Wednesday, March 29, 2017

SearchResearch Challenge (3/29/17): Where in the world am I?

Details. Details. Details.    

Often, as we do research (especially of the SearchResearch kind), the little details of the Challenge turn out to be important.  This is especially the case when you're trying to figure out where a particular picture has been taken.  

Remember back in 2012 when we did the SearchResearch Challenge with this picture?  

The key there was to do a search with the logo atop the building, and then the rest is  pretty straightforward.  That logo is a small, relevant detail (and the flag in the lower left is an irrelevant detail)--you have to do the search to actually figure this out.  

Or, remember this location search Challenge to find what was important beneath the feet at the location of the photographer?  

In this case, once you identified the Coliseum, you had to use the details of the topographic map of the area nearby to figure out where this location is... and find out what's below the photographer's feet. 

Learning to "read the details" of a photograph is a key skill for photoanalysis, and that's what the point of this week's Challenge is.  Can you figure out where these locations are? 

1.  Where is this?   (And aside from being a random street, what's important about this location?)  

2.  Where is THIS? More to the point, what building is this?  

3.  Finally, where is this... and what's interesting about this particular view?  

Be sure to reveal how you figured out the answers.  It's okay if you just recognize the place (just say so), but if you had to go through a search process, be sure to tell us how you did it when you post in the comments.  We all want to learn how you did it.  Tell us so we can all get better!

I suspect that these will be a bit more challenging than ordinary--so let us also know about how much time it took you to figure out the answers.  

Search on! 

Second attempt... 


  1. The first question is easy, because you used this photo before in August 2012.
    I immediately recognized the picture. You then asked: “What was I doing when I took this picture?”. My answer was:
    Daniel, you are standing in line before the van Gogh Museum in the Paulus Potterstraat in Amsterdam. I suppose you are waiting to buy a ticket.
    I recognized on your picture some Dutch text on a car and two logo’s of employment agencies in the Netherlands: Start People and Randstad. Further I see some characteristic Amsterdam buildings.
    Searching for addresses of the employment agencies in Amsterdam I found they are based on Paulus Potterstraat 28 and Paulus Potterstraat 22. Opposite in the street is the van Gogh Museum.
    It took me about 5 minutes to figure out where you are.
    BTW I live in the Netherlands ;)

    1. Darn... I forgot to check that! Excellent catch.

  2. Tried Jeffery's on all of them. Naturally you too clever for that trick to work.

    1. I recall exactly where this is so I'll not spoilerise it for anyone

    2. Chopped the cupola thing off the top and found right away via Images its Library of Oklahoma State University

    3. ? Still at it.


    1. My mistake, jon -- I re-uploaded the 3rd image. Try clicking on it again. (Should be much higher resolution)

  3. Hello Dr. Russell and everyone

    1. Where is this? (And aside from being a random street, what's important about this location?)

    I opened the photo to find the bigger one and look for details. Btw, Photo 3 has only small version, is that intentional?

    Hard Rock sign: Near leidseplein. And also noticed Holland. Also photograph made me remember a previous SRS Challenge with photo that looks like this one. [Hard Rock near leidseplein] Shows Amsterdam

    [Amsterdam in SRS]Street View from your answer shows almost identical photo

    [Randstad Uitzendbureau] near by [Bols Academy] as you told us there is The Van Gogh Museum

    [Paulus Potterstraat Amsterdam facts] ["paulus potterstraat" amsterdam street known for]

    Answer It is in Amsterdam. The Van Gogh Museum is in that street.

    2. Where is THIS? More to the point, what building is this?

    Searched by Image your photo on big screen. Google added [oklahoma state university] and similar ones (Edmond Low Library at Oklahoma State)

    [Edmon Low Library Wikipedia] to learn more about it. Article says: “Though the Edmon Low Library building has only been on the campus of OSU - Stillwater since 1953, OSU has had a library since the establishment of the school in 1890.”

    Answer Edmond Low Library at Oklahoma State University

    1. Good catch about the 3rd search challenge image. I'm not sure what went wrong there, but that was definitely the low-resolution image (which wasn't what I meant).

    2. Than,Dr. Russell for the new image with high resolution. From that, I appreciate the Church with one cross at each end of the building. Also, looks like island and the construction is on a hill. The color and ceiling style is a clue to search, I think. Need to try with these possible hints. I am reading that Remmij already posted a possible answer. I'll read that

    3. 3. Finally, where is this... and what's interesting about this particular view?

      Tried searching for the Church. First searched [Techo dos aguas en Inglés] and with that [church | chapel white gabled roof crosses each side of building] No results.

      After reading Remmij results, tried:

      Searching Google by Image added [ Saint Hilary] Similar Images show a photo like yours. I wonder if cropping only the Church will work to find it. I am still learning how to work on Chrome OS system these tools

      Tried also Remmij’s path [white wooden chapel golden gate] on Images.


      At first, also thought it could be San Francisco because of the “orange” parts but for me (taking Remmij’s photo again) Golden Gate Towers and Sutro Tower (need to search if this is part of Golden Gate or is different tower) looked so far away so decided maybe was light house or similar in maybe Greece or and island. Btw, Remmij, how you knew it was in December?

      [Sutro Tower] to know about it and also read Wikipedia link provided by Remmij in the next post.

      About what's interesting about this particular view?

      [Old St. Hilary’s hill why landmark]

      Overlooking San Francisco Bay Area Marin county protected area

      [John Thomas Howell] [John Thomas Howell around(4) old saint Hilary's]

      John Thomas Howell: Curator of the California Academy of Sciences.

      Tiburon, despite its genteel image today, was at one time Marin's roughest, toughest industrial town, home to railyards, codfish canneries, and a US Navy coaling station.
      Already mentioned by Remmij: “Today, the 122 acre preserve is one of only two places to see the extremely rare Tiburon jewelflower.”

      OLD ST. HILARY’S LANDMARK AND WILDFLOWER PRESERVE” Some 217 different varieties of flowers have been identified. A few, such as the Black Jewel-flower and the Tiburon Paintbrush, are totally unique to the site”

      I wish I could read what this article says Paywall. That reminds me of a trick Dr. Russell told us about some ways to look information. I'll re-read that

    4. Ramón, have this extension in my Chrome browser - use it & Jeffrey's Image Metadata Viewer - sometimes one works better than the other… idkw
      anyway, the exif viewer included the date taken, see the screen grab below…
      Chrome EXIF-Viewer extension
      screen grab - exif viewer info on Dan's pic
      if you look around from the water you can see Tiburon (to the right of the boat's wake), Golden Gate Bridge Towers, Sutro Tower/Twin Peaks,
      Marina District/Russian Hill/North Beach, Alcatraz… etc. camera depth of field can be confusing…
      out on the bay…
      … what was Dan doing out there in the dark… trail run? attending a wedding?,a presentation at SFSU? dinner at the Tiburon Tavern? testing the camera on his Nexus for low light capability?
      … went through this for the pics more than the charts -
      speaking of codfish - Fig. 37 Belvedere Tiburon

    5. "What was Dan doing out there in the dark... ?" Trust me, a simple search will get you to the right page, and you'll have the answer!

    6. ""What was Dan doing out there in the dark... ?" Trust me, a simple search will get you to the right page, and you'll have the answer!"
      I'm drawing a blank —
      …"simple searches" are eluding me and I have no answer and only wrong pages… but they are still interesting
      you were searching for an "Epiphany"?
      the movie
      see where a 'simple', misguided search goes… [dan in the dark old hillary]

    7. Use the metadata and what you already know...

    8. Thanks, Remmij for telling us about the December Metadata. With that and Dr. Russell's comment:

      [Old St. Hilary’s chapel December 2016 events] Dr. Dan was in a concert of Musae

    9. Ramón & Dan -
      that was an interesting exercise… just wasn't clicking for me - need to ruminate on the block…
      Thumbs Up gold star
      no doubt a great setting to hear such a performance…
      on the play list?
      seems they are frequent performers, especially at Christmas - their number seems to fluctuate…
      thanks again for the solution… I was search flailing.

    10. upcoming (& missed) attractions:
      ☁ April - why only one day of foolery?:
      de Grassi
      ☁ missed: (hear he sometimes hangs with Karl, but it is usually very late at night.)
      05/11, Cazadero Ln.
      09/08 - the Old St. Hilary street view apparition
      09/08 apparition… Vincent-like – the street view cameras must have been different then & algorithm not tweaked?

  4. Replies
    1. Okay.. so what was your hunch, and what did you do to run it down?

      That's a great pic of Edmon... again, what magic thing did you do to find it? (Or are you a grad? ;-)

    2. 3. Finally, where is this... and what's interesting about this particular view? alternative answer:
      inspiration for Darkness On The Edge Of Town - Bruce
      maybe it is an east coast thing

  5. used your new upload pic to show what I looked for - my hunch was - since it was Dec. & night, you were somewhere near SF…
    & looked for various spots/angles if my guess about the GG bridge was correct – initially thought Coit Tower – my SF geography is rusty …

    as for Stillwater - did a reduced image search of the tower & saw OSU results + you had just visited a short time ago…
    no, IU/Bloomington, somewhere back in the pre-Google/Alphabet mists… it's all magic…
    btw, thanks for posting my Bob Ross/Tiepolo homage…
    "“Lets build a happy little cloud. Lets build some happy little trees.”"

  6. …street view caught the banner a month before the show closed – looks like it would have been worthwhile… like being able to go "back in time" with the images.
    "On The Verge" Vincent drifting along the edge…
    15 July - 25 September 2016
    interactive story
    very interesting –
    on the verge video… drawings of the EAR by Dr. Félix Rey
    Yale - premium surcharge?
    how did you find things at OSU? how is the middle of the country? - since you tend to be coastal/intercontinental?
    btw, previous sRs exposure made the recent London disturbance more familiar, but not less disturbing…
    Westminster bridge

  7. not sure how one would search for these cold (meaning no pre-existing knowledge or context) & without search by image…
    Amsterdam, maybe by architectural style, Stillwater doesn't exactly scream "library or OK" and, like you said (which disappeared):
    "(Yes, I know it's dark. Go ahead and figure it out! You can do it.) " BUT there isn't much there there… it is MAGIC!
    the day view:
    Old St. Hilary’s
    the new & the old
    means 'shark' in Spanish… Lemon Shark or Bonnethead Shark
    was Mert Lawwill's hometown - see his work with prosthetic hands
    On Any Sunday and more…
    Bruce Brown is a visionary
    a little different spin on the El Tiburon
    Sutro Tower - SF landmark
    who would have guessed Karl was political… wait, it is the Bay

  8. 3. I spent way too much time on that; the star, the perhaps bridge towers, the wretched church. Got nowhere, and was going to officially resign from 3. but then I thought maybe the street alignment way in the background might be SF looking South from somewhere across the bay. Tried to GE it with no luck in reasonable time, so here now I read remmij has got it. I still do not understand how. I coulda been a contender; but I bailed too soon ! Good one. jon

  9. Dan would have to confirm, but the star appears to be at - or near - the Belvedere Tiburon Landmarks Society offices - in the Broadwalk Shopping Center
    just down from the Woodlands Market store - the triangular shaped light to the left of the star and below
    the colorfully lit boats in Belvedere Cove… the star could have been a clue or a false flag depending on how far you took it.
    think you can see the roof of the Chapel from the parking lot - being Sept. (of 08) no star visiable, but fairly sure it was there in Dec., 16.
    Belvedere Tiburon Landmarks Society parking lot
    found it! - April of 15 - on the backside of the Shopping center roof -
    star in repose…
    resting on the roof… can't find any images of it lit… other than Dan's.
    fwiw - UNC Tar Heels

    1. never can tell what 'incidental' bits of possible useful info may turn up in random street view grabs - "incidental captures/collection"…
      some "VERY FAKE STREET VIEW"… some not

      hmmmm, street view - 2011?
      Ivan Feodorovich Motorin
      Tsar Bell
      near the Красный ❏☭
      thought they were shark fins at first… but not
      fwiw - HvE would be impressed…
      a recent search example of someone not wanting to be searched… see the 5:14 p.m. update

    2. Jon and Remmj, I haven't seen the famous star you mention. Where is it on Dr. Russell's photo? I can see it on Remmij's links but don't know how Jon found it to SRS Q3. BTW, I also trying different ways to find the chapel and is not easy without trying Remmij's key words. I am looking forward to learn how Dr. Russell solves it

    3. seems the extra moisture this Spring will brighten things up a bit in the El Rancho Corte Madera del Presidio…
      John Thomas Howell Wildflower Preserve - a nocturnal color explosion

    4. Hello Remmij! Thanks! The star is so clear, I don't understand how I missed it. The image you created "Nocturnal Color Explosion" is very beautiful.

    5. … still impressed that Ramón figured out why you were there… meta-deductive reasoning (with your prompt, that went over - or thru - my head)
      thought the modifications would make it harder to find, but… even found it with [tiburon] even [san francisco bay area] giving image search a little assist…
      about 9 rows down for me
      pay for view
      no house

    6. el tiburón… in Mexico City! – that would shake things up in the norte SF Bay Tiburon
      el tiburón
      interview, Javier Senosiain
      (am clueless on the GPosting thing… lo siento)

  10. Dr. Russell, Remmij and everyone, have any of you found other users of this Google project?

    I found this with [mlb] on tablet.And for me is new and it doesn't show always. It says "On Google" and in this case MLB. My question how we can find other users of post or information posted in this service?


  11. Anne and Deb here:
    1) From sign we see that there is a Hard Rock Cafe nearby. Then saw sign for Randstad. Found out it is an employment company located in Amersterdam. Truck has Luykx on it -also a Dutch company. Then did an image search and found someone had posted answer from when this picture was posted earlier. So got our answer from there. verified that Randstad was near the Van Gogh museum
    2) was much easier challenge. Dropped picture (after cropping -before cropping google results just said it was a building- thanks we had figured that out already!LOL). After cropping search result said Oklahoma State Univ. Looked on their website, found campus map and found very similar picture.
    Will work on #3 now.