Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Camp David on Google Maps and Google Earth

All of the major search providers - Google, Bing, and Yahoo - have map applications that allow you to view satellite images of any location in the world.  Google Maps has a separate program that you can install called Google Earth, which has some additional features.  My favorite feature of Google Earth is the Historical Imagery, which allows you to travel back in time to see how places have changed over the years.

Using Google Earth to See How Camp David Has Changed Over Time
I viewed all of the available historical maps of Camp David and found two areas within the Presidential Retreat that have undergone changes that are visible from Google Earth.  The most obvious change I discovered is in the general area of the Skeet Range.  This area also contains the landing zone for the Presidential helicopter Marine One.

Here is the first map from 1988.  The skeet range, field house and helicopter pad are in the lower left corner.

Camp David map -  April 4, 1988   (Click on photo to enlarge)

Here is the same view almost 20 years later.  Notice the additional buildings and parking lot to the right of the field house.  You can also see where an additional sand trap was added to the Aspen Lodge golf practice area on the far right of the map.  This 2007 version is the one that is currently live on Google Maps. 

Camp David map - February 28, 2007

Here is the same view only two years later.  The field house has disappeared and a new structure has been built in the field area.  I found a recent solicitation on a federal procurement website for equipment to be installed in a "new hangar" with a 38 foot ceiling at Camp David .  So, maybe they built the new hangar there.

Camp David map - May 29, 2009

Updated 3/18/2012:  I occasionally check the online maps to see if any satellite imagery has changed. I found the satellite view below from Bing Maps. You can see the building near the skeet range that appeared in the 2009 Google map has disappeared and what is most likely the new hangar has been built in the area that was under construction in 2009.

Bing Maps satellite view of Camp David skeet range and helicopter hangar

The other area where I noticed a change is where the staff pool and rec center is located.  

Outdoor pool in the staff area of the camp - February 28, 2007

Here is the same area two year later in 2009. The resolution of the map is lower but you can make out what appears to be a new structure to the right of the pool.  Of course, it could also just be a shadow.  Hence the problem with comparing hi-res images with low-res ones! 

Outdoor pool  - May 29, 2009

Updated 3/18/2012: I found this satellite image of the pool on Bing Maps. It looks like they may have put a roof or some sort of enclosure over the pool. Although given the image was obviously taken during the Fall, it might also just be a seasonal cover.

Staff pool - Bing Maps

The buildings in the maps above are all located inside the perimeter fence of Camp David. I also found an interesting area located just outside the back gate at Camp David and wrote about it in another post.

Path leading from the Camp David back gate - Click here to read the blog post about this

Additional maps of Camp David can be viewed on the Camp David Maps page of this blog.

Full view of Camp David from Google Maps - February 2007
View the high-resolution version of the above labeled Camp David map

Camp David Satellite Images
Here are some satellite images of Camp David:

Aspen Lodge - The President's Cabin

Laurel Lodge and nearby cabins 

Hickory Lodge

 Evergreen Chapel 

Camp David barracks, staff pool, and rec center (Bing Maps)

Aerial view of Camp David on Bing Maps

View Camp David on Google Maps
I found the Presidential Retreat by searching for "Camp David Maryland" on Google Maps. The map below is linked to Google Maps and you can zoom in or pan to see other parts of the retreat. The map data is from 2007. You can also view the Bing Maps version by visiting my Maps page.

View Larger Map 

I also created this video tour of Camp David using Google Earth:

Source:  Google Maps; Google Earth; Bing Maps

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