Since January, 2003
            
 (a random before-and-after moment)
October 1, 2005
April 29, 2007
Half at P, Looking South-Southeast (see more)

With great thanks to reader G. for passing this along, I can report that the newly released Google Earth 5.0 (beta, of course) now includes an option to page back through older satellite photos. As you might imagine, I raced to see what they had for Near Southeast, and found a not-razor-sharp 1949 image, which you can see on my Near Southeast Satellite Photos page if you don't have Google Earth.
You might enjoy the "Where's Waldo?" test of looking for buildings you recognize, such as the Southeastern Bus Garage, the WASA buildings, and even that big brick warehouse at South Capitol and O that was demolished to make way for the ballpark. Things that *aren't* there: the Southeast Freeway (built in the 1960s), the second span of the 11th Street Bridges, a completed Douglass Bridge, and many of the Capper buildings that came in the 1950s. You'll also see how packed with buildings the Navy Yard was, especially since this was still during the time that its boundaries stretched all the way to First Street (across what is now The Yards). And look at how, north of Virginia Avenue, Garfield Park was bisected by Second Street.
The other image offerings from Near Southeast are mostly variants on the ones I already have on my satellite photos page that came from non-Google sources over the years (1988, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007), though there are a few extras from the later years where the quality of the image isn't all that good.
If this is whetting your appetite, I also have a batch of non-satellite historic photos of the neighborhood you can wander through, along with detailed street maps from 1903 through 1921.
UPDATE: Commenter MJM rightly reminds me of a fact that an American History major such as myself should have remembered: Sputnik was the first *satellite*, launched in 1957. So these overhead images from 1949 are not satellite images, but were taken from planes. Or they attached a camera to Superman and had him fly around the globe a few times.
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MJM says: (2/3/09 10:37 PM)
Not sure that was a satellite picture since we didn't launch a satellite until the 1960s. So this picture might need a new label (it came from an airplane).


Jay says: (2/4/09 2:36 AM)
Congrats on the 3Min Interview JD.
That's one thing the Examiner does well.

The map geek in me is still drooling over the '49 shot. Interesting that M separates at around 6th.



JD says: (2/4/09 8:47 AM)
Thanks, Jay. One thing on the 1949 image: that's not a "split" of M Street, that's just the overhead images not quite lining up right when they're pieced together....



BC says: (2/4/09 6:08 PM)
I am looking at the 1939 photo on the non-satellite page where you mention the old Van Ness School. I am guessing that you are talking about that big beautiful building with the yard (playground?) behind it. If so, it is a shame people tore that down to create the quite ugly Van Ness building that is there now. This is just as bad as what happened to the Wallach School by Eastern Market metro.

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Thousands and thousands of photos showing the neighborhood changing. More than 150 buildings no longer with us. All the news, since 2003. Photos from various archives showing the neighborhood in the more distant past. Maps from the early 1900s. Overhead Photo Comparisons: 1949, 1988, 2002-2008. All Blog Entries, 2003 - Present Major Events, 1799 - Present A series of blog entries looking at the neighborhood's history.
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Project Directory
Completed
One Hill South ('17)
Homewood Suites ('16)
ORE 82 ('16)
The Bixby ('16)
Dock 79 ('16)
Community Center ('16)
The Brig ('16)
Park Chelsea ('16)
Yards/Arris ('16)
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Southeast Blvd. ('15)
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Camden South Capitol ('13)
Canal Park ('12)
Capitol Quarter ('12)
225 Virginia/200 I ('12)
Foundry Lofts ('12)
1015 Half Street ('10)
Yards Park ('10)
Velocity Condos ('09)
Teague Park ('09)
909 New Jersey Ave. ('09)
55 M ('09)
100 M ('08)
Onyx ('08)
70/100 I ('08)
Nationals Park ('08)
Seniors Bldg Demo ('07)
400 M ('07)
Douglass Bridge Fix ('07)
US DOT HQ ('07)
20 M ('07)
Capper Seniors 1 ('06)
Capitol Hill Tower ('06)
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