I would just like to reiterate to everyone out there what an astonishing tool Maps.Live.com is, especially the Bird's Eye View. Some examples:
- The exact point where the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers merge.
- US Steel's Granite City works.
- Metro East Industries' locomotive salvage works at Alorton
- Cahokia Power Plant
- Just across the river, the ruins of the minesweeper vessel Inaugural.
- Ruined neighborhood in Wellston, now demolished.
- Tidy streets by O'Fallon Park in north city.
The combination of birds-eye and map/satellite hybrid lets you soar over the land like a god, peering into the hidden worlds of industry and abandonment, granting you an overreaching vision of the lay of the land. In the case of recent demolitions, it grants the user a window into the recent past, as the photographs date from around early 2006. And it has let me identify the exact locations of photographs that I took with only the barest idea of where I was.
Sadly, a huge swath of western St. Louis is missing from the Birds Eye feature -- basically anything west of Midtown and south of University City.