Monday, April 8, 2013

do you google map?

When we were searching for a farm to purchase, looking at google maps to find the location was done for every possibility. Checking on the distance from major roads, making certain all roads were paved and looking over the topography were all important.

The other view that was important was the the satellite view. This allowed us to zoom in and see a close up, from the sky view of each property we considered. We could see what was growing, the number of outbuildings, how much of the property had trees, was paved, etc.

Now we check on our farm just for giggles. We can identify the different pens we use: the turkey pens are the largest, the laying hen pens are next in size, rectangular and grouped together, the broiler pens are square and the portable pig movers are usually solitary.

We can see in the earth were the pens have been moved. The ground just behind the pen is bare, while the ground 14 days back is green and lush with regrowth.

The rain barrels off the hoophouse are visible too, as are the vegetable beds. Cars parked in the parking lot are visible, as is the compost pile.

A few weeks ago we acquired a grain bin. Used, it is a bit larger than we need so adjustments have been made. Some scrubbing, size changing, ladder attachment. The top was a little rusty, so primer was applied to make it solid gray.

And then the thought occurred. The helicopter training program that flies out of the airport just a few miles from here has choppers over our farm several times a day. The Harrisburg international airport is just a few miles beyond that, so a few commercial flights go over everyday. And then there is the satellite imagery available on every computer and smart phone all over the world...when we look at the farm from that perspective, what else could we show?

But it's spring and we need our feed delivery. This project needs to be completed as there is other work to do. Painting the farm name "Sunnyside Farm" on the top would have required much measuring and time. To be legible from a ways away...hmmm...many letters and maybe not enough space.

A sunflower was selected as the image that would show up clearly and still allow a full days work to be completed. Homer plotted the size, colors and dimensions and got to work. The paint, made for metal and outdoor use, is sold at the local hardware store. In colors that tractors are painted, the paint is typically used to retouch or restore a tractor that might have faded or chipped.

The results are magnificent. We will be checking google earth or just our regular mapping functions satellite view to see how it looks from above. And next time we fly, we will check this out!

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