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by Ray Carlson

Q. My five year-old house does not appear on Google’s satellite image of my street, and they put a marker for my address half a block away. What’s wrong?

A. The mapping services like Google refer to satellite images, but they usually show aerial photographs taken by companies or government agencies. They wait for agencies like the USDA Farm Service to make high resolution photos available for free. Google’s aerial picture of Prescott was taken in 2002 while the pictures of several areas outside the city were taken in 2007. Mapquest’s aerial photo of Prescott is about three years old while Yahoo uses a six year-old photo.

The age of each photo varies for different areas. The maps superimpose streets and points of interest. This layer is developed by a mapping service like NAVTEQ and is much newer. When you insert an address, a marker appears on the map at a spot on the street estimated from the pattern of street numbers. If the marker is at the wrong spot, you can move the marker on Google maps by logging into a Google account, clicking on the marker, clicking edit and dragging the marker to the right spot. Your change is saved, and the marker now shows that the location was changed and who changed it. For other mapping sites, use, select “Find and Report,” enter the address, and move the marker to the correct location on the map that appears. Then click “Submit and Confirm.”

Published: Courier 12/20/09 - Page 5C