Lots of companies have free aerials out on the internet – google, microsoft, ask, yahoo…. Ask.com (then click on city) seems to have the crispest aerials for a wide area (go to ask.com and click on city). Anyone who needs to put together reports about physical locations (engineers, planners, real estate appraisers, lawyers….) should have maps in their reports so people can get oriented. I fall in this camp with my traffic studies. Many state and county property record websites also have great aerials, but it takes more digging. Here is the procedure I go through:
- Go to your aerial site (I recommend ask.com and click on city).
- Zoom into the area you want.
- Press the key combination Alt + Prt Scr. This captures a screen shot of the aerial.
- Go to paint, MS Word, etc. and paste in the aerial (right click on your mouse and paste, among many other ways to paste).
- Crop off the border of the screen that you don’t want.
This is a good way to see an aerial view of the section you are going to study. I will keep this in mind when I work on my first traffic engineering project.