan Army. Apparently they change the message each year.

  14. funny, i was looking at the following house of Dr. Arshad Khan Tanoli with the same coordinates as some of u r suggesting -
    34°10’9.43″N
    73°14’33.28″E
    because of this reference in the Daily Times Pakistan -
    “…”Never in our wildest thoughts did we think Osama Bin Laden was staying in
    this house,” said Aurangzeb Khan, a local driver. He told reporters that the
    owner of the house was a man named Arshad, who would buy 10 to 15 rotis
    (traditional flat bread) from a nearby shop for each meal.
    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\05\03\story_3-5-2011_pg7_13
    don’t know which year either represent, but there are geographical similarities in the surroundings – the three squares behind the compound and so on.
    excuse the language at the following site, but this interviewee on TV (aljazeera i believe)talks of regularly going to his brothers, a Khan also, who lives next door to the alleged OBL compound, and he says there’s no way OBL lived there.
    http://revolutionarypolitics.tv/video/viewVideo.php?video_id=14798

  15. I posted the 3D model of the Obama Compound created by Stahlman design in a media rich post, including maps that can display the inline Google Plugin and videos at http://matei.org/url/d …. Enjoy…

  16. funny, the UK Mirror newspaper reports it is Arshad Khan’s house, and it was there five or six years ago when we were told there was nothing there!
    3 May: UK Mirror: Osama bin Laden: Neighbours shocked to be living next to world’s most wanted man
    A Pakistani police officer says the mansion was owned by an Afghan national called Arshad Khan. He added: “Arshad bought the house five years ago. But no one can identify his whereabouts.”…
    “A third family lived there – one that matched the size of the family that we believed bin Laden would have with him.”…
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2011/05/03/abbottabad-neighbours-of-osama-bin-laden-shocked-they-were-living-next-to-al-qaida-chief-115875-23103423/

  17. NYT also has arshad khan owning the property and being there at the time. why did the BBC publish the wrong coordinates?
    3 May: NYT: Bin Laden Hosts at Compound Were Two Pakistanis
    They were known here as Arshad Khan and Tareq Khan, although one police official said Arshad was not his real name and he carried a fake identity card…
    They were Pashtuns and came from Charsadda, the northwest frontier region close to Afghanistan, and moved to Abbottabad seven years ago. It remains unclear how they came to know Bin Laden and whether the men were known to the Pakistani military or intelligence services.
    A security official following the case said that Arshad Khan had an old national identity card in his name, but did not possess one of the new computerized identity cards. The old cards were often fakes so Arshad Khan may be his real name, the official said. ..
    Beside the two wives of the owners, there was an aunt, who lived with them, and would go out in the car with them, some of the women said. ..
    Both men were married and had pre-school age children; Arshad had three and Tareq had four children, according to the matriarch of a family living on an alley 100 yards to north of the compound. She refused to give her name because she did not want to be quoted by name in a newspaper.
    Nine children between the ages of two and 12 years and three women, one of whom was Arab, were taken away from the compound by the Pakistani military after the raid to the military hospital in town, security officials said. Bin Laden’s daughter was critically wounded and was being cared for in the hospital, the security official said. Police and security officials spoke on condition of anonymity in accordance with the rules of their work. The difference in numbers indicate that possibly one woman and two children of the group belonged to bin Laden.
    “They are all in safe hands and being looked after in accordance with law,” the Pakistani foreign ministry said in a statement. “Some of them needing medical care are under treatment in the best possible facilities. As per policy, they will be handed over to their countries of origin,” it said. ..
    None of the neighbors seemed to know whether the Khans died in the raid because the military had sealed the house soon after the raid and it remained locked Tuesday, with tape on the gates and anti-terrorism police on guard.
    Yet it is almost certain they were in the house that night and were killed alongside bin Laden since several of the neighbors saw them driving in and out during the day. “I was here during the day and I saw them,” said Qassim. “They were at home.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/04/world/asia/04compound.html?pagewanted=all

  18. I also thought that this coordinates was correct:
    34°10’9.43″N
    73°14’33.28″E
    aren’t they?

  19. Bin Laden and whether the men were known to the Pakistani military or intelligence services.

  20. The difference in numbers indicate that possibly one woman and two children of the group belonged to bin Laden.

  21. It says 2005 the same year his compound was built. Does anyone know what this is or means?

  22. It says 2005 the same year his compound was built. Does anyone know what this is or means?

  23. Do you have any pictures or data available Hachioji district of istanbul

  24. Khans died in the raid because the military had sealed the house soon after the raid and it remained locked Tuesday, with tape on the gates and anti-terrorism police on guard.

  25. Keir — Yep! It took a few tries, but we got there.

  26. I guess the difference in the numbers say that one woman and two children of the group belonged to bin Laden.

  27. Bin Laden and whether the men were known to the Pakistani military or intelligence services.

  28. Do you have any pictures or data available Hachioji district of istanbul

Leave a Reply