Friday, April 24, 2009

Google Maps Meets Home Improvement

I had the great pleasure of receiving a call from one of my tenants a couple days ago to report that water was dripping on his bed. Awesome. There's no plumbing in the attic so it had to be the roof. Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

I had been on my roof once before when the DirecTV was installed. Unfortunately, there's no easy access from inside the house. The DirecTV guy went up with a 30 foot ladder from the back yard. Aside from the fact that I don't own a 30 foot ladder, I can't stand being at the wrong end of a wobbly ladder high above the earth. Being on the roof - I can handle. It's the sketchy trip up and down I don't like.

However, I did note that there was actually an access hatch, which someone brilliantly drywalled over inside the house. If I had been thinking I would have drilled a hole through from the top while I was up there, but I didn't. Now, faced with having to go up there to see what's up with the leak, I need to find it somehow.

Enter Google Maps. The lovely satellite picture clearly shows my hatch and with a little cleverness I realized I could probably get a pretty good fix on it's location. I pulled the screenshot into Photoshop, blew it up, and did some measuring. I know my house is 18 feet wide. In my blowup, it's about 142 pixels wide. The center of the hatch is 73 pixels from the left, and 33 pixels from the back of the house.

Some math... 141 pixels / 18 feet = 7.83 pixels per foot. So the hatch should be 9.3 feet from the left edge, and 4.2 feet from the back of the house. Most likely I'll need to subtract about 6 inches to account for the brick wall from the side-to-side measurement, but this should be close enough so I can drill a hole inside the house and at least be somewhere in the 2x2 hatch zone.

So it seems the internet is not comletely useless after all!

1 comment:

Jezebel said...

I can't wait for the results of this wondrous experiment! Please oh please take pictures.