It’s pretty cold outside, here in the Garden State, and I am inclined to “let my fingers do the walking” for anything I need. Rather than using the telephone, which birthed that phrase, my fingers walk over my computer keys. I started looking at trails to ride when my tech-savvy son introduced me to Google Earth. Wow, pretty nifty, I can get the lay out of a show grounds before I arrive as well as learn the best route to take, whether there are hills, lakes, and shade in the area. Check out the Horse Park of New Jersey. I’m guessing those back fields are where cross-country fences go.
Oh, I like this. I then wandered to some advertised barns, hmm, that one doesn’t really have much pasture space, this one looks like a dry lot, Nice ring, hey, trailer parking! But do I really want my horse living here?
All of this information is gleaned from a bird’s eye view from the Satellites above Google Earth (e-gads, I’m assigning ownership to the earth, what’s wrong with me!)
Check it out while you are planning your riding adventures, be they trails or shows.
I get excited about the picture value of things like this. I’m an information junkie. But after the first hour of “ah-ha” moments, another side of my brain starts knocking on the door. That little suspicious grey matter always arrives in my room when I am at the height of gaiety.
It’s a privacy issue. Short of the military or government, we can’t tell the satellite it isn’t allowed to look down on us or take a picture of us. That big house behind the gate, just get an address close by and you can look in. Who said it was okay in the first place? It’s a moot point; it isn’t going to change.
Enter the world of algorithms. I neither know, understand or like numbers, but I admit that just about all of life can be described, analyzed and saved as a set of numbers. I know that computer programs exist with facial recognition and it is an algorithm that works these wonders. How long do you think it will be before the Department of Environmental Protection has a computer program developed to look at satellite photos of farms and analyze where are the manure piles, what’s the animal count, is the water fenced off, where is the erosion control, do the permits match up with what has been done.
I don’t think this will happen in the next 10 years. But year 11? You know it’s going to happen. Perhaps it is happening now and we don’t even know about it.
Now, aside from the privacy issue, we shouldn’t get too concerned if we have been good stewards of our land and animals and are following the rules applicable to us. (Another plug to work to make sure we get rules we can actually follow.) But I’ve worked on horse questionnaires. There is a large percentage of owners who never answer these questionnaires because they are afraid of the government coming on to their land and snooping. Turns out you can snoop from the skies
So in the end, will Google Earth lead to more people answering questionnaires. After all, if I can’t hide anything anymore, might as well stand up and be counted.
Hey, hey, hey, what’s behind the fence of the house I wondered about last year. WOW!