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Killtown
09-24-2008, 11:45 PM
I'm trying to determine the location of where this photo was taken:

http://photos.signonsandiego.com/albums/080920PSA/psa290292_037.jpg
A plume of smoke rises from North Park after the crash of PSA flight 182.
http://photos.signonsandiego.com/080920PSA/psa290292_037


Here are the coordinates for where the plane crashed:

Lat: 3244'37.00"N
Long: 117 7'14.00"W

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PSA_Flight_182


Thanks in advance.

Captain Hornblower
09-25-2008, 07:27 AM
Ok, let's have a look at the fact. What do we know? We know, where the aircraft crashed. We know, when it crashed. What don't we (I) know is how the city of San Diego has changed since 1978 and what kind of camera and optical devices the photographer used.

What do we see at the picture? In the center is a big column of black smoke indicating the crash and the crash site. We don't have any indication about the height of the column, but it is obvious, that the picture was made from an uncertain distance. Below the column we see a slope covered with green bushes or trees with two parallel "valleys". It looks like that the slope is continued on the right side of the picture almost to the photographers position. Next, almost on the left side of the picture, is a lowland with few housing. On the far left is kind of a settlement, probably including some industrial areas. Closer to the photographer position we can see some green areas. In front we see the part of a fence including a fence post. The position of the photographer seems to be above the lowland. Besides the rose, I don't see any further details.

Let's look at the fence post. On its right side we see a shadow, on its left a light area. We can assume, that the sun as the only source of light is at an imaginery position left outside the picture. As we know that the plane(s) crashed at 09:00 local time and as we all know that the sun raises in the East. On 09-25-78, the sun raised at 06:38 local, transition was at 12:40. So the sun was almost half the way to zenit, which means it stood somewhere in the Southeast. Therefore we can assume, that the photographer stood somewhere north to northeast of the crash site.

Let's jump to Google Earth and to the crash site. From there let's "walk" to the Northeast. After 3 miles we see Grantville. Grantville is lower than San Diego. At the transition we see a green slope with two parallel valleys. Looks like we are on the right track. Further on to the Northeast you see a golf course (Admiral Baker Golf Course) which is bordered with a slope to the West and to the North as we can see on the picture. We can assume that the green area on the picture is the golf course. North of the golf course is the position of the photographer. On the picture we can draw an imaginary line from the smoke column via the left "valley" to the photographer. If we draw that line in Google Earth I come to the conclusion, that the photographers position is near this position:
32°48'55.75"N, 117° 5'25.93"W

McMaster_de
09-25-2008, 10:36 AM
Jep, I think Capi has the correct location. Near this coordinates should be the place.

Appletom
09-25-2008, 05:21 PM
Can't argue with anything the Captain wrote - very good analysis sir.

Killtown
09-29-2008, 08:39 PM
If we draw that line in Google Earth I come to the conclusion, that the photographers position is near this position:
3248'55.75"N, 117 5'25.93"W
Wow Capt, you're good! I concur the photo was taken at/near that backyard.

Getting to the specifics of that spot, the photo seems to show it was taken from a backyard with no brush/trees along the fence line. The backyard you have it at has a pool and tall trees along the fence. A couple houses to the left of it (via GoogleMaps (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=32%C2%B048%2755.75%22N,+117%C2%B0+5%2725.93%22W&ie=UTF8&ll=32.815143,-117.090947&spn=0.001384,0.002843&t=h&z=19)) have backyards that are mostly empty by the fence line which is more consistent with the photo.

The spot you have it at has a pool and trees, however they look relatively new, so do you think it was taken at the spot you have it at before the pool and trees were there, or do you think it could have been taken a couple houses down to the left?

http://img91.imageshack.us/img91/9016/sandiegoplumewn7.jpg


Btw, the reason I want to know the photo location is to try to measure the width of the plume in that photo. I did a very rough estimate and measured the plume to be about 480 yds wide. If anyone is interested, see what your measurements come out to.

Captain Hornblower
09-30-2008, 06:50 AM
Don't forget that you can't see the changes of the backyards in the last 30 years? Someone may have plant trees, someone may have cut them off....

Appletom
09-30-2008, 05:23 PM
Wow Capt, you're good! I concur the photo was taken at/near that backyard.

Nobody here is better than the Captain at this kind of stuff.


Btw, the reason I want to know the photo location is to try to measure the width of the plume in that photo. I did a very rough estimate and measured the plume to be about 480 yds wide. If anyone is interested, see what your measurements come out to.OK, now you have my curiosity way up. Why would anybody be interested in the width of the plume from a tragedy from 30 years ago?

1 - The plume would be wider if the photo was taken even two seconds later, and it would be narrower if the photo was taken even two seconds earlier.

2 - Estimates of the width of the plume wouldn't vary from one backyard to another, the lot line appears to be sort of/kind of perpendicular to the crash site.

3 - Chances are the plume wasn't a perfect circle, so the width of the plume would vary depending on your angle. Somebody in Mission Bay might have seen a wider or narrower plume at that exact second. And somebody on top of Mt. Soledad would have yet another different perspective of the width.

Again, I'm not knocking you in any way, shape or form, just wondering.

Forkboy2
09-30-2008, 09:46 PM
Just to throw in a dissenting opinion :)

I think it was taken a little further to the east. The photo shows a set of fairly unique looking buildings on a ridge on the right side of the photo, right above the red flower. I'm pretty sure those buildings are the apartments located at:

3247'22.12"N 117 6'20.45"W

If those buildings are those apartments then it seems like the photo would be taken farther to the east. But very difficult to tell...zoom lens can do funny things to perspective.

Matt

Captain Hornblower
10-01-2008, 06:26 AM
I almost agree. In my opinion these appartments are here
3247'33.58"N 117 6'25.08"W

If the picture would had been taken farther to the East (I guess we don't talk about several meters), the ridge on the right side of the picture can be seen like on the picture.

Micradott
06-18-2009, 12:16 AM
PSA Flight 182 Crash Site

GoogleDude
04-13-2011, 09:25 PM
Lining up landmarks vertically on the photo then seeing approximately where these lines converge I'd guess it was from a backyard on Zagala Court, as someone on signonsandiego previously guessed. The elevation there seems right as well. I've attached a kmz file with yellow lines repesenting where on earth the edge of the photos probably are, and redlines to other landmarks.