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This Teslarati article http://www.teslarati.com/tesla-app-reveals-spacex-solar-panel-easter-egg/ mentions a SpaceX themed Easter Egg, but says that the solar panels on the SpaceX roof can not be confirmed using Google maps - probably only because they are not updated yet.

So of course I looked, and the X-shaped pattern made from solar panels can be seen in the Icon (lower left) but not in the large view. Why are these different? Is it real?

enter image description here enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about Google Maps and not space exploration. $\endgroup$
    – Tristan
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 17:45
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    $\begingroup$ For me, the view shown in the main window isn't a two-dimensional image, but a 3d model: i.imgur.com/WfrUGK1.jpg (Try holding down control and dragging your mouse around the screen.) So it's understandable that that might take a bit longer to update than a satellite image... $\endgroup$
    – Ajedi32
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 21:27
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh you should update your question to make it clearer that you want information on satellite imagery updates... $\endgroup$
    – Antzi
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 1:08
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    $\begingroup$ The satellite and aerial maps available on services like Google Maps for free to consumers make up only a fairly small fraction of the remote sensing market. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 7:20
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh Click on the "edited" link -- previous versions should have a "rollback" link on them. $\endgroup$
    – Tristan
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 14:37

2 Answers 2

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The solar panels can be seen both in the icon and in the main window.

Google Maps

You can't see them in the main window, because you have 3D models enabled in the settings drawer, you can drag the maps while holding Ctrl to see that:

Google Maps

The model is not updated that often, so you can't see the panels on it. You can turn off 3D models to see the new image. You could see it in the small preview window, because the preview does not render 3D models.

You commented that you can indeed see it in a different browser, that is because the other browser does not support 3D models in Google Maps (or the other way around).

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  • $\begingroup$ That's pretty amazing thanks! I used to have the Google Earth plugin, now (at least some of it) is there by default. Is this WebGL? I noticed I can see buildings and things in 3D, tilt, and zoom out all the way into space - there is the sun, and Orion's Belt! Looking for the moon now. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 1:39
  • $\begingroup$ Wow! SpaceX's X "from Space" (so to speak): i.sstatic.net/knOc0.gif $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 2:28
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting - I went to my home and turned 3D off to see if there would be a more recent image - in fact it resulted in an older, far lower resolution image! $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 15:15
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Lower resolution images are updated more often than higher resolution images. Google Maps works with a large variety of images, the large scale ones taken by satellites, and most of the close ones by airplanes. The image on the lower left is probably from a frequently updating satellite, the right from an airplane.

While checking this out, I noticed that the SpaceX roof is now updated, and has the X. https://www.google.com/maps/place/Hawthorne,+CA/@33.9206825,-118.3292094,391m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x80c2b42b5acc2ef1:0x62c1711dcc38b301!8m2!3d33.9164032!4d-118.3525748

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    $\begingroup$ If you look to the right of the TEsla Design studio in Pearson's link, you can see the junkyard with the Falcon 9 leg, and Falcon 1 first stage. $\endgroup$
    – geoffc
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 15:03
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    $\begingroup$ Do you mean left? $\endgroup$
    – PearsonArtPhoto
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 15:08
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    $\begingroup$ Interestingly, it's still not visible where I am - I mean where I access the internet, (not looking out my window towards the earth from orbit of course) $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 15:09
  • $\begingroup$ Try clearing browser cache. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 15:15
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    $\begingroup$ @PearsonArtPhoto Lysdexia is a bitch. $\endgroup$
    – geoffc
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 15:19

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