Note: The information contained in this periodical weblog may be outdated. This was my personal weblog published before January 1, 2015. Since then I have been the co-owner and Principal Solar Designer at Florida Solar Design Group.

Solar Energy Tools

I use several software tools to help design solar energy systems. One of the important tools is Bing Maps. Bing offers aerial views that are not just satellite overhead plan views, but angled views of most homes in Southwest Florida.

Solar Home
Bing Map Aerial View of a Solar Home

Aerial views can help determine suitability of a home or roof surface for solar energy products. I can see potential shading issues, and estimate roof sizes (I can get more accurate size information using other tools, which I will highlight in later posts). Sometimes we can see vents, satellite dishes, power lines, and other roof obstructions that may pose problems.

Google Maps also recently started offering 45 degree angle views. For now I still prefer Bing Maps, but I use both to get the most information possible.

If you want to see what you home looks like from above, don’t settle for one-dimensional overhead satellite views. Give Bing Maps a try!


  1. It seems like when you click on the aerial view it’s a more current image than bird’s eye view. I guess they update these sections separately.

    1. Author

      I have found the same thing. It appears the satellite image is more up to date in Southwest Florida, but that could be just a timing thing. Bing uses bird’s eye images from a company called Pictometry, which is a different source from the satellite imagery. You can always see the provider of the satellite image in the lower right corner of a Bing aerial view. It changes as you change the zoom level.

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