Apple iPod Ad in Google Earth?

Got an E-mail over the weekend from a Rich Boakes to check out his blog entry about his discovery of a new ad campaign by Apple. Apparently, according to Rich, Apple has built a 1.4 km tall picture of an iPod viewable from space (as seen from Google Earth). You can see the iPod in Google Earth here. According to the blog the ad campaign starts next month.
This is just amazing! We have already heard of people planning to go into the business of doing roof-top and crop advertising. But, it had been noted the business will be a hard sell, since many of the photos in GE are two to four years old. So, if you put up your ad now, it may (or may not) be seen for two to four years (or more). Since Apple first released the iPod in 2002, I guess its possible they built this ad back then. And, although Google Earth wasn’t even a twinkle in Larry Page’s eye in 2002, Apple does have an amazing marketing reputation. Although, one has to wonder about previous mis-interpretations of satellite photos like the supposed Flying Car in Australia, or the face on Mars.
I just don’t know, could this really be an iPod ad? It sure looks like one. Nice find Rick! We’ll be waiting this Saturday to see if the ad campaign starts as promised.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. Steve Chilton says:

    Do you not think that the date of Saturday’s “launch” is significant (1st April)?

  2. Looks like a water treatment plant to me.

  3. Yeah, it looks more like some form of tailings/runoff pond, one partially full, one mostly dry. I’ve surveyed square collection ponds that have looked just like this.
    Not to mention, if Apple really wanted to put up an iPod ad for satellites/planes to see, why wouldn’t they do it on their own roofspace at 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, rather than in the middle-of-nowhere, Australia?

  4. It looks to me like a settling pond at a water treatment plant that just coincidentally in a cool artistic way looks like an iPod.

  5. Ya, this I Pod model is about 5 miles from my house. I saw them building it a couple years ago and couldn’t figure out what it was. They had big fence up so you couldn’t see it. We all thought it was some super secret military thing (it’s hard to tell from the ground what it looks like). Looking forward to this Saturday when the ad campaign finally starts 😉

  6. Sorry to disappoint, but this isn’t an ad for Apple iPod.
    What you are looking at is the tailing dam (water settling pond) for the Paddington Mine in Western Australia.
    They are two square shaped ponds, the northern one is full of water, the southern one appears to be dry.

  7. The feature is a set of ponds behind a tailings dam in an area of Western Australia. I found the rectangle on an online map of Australia (had to use Google to find it, but not Maps or Earth). Lots of mines and abandoned mines in the area.

  8. ha, google earth put in big letters next to it
    “April Fool”
    pretty funny though

  9. Looks like it has a cracked screen 😛

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