Tracking down the owner of a lost camera by using Google Earth


Three years ago while camping in the Adirondacks, Michael Comeau dropped his camera into a small stream and was unable to find it. This past July, John Noerr stumbled across the camera and was able to track down the owner of it thanks to some creative thinking, hard work, and Google Earth. You can read the full story here.
John used Street View to try to identify the location of some of the photos on the card, then he used Google Earth to pin locations of various photos.

In the end, it came down to a handful of pictures: the front stoop of a house numbered 327, one of the sky, and a shot of a corner of a building with “very unique stone work” and a visible sign for 3rd Street.

“I went onto Google Earth Street View and started looking up every 3rd Street I could find,” he said.

That placed him in the camera owner’s neighborhood, where other identifiable buildings and doors popped up that Noerr recognized from pictures on the memory card. Faster than he imagined, he found the house, No. 327, on Street View, tracked down the building’s owner, and used Facebook and Twitter to contact the family.

(via ABC News)

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.


  1. George Kemkas says:

    Waterproof memory?

  2. amanda chadwick says:

    John you are a star! you’re 1 in a million!!!!!!!

  3. Fabulous yet creepy.

  4. Kenneth Poli says:

    Was the camera working? : )

  5. The camera was not working, but it protected the memory card. And, yeah, it was a bit creepy. But Im on to other investigations involving memory cards.

  6. You served as a channel of blessing for the one who lost his slr camera. He must be grateful to you. This camera has really good quality.

Leave a Reply