Posted on April 26, 2005 at 01:06 AM
Google Maps is an extraordinary tool, better than any map program out there right now. It offers local search results, good driving directions, and aerial maps. What more could you ask for?
I realize that Nebraska isn't the greatest state in which to perform a sightseeing tour. Especially with Google Maps. There isn't much to look at due to the limited quantity of detailed maps for the state. But we'll give it a shot anyway.
This idea sprouted from the following picture. I noticed it while looking around the metro Omaha area in Google Maps. (click image to view in Google Maps)
The message reads "We honor those who serve America". It sits in a field at the intersection of highways 370 and 75 in Bellevue Nebraska. What's cool is that it is about a half a mile northwest of the runway for Offut Air Force Base, which is a very heavily trafficked runway.
It's hard to gauge when the picture was taken, judging by the terrain, it was sometime in late fall or mid winter, and I am guessing it was taken sometime in the last two years. An absolutely awesome tribute to those that keep us free. What amazes me even more is that I found it on Google Maps, not via the local TV or other media. That would have required way too much effort, and I'm sure there were more important things to report on like rising gas prices, pitbull attacks, or various other stories about what's happening in "The Heartland". Personally, I would be interested in finding out more on the background of this message.
On with the tour. (click on images to view in Google Maps)
Memorial Stadium, Lincoln - For all you husker freaks out there
Nebraska State Capitol Building, Lincoln
Rosenblatt Stadium, Omaha - Home of the College World Series
Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha - (A place I loathe to visit)
Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha - Another place I would loathe to visit (had I ever been there)
Strategic Air and Space Museum, Ashland - Located on I-80 between Omaha and Lincoln
First National Tower, Omaha - Claim to fame: tallest building between Chicago and Denver and south of Minneapolis (How about Nebraska's tallest building instead).
Fields outside of Alliance - Nothing to visit really. Just interesting crop patterns.
Bailey Yard, North Platte - World's largest rail yard (not some place you would want to visit, unless of course that stuff is cool to you)
Other interesting things I would have liked to capture would be Carhenge, Chimney Rock, or that arch out in Kearney over interstate 80. But I was unable to capture them due to the poor quality of the satellite photos available.
One more interesting thing I found on Google Maps isn't related to Nebraska at all. I remember this "landmark" from a Christmas trip my family took back in the early nineties. Get this, we drove from Lincoln Nebraska, to Salt Lake City Utah, to Las Vegas Nevada, to Los Angeles, to San Diego, to Deming New Mexico and then back to Lincoln. According to Google maps that's about 3,540 miles, conservatively speaking. But during the Salt Lake City-Las Vegas leg we stopped to eat at a McDonald's in Beaver, Utah. (Those of you know me might see where this is going.)
If my recollection serves me right, I distinctively remember the word "Beaver" written in large letters high up on a mountain just east of town. However to my dismay, there appears to have only been the letter "B". Though I swear that "beaver" was there instead.