In analyzing the urban transformation of Miami, using tools such as Google Earth, Microsoft Virtual Earth, and Google Maps/StreetView is extremely useful. However, when making final determinations, there is no substitute for surveying the reality on the ground–venturing out into the city, street by street. To illustrate this further, let’s take a look at these images:
A. GOOGLE MAPS (Satellite View): No Activity on Nordica Site
B. VIRTUAL EARTH (Birds-Eye View): Nordica Under Construction
C. On the Ground View: Nordica Topped off
Virtual Earth definitely has more updated satellite images. The more user-friendly Google Maps has satellite imagery that is pretty outdated–although Street View is recently updated. There is no doubt that both offer great tools for analyzing urban development patterns, but if you aren’t on the ground, you don’t know smack.