Virginia Tech Says Thank You in Google Earth

Large Hadron Collider in Google EarthIn response to the global outpouring of support to Virginia Tech in the aftermath of the April 16th shooting at the campus – students, faculty and staff organized a special event. They gathered in the central park area of the campus and spelled out the words “VT Thanks You” and took an aerial photo. They published a web page describing the event (with photos), and it offers a Google Earth file you can download which overlays the image of the message. The file even contains some of the campus buildings in 3D. The event was held on November 17th. They say they timed the event when a satellite was supposed to fly over, so the image could eventually become a part of the Google Earth imagery. Thanks to GEB reader Markus for the tip.

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. That is a very sweet way of sending a message to the rest of the world, Frank — and in using the world to send such a message.
    It seems to me that this is another example of many, in the spirit of Nikki Giovanni’s speech.

  2. Herbert Incognito says:

    I’ve been attending Tech and living in Blacksburg for a couple of years now. This overlay is a great use of GE, as the last commenter noted.
    What I really like about it, though, is that I can finally see the campus and a fair part of Blacksburg in high resolution! Mountain lake and rural Giles county to the north have had coverage since Keyhole days, while the rest of the New River valley and the Roanoke region (the real population centers in the area) are stuck with old low-res imagery.
    The same goes for the state of West-by-god-Virginia — it contains some of the most beautiful country on the planet, the entire state has 3m resolution terrain, and the only parts that have coverage are the sad, ugly strip-mining sites in the west and central state, Charleston (where the terrain isn’t that interesting, compared to the eastern part of the state), and a tiny, outdated stretch of eastern WV highlighting Sen. Byrd’s “highway to nowhere”.
    Tech’s got to have the capacity to generate a high-res aerial survey of the Blacksburg area, if not all of Montgomery County, if they haven’t already. I’ll have to ask around.

  3. Another example of using imagery to spread or place a message in imagery flight. A few years ago, there was a project in Indiana where post-secondary students were encourage to do “projects”. Where their work could be captured during the 05 imagery fly over.
    I haven’t followed up do see if any were done. If so, they are in GE or VE, since they use the 05 imagery for Indiana.

  4. neck_crainer says:

    “They say they timed the event when a satellite was supposed to fly over,”
    Where is this information available ?

  5. Herbert Incognito says:

    Mr. (Ms.?) neck_crainer —
    If you go to the site linked to in the post, you’ll see there’s a few crops from an Ikonos satellite image, as well as the full-size image capture.
    By the looks of it, the satellite flew over the region at the absolute peak of fall colors here. I was expecting the colors this year to be marginal given the unusually late cold snap this spring (right after everything started budding), then a couple of record-breaking heat waves this summer — stiflingly hot and sticky and stagnant and gross — and dry, too. The poor trees around here should have all just gone pale yellow and dropped their leaves by September, but somehow they managed to turn out OK.
    My jaw practically dropped when I saw how rich the color of the foliage was in the full-size Ikonos image — and that’s during the worst leaf-peeping season in as long as I can remember. They ought to do an aerial survey next October, so the entire GE community can experience the glory of an Appalachian fall in 6″/pixel resolution.
    By the way, here’s a direct link to that full-size satellite shot I mentioned. Too bad the clouds had to interfere —

  6. Very cool that they took the time and effort to do this…

  7. Nice. I wish my university would also make cool stuff like this.

  8. hm…still canĀ“t read or find it on google earth…any idea why?

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