New Technology In Writing A High Tech Surveillance Report
Making Your Surveillance Reports Look Sharp With Google
Maps, Satellite Images And Street Views

By Ralph Thomas

The old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words applies to the new online tools you can use when writing a surveillance report that will make you stand out. There is also the old saying that a bad surveillance can be saved with a good surveillance report but a good surveillance looks like a bad surveillance when the surveillance report is done poorly. There is good news because you have multimillion dollar technology you can use to jazz up your surveillance reports that will make them look very sharp! The above Satellite map was quickly done in Goggle maps. By using the new street view, you can add street view photos to many locations and add these to your surveillance report. You now have multimillion dollar technology to use for your own surveillance reports. By utilizing these online tools, you can now add:

• A Street Map
• A Satellite Map
• Various Street Views Of The Surveillance Location

Once you have done a few of these, you yourself will be simply amazed on how the graphical displays, maps and photographs can add a highly impressive and professional high tech look to any of your surveillance reports. Remember that your investigative report is the end work product of your job and it's the only physical thing, other than your video surveillance evidence, that your clients have. Reports done like this will not only highly impress your current client, you can make up some sample reports to show to potential clients who will be highly impressed when compared to the boring old standard investigative report with just words in it. Yes, a photo is worth a thousand words, everyone knows that and you can now easily provide your clients and potential clients with a striking visual presentation that makes you and your investigations stand out from the crowd!

What Is Street View
Street view is a new view you can obtain in Goggle maps. This is done with a special 3-D camera that is attached to the top of a vehicle which Goggle has driving around to take the 3-D photos. What is amazing is that when you click on street view (indicated by a little man when you are in Goggle satellite view) a widow pops up that will let you actually travel down a street and look to the left and look to the right.

Note the man in the satellite image. When you click on that, a window pops up and you can move
around the area is street view as well as look to the left and look to the right using your mouse.

Mapping The World In 3-D Street View

To the left is a typical setup for a Goggle car with a 3-D street view camera on top of it. The 3-D camera takes 360 degree video images which will let you walk down amy street the Goggle street view car has mapped and they are mapping the world like this. Chances are good, there is a street view tool for the area of your next surveillance so check it out.

Watch The Video Of How
Google Street View Works

Click On The Graphics To The Right Or Just Click Here To Watch An Online Video Of How Google Street View Works So You Can Get An Idea Of How You can Take Freeze Frames Of This New Technology For Your Surveillance Investigative Reports.

 

On the above photo, note the arrows. By looking at the blue outline on the streets, one quickly determines that a street view can be obtained for both the front of the house and the back of the house since the back of the house is a vacant lot that can be viewed from the road behind the house.

How The Photo Display Is Done! Using An Apple Computer
You will need a full version of Photoshop and an Apple Computer with OSX.

1) Go to: http://maps.google.com.
2) Type in your address and click on Satellite View.
3) Using a little program called "Grab" which is part of the Apple OSX operation system Click Out The Satellite View And Save The Image.
4) Go Down To Street View And Repeat Step Three For Each Location.
5) Launch Photoshop And Open Each Of Three Images You Saved.
6) Scale And Crop The Satellite Image and place it in the middle of a blank window.
7) Using The Elliptical Marquee tool set to a feather of 20, crop each street view image and place on each side of the Satellite Image.
8) Each image is now it's own layer. Adjust the placement of images to how you want them.
8) Add arrows for each street view photo and you are done.
9) Flatten the images in the window.
10 ) Save image to import into your surveillance report.

This type of image can be done in a matter of just a few minutes with the right tools. You now have a very sharp image to import into your surveillance report that will impress your client. Note that the satellite view also reveals a pool in the back yard of this location. This could be of use to your client. Not only will this technology highly impress your client and help them understand the layout of the surveillance area, it also becomes a great aid for pre surveillance checks and helps you determine before hand where and when to start the stakeout.

Secrets To Learning Photoshop The Right Way!

Is this confusing you? Not to worry! Photoshop is a software program that one might say does have a learning curve to use but once you know how to use it, it is a snap to use and this technique only takes a few minutes to do. You could purchase a book and spend hours, weeks and months trying to figure out what they are talking about or you could take an online course that will merely take you a few hours. One of the secrets to learning powerful software programs is a little company called VTC (http://www.vtc.com/). VTC has online tutorials for major software programs that you can either take online or purchase the training on DVD. By watching these programs, you can quickly learn programs such as Photoshop. VTC has a program in which for $30.00 a month, you can have online access to 70,000 different instant video tutorials and 650 different courses. I personally have used VTC to learn Photoshop, Dreamweaver and a host of other powerful software programs. Although this will be time consuming at first, once you learn how to do this sort of thing; you'll be light years ahead of your competition and your surveillance reports will look the very best they ever could! Try it you will like it! Not only that, you can go to this web site and take some free demo training right now on hundreds of programs.

You might also want to add a standard street map. In areas where there is terrain, hills and mountains, you can simple click on Terrain and obtain images that shows that. Below is a typical street map and a terrain view.

Map View from Google Maps

 

Terrain View From Google Maps

 

And Oh Yes! There's Even More And It's Photos!
Aside from Street View, Map View and Satellite view, Google Maps has come up with something else! They have linked photos to their maps! Below is a screen shot of Goggle maps using the address: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC 20006, the White House. When you click on " MORE" then select "PHOTOS: , you can see photos taken all over the place. You simply click on any photo and it pops up in another window. In many locations there are hundreds of them as shown below.

How is this done? Google Maps IDs photo locations and addresses it can through the millions and millions of photos displayed on the web and then links it to it's mapping. What that means is that if anyone has taken a photo of a certain location, made it public on the web with it's location, chances are good that Google Maps will link it. At first, this might not seem like much to you. However, let us say as an example that you have a subject who traveled to the famous Willard Hotel in downtown Washington. Look at the graphics below you could add to your surveillance report!

You have a satellite view and map of the hotel location. You also have a photo of the front of the building, a photo of the outside entrance,
a photo of the front desk and a photo of the hallway to get to the rooms. All quickly done using online tools.

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Copyright: 2008, Ralph Thomas
All rights reserved.