Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wednesday Search Challenge (5/1/13): What's the name of the stream?

Today I went for a run in this park.  (I took this photo from my hotel room, not very far from the park.) As you can see, it's a fairly large park in a well-known city.  

As I ran, I ended up running along a stream. Alas, there were no signs to tell me the name of the stream. 


What's the name of this stream?

Today's challenge isn't too hard: 

     Can you find out the name of the stream
     I was running past?  


There's only one stream in the park (so far as I can tell). 

BUT, just to save you some time--I've removed the EXIF data from the photo, so you'll have to do something other than just looking up the lat/long.  

Can you do it?  

Extra credit: 

As you know from last week, I love to know what kind of trees I'm seeing as I run.  In this case, as I was running along, I saw a particular tree of a particular type that reminded me of home.  

     Can you tell me what kind of tree I saw?


Tell us not just the answer, but HOW you figured it out! 


Search on! 

18 comments:

  1. Google Image search for picture
    Results: None
    Google Image search for picture and
    Results: None

    Striking out on those searches, I made an educated guess: The seven to eight story tall buildings with the black roofs are common in Paris, so you were probably in Paris.

    Google maps: Paris
    Identified large parks in Paris. Blois de Vincennes had no roads nearby matching the intersection pictured.
    Blois de Boulogne did. Google Streetview at that intersection showed the building in the center of your picture (and how was your stay at the Hotel Concorde La Fayette?)

    Wikipedia:
    Results: “Bois de Boulogne contains two artificial lakes and eight artificial ponds, connected by three artificial streams." However, only one was named: “Ruisseau de Longchamp (1855) is the major artificial stream in the park”
    Answer 1: Ruisseau de Longchamp

    Also in that article:
    “The Pré-Catelan still has a few vestiges of its early days; a majestic copper beech planted in 1782; a giant sequoia tree planted in 1872;”
    Giant Sequoia being from California…
    Answer 2: Giant Sequoia

    ReplyDelete
  2. How is the Hotel Concorde La Fayette, BTW?

    It took me about 30 minutes to catch a break on finding what city the park is in. After that, it only took about 2 minutes to identify the stream and an additional 3 minutes to identify the tree.

    The city looks European (the architecture and vehicles give some indication). Vehicles are being driven on the right side of the road, so that ruled out a few countries.

    I tried a few false starts:
    Google Image search for the entire image didn't turn up anything.
    Cutting out a few of the buildings (the one at the lower right of the picture, for example) from the image and Image-searching on those didn't turn up anything either.

    I tried searching for the square-pruned trees along the promenade/boulevard at the left center of the image: [square topiary european boulevard] and variations.

    Downloading and zooming way in on the image (thanks to Picassa image viewer) revealed an odd shape in the park surrounded by three cranes.
    Despite it being pretty blurry (zoomed in at 500%) it kind of looked like F. Gehry's museum in Bilbao.
    Searching for [museum construction in park gehry] lead me to the Wikipedia page for Gehry's works. I scrolled through the image list and didn't see anything that resembled the image.

    At the very bottom was an additional list of works in progress. I quickly scanned that list for anything in a park. Nothing. For some reason the "Louis Vuitton Foundation for Creation" entry jumped out at me (in Paris, so European city, and completion anticipated 2013, so the cranes made sense.)

    As soon as I followed through to that entry and saw the image on the right: (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/41/Le_bois_de_Boulogne_et_le_chantier_de_la_fondation_Louis_Vuitton_%28Paris%29_%287810566806%29.jpg/300px-Le_bois_de_Boulogne_et_le_chantier_de_la_fondation_Louis_Vuitton_%28Paris%29_%287810566806%29.jpg )
    I knew I had it: amorphous building flanked by three cranes and surrounded by trees.

    Reading through the article told me that the park is te Bois de Boulogne which has its own Wikipedia entry and details on Lakes and Streams in the Park. The main stream appears to be this one: Ruisseau de Longchamp

    This Panoramio shot (Google Streetview not available for the trail) shows the same bridge structure as in your second image:
    http://goo.gl/maps/m4GKC

    Scrolling a bit further down the Wikipedia article, there was this picture: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sequoiadendron_giganteum02_by_Lin%C3%A91.jpg

    A giant Sequoia...well, that's about as Northern California as you can get.

    Very fun challenge!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. impressive sleuthing on the Paris location! — interesting route.
      LVFfC

      Delete
  3. I began by searching for a similar image. No luck.

    I know you are traveling based on you telling us this is a view from your hotel.

    Checked your Google+ and you had posted a photo from CHI2013 in Paris, France

    [ CHI2013 in Paris, France ] to get http://chi2013.acm.org/

    on that page is a link to Le Palais des Congrès de Paris http://www.viparis.com/Viparis/salon-paris/site/Palais-Congres-Paris/fr/4

    Searched [ 2 place de la Porte Maillot - 75017 Paris ] for a map and changing to satellite view looks similar to your photo.

    I switched to Google Earth for more control and decided that it was a match.

    Zoom out to see the name of the park is Bois de Boulogne.

    Search [Bois de Boulogne ] to go to Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bois_de_Boulogne

    They had a link to Lakes and Streams http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bois_de_Boulogne#Lakes_and_streams

    They list one major stream Ruisseau de Longchamp.

    Looking around the park in Google Earth I really didn't see any other streams so I'm going with that.

    Answer #1 Ruisseau de Longchamp

    On the Wikipedia page I saw mention of a Giant Sequoia in the gardens.

    Decided to double check and search for [ Bois de Boulogne trees ] then I used translated foreign pages. The first link on the SERP for me was "Discovering The Remarkable Trees"
    http://www.paris.fr/loisirs/se-promener-a-paris/balades-au-vert/a-la-decouverte-des-arbres-remarquables-duplique/rub_9660_stand_104162_port_23803

    They had an interactive map listing the remarkable trees in Paris.
    http://goo.gl/maps/S6q6L
    Scrolling down I found a group located in the Bois de Boulogne trees and the only one in the list mentioning California that I saw was the Giant Sequoia. I'm going with that one.

    Answer #2 Giant Sequoia.

    I do want to mention that I had inattention blindness at first. I related the first question to the first picture and the second question to the second picture. Clearly the tree in the 2nd picture isn't a Giant Sequoia. I finally saw the caption and disassociated the picture to the question and went with the Giant Sequoia.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The park is the Bois de Boulogne in Paris. Wikipedia identifies the Ruisseau de Longchamp as the main (artificial) stream in the park but there are two others, unnamed.

    I noticed the characteristic Parisian architecture and then used Googe Maps to look for a park in Paris with a long, straight diagonal road leading to a corner intersecting a major highway. The underpass design is also distinctively Parisian. I figured you might be in a hotel close to La Defense so I started at that end of the Champs Elysees. Once I identified the park I confirmed the buildings on the intersection with Streetview.

    Wikipedia identifies a number of trees in the park but the one most likely to remind you of home is 'a giant sequoia tree planted in 1872'.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I guess you were staying at the Hotel Concorde La Fayette

    ReplyDelete
  6. The park is the Bois de Boulogne and, according to Wikipedia, the major stream in the park is the Ruisseau de Longchamp.

    I looked at the buildings and immediately thought of Paris. Searching Google maps gave a park with a strong diagonal leading to major highways. Zooming in to the satellite pictures proved me right by looking at the buildings.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wikipedia also says that there is a giant sequoia tree in the park, planted in 1872.

    ReplyDelete
  8. By Jove..

    I think I've got it, and it only took ten minutes after the flash of inspiration.

    I realised we needed to work out where you had been travelling and I guessed that you would have been at a conference or show, so searched on:
    "Dan Russell" AND conference

    This gave me the CHI Conference In Paris on 29 April, 2013, which looks to fit the bill. Using Google Maps, then street view I managed to visually match the photo to an area of Paris and confirm that you were looking across the Bois de Bologne.

    From that Wikipedia confirms that stream is the Ruisseau de Longchamp, an artificial stream built in 1855. Also confirmed this using my rusty but serviceable french at the garden's website (http://www.paris.fr/pratique/paris-au-vert/bois-de-boulogne/les-lacs-les-promenades-en-barque/rub_6567_stand_67054_port_14916).

    Wikipedia and the Paris website gives the tree reminding you of home as a Giant Sequoia planted in 1872

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your first search there was genius.

      Delete
  9. pic taken from the Hyatt looking toward the Bois de Boulogne
    the stream would be the Ruisseau de Longchamp and the tree, the giant sequoia?
    for grins, used bing to search and they had it all nailed except they gave your location as Turkmenistan... a little friendly search rivalry,maybe Teevan?
    Actually, started with looking at your +page and saw you were cooking in Paris - then searched large parks and used maps to confirm Bois - then searched info on the park for stream & tree. ~ 20 minutes.
    see any zeppelins amongst the oaks?
    Longchamps Mill
    MoocPanel

    ReplyDelete
  10. Park - famous -city centre -Central Park - image shows a straight diagonal road cutting thru centre from right to left.

    Google maps, Google earth -Central Park - no straight diagonal road. Not Central Park.

    Ok what else might give me a clue. Why not check for conferences that Dan Russell might be attending. Check his Twitter posts and his website. https://sites.google.com/site/dmrussell/ April 29 2013 CHI Conference in Paris France. I will get back to this search.

    Google Earth Paris France parks. There is one with this diagonal roadway which is Alleé de Longchamp.

    Query [paris park “allee de longchamp]

    Bois de Boulogne
    Query [Bois de Boulogne]

    Result http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bois_de_Boulogne

    The Ruisseau de Longchamp (1855) is the major artificial stream in the park. It flows through the Pré-Catelan, under the alley of Reine Marguerite, then to the Mare des Biches, one of the oldest natural ponds in the park, then to the Etang de Reservoir and the Grand Cascade.

    Here’s some history if interested
    Their plan called for long straight alleys in patterns crisscrossing the park [and how I identified the park from Dan’s hotel room] and, as the Emperor had asked, lakes and a long stream similar to the Serpentine in Hyde Park. Unfortunately, Varé bungled the assignment. He failed to take into account the difference in elevation between the beginning of the stream and the end; if his plan had been followed, the upper part of the stream would have been empty, and the lower portion flooded. When Haussmann saw the partially finished stream, he saw the problem immediately and had the elevations measured. He dismissed the unfortunate Varé and Hittorff, and designed the solution himself; an upper lake and a lower lake, divided by an elevated road, which serves as a dam; and a cascade which allows the water to flow between the lakes. This is the design still seen today.

    As for trees one famous tree in the Bois de Boulogne is the Lebanon Tree mentioned in the Wikipedia place above. Also known as the Cedrus Libani (Cedar of Lebanon)

    Query [cedrus libani in california san francisco]

    http://books.google.ca/books?id=ko2UC_mthOIC&pg=PA60&lpg=PA60&dq=cedrus+libani+in+california+san+francisco&source=bl&ots=gHrZLEifM-&sig=MeOLkegk9INEciW9mIzkW6gNGLI&hl=en&sa=X&ei=3YGBUY6_MKWIiAK4loGABg&ved=0CDcQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=cedrus%20libani%20in%20california%20san%20francisco&f=false

    Cedar of Lebanon has been in the Golden Gate Park since 1893;


    Search for 'hotels' in area to get the right angle to see if I can figure out which hotel. Where's the conference being held and what hotels have been booked? Four hotels booked Méridien Étoile - A Starwood Hotel , Concorde Lafayette and two others on the other side of the river. So which hotel did Dan stay at? Well based on my Google Earth search a few landmarks standout. There is the N185 Underpass and to the left a traffic circle not in the picture. There is the park in the background with the Allee de Longchamp just slightly to your left which provides a great angle. . Based on playing around with the angles, the roadways etc. my best guess is you stayed at the Concorde Lafayette.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Park - famous -city centre -Central Park - image shows a straight diagonal road cutting thru centre from right to left.

    Google maps, Google earth -Central Park - no straight diagonal road. Not Central Park.

    Ok what else might give me a clue. Why not check for conferences that Dan Russell might be attending. Check his Twitter posts and his website. https://sites.google.com/site/dmrussell/ April 29 2013 CHI Conference in Paris France. I will get back to this search.

    Google Earth Paris France parks. There is one with this diagonal roadway which is Alleé de Longchamp.

    Query [paris park “allee de longchamp]

    Bois de Boulogne
    Query [Bois de Boulogne]

    Result http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bois_de_Boulogne

    The Ruisseau de Longchamp (1855) is the major artificial stream in the park. It flows through the Pré-Catelan, under the alley of Reine Marguerite, then to the Mare des Biches, one of the oldest natural ponds in the park, then to the Etang de Reservoir and the Grand Cascade.

    Here’s some history if interested
    Their plan called for long straight alleys in patterns crisscrossing the park [and how I identified the park from Dan’s hotel room] and, as the Emperor had asked, lakes and a long stream similar to the Serpentine in Hyde Park. Unfortunately, Varé bungled the assignment. He failed to take into account the difference in elevation between the beginning of the stream and the end; if his plan had been followed, the upper part of the stream would have been empty, and the lower portion flooded. When Haussmann saw the partially finished stream, he saw the problem immediately and had the elevations measured. He dismissed the unfortunate Varé and Hittorff, and designed the solution himself; an upper lake and a lower lake, divided by an elevated road, which serves as a dam; and a cascade which allows the water to flow between the lakes. This is the design still seen today.

    As for trees one famous tree in the Bois de Boulogne is the Lebanon Tree mentioned in the Wikipedia place above. Also known as the Cedrus Libani (Cedar of Lebanon)

    Query [cedrus libani in california san francisco]

    http://books.google.ca/books?id=ko2UC_mthOIC&pg=PA60&lpg=PA60&dq=cedrus+libani+in+california+san+francisco&source=bl&ots=gHrZLEifM-&sig=MeOLkegk9INEciW9mIzkW6gNGLI&hl=en&sa=X&ei=3YGBUY6_MKWIiAK4loGABg&ved=0CDcQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=cedrus%20libani%20in%20california%20san%20francisco&f=false

    Cedar of Lebanon has been in the Golden Gate Park since 1893;


    Search for 'hotels' in area to get the right angle to see if I can figure out which hotel. Where's the conference being held and what hotels have been booked? Four hotels booked Méridien Étoile - A Starwood Hotel , Concorde Lafayette and two others on the other side of the river. So which hotel did Dan stay at? Well based on my Google Earth search a few landmarks standout. There is the N185 Underpass and to the left a traffic circle not in the picture. There is the park in the background with the Allee de Longchamp just slightly to your left which provides a great angle. . Based on playing around with the angles, the roadways etc. my best guess is you stayed at the Concorde Lafayette.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I actually went around the easy question a little differently than normal. Normally I would have thrown the picture into Google images to see if it could find a similar picture as yours from the hotel. Instead I decided to look at your social pages and in particular Google plus. Looks like you are/were in Paris. Using that I then pulled up Google maps and went looking for a major park near a motorway. This quickly led me to finding the Bois de Boulogne park and I confirmed this by switching to the satellite view and being able to match the building top (and in particular the little tower ). It actually looks like there’s two streams in the park but the one I am certain you’re looking for is the Ruisseau de Longchamp.

    Bonus question I may or may not have solved. From looking at information on the park as a whole I see that when building the park they specifically planted redwoods which are a native tree of California. However I wondered if you were really looking for the tree species in your 2nd picture which I wasn’t finding.

    To find the stream/park took 10 minutes max. Tree type was easy to find the redwoods information but then trying to use your photo was harder. Spent about 20 minutes looking at other photos from the park on Flickr/panaramio.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Dr. Russell!

    I tried different ways to find the answer and I couldn´t. Since you tell How we figure it out I am posting.

    Used for example: Image with europe and visually similar blue. Image with different text and used search tools.

    Queries like [Big park water streams] [European park] [European city surrounded trees stream]

    Zoomed image and tried with the text formed with landscape and I couldn´t read it.

    I couldn´t find the answer and I found another interesting data. So I will read tomorrow your answer. Enjoy your trip and have a great day, Dr. Russell.

    ReplyDelete
  14. It's not that simple, le bois de Boulogne has 3 streams. But your hotel was near the porte Maillot (Meridien may be) so I think the first stream you met was the ruisseau d'Armenonville but you may as well run towards la porte de la Muette (where joggers meet) and reach the ruisseau de Longchamp. You could also see the ruisseau des Sablons, but I think you'd have to cross the ruisseau d'Armenoville first.
    So, I'll say the ruisseau d'Armenonville.
    The trees that could remind you of home could be Sycomores or Maples.

    How?

    - I first thought the building on the lower right of the picture had a very characteristic front, I downloaded the image and cut that part to make an image search. Nothing.
    - So I went on your gplus page and found you were in Paris for CHI2013 at the Palais des Congrès, porte Maillot. It must be the bois de Boulogne, it's the only park of that size in Paris and it's near porte Maillot. (It helped to be french)
    Checking in GMaps and found the strange building front indeed (I guess you may have been at the Meridien hotel).

    -> Bois de Boulogne.

    Then Wikipedia (in French) gave the 3 streams and a link to the page about the 'bois' on the site of the City of Paris. You can find the a map of the bois, where the streams are indicated but not their name. On the page named "Les lacs, les promenades en barque..." you find details about the streams and on the page "Découverte écologique du bois de Boulogne" you find a pdf with the trees, birds, flowers, etc.

    Maples and Sycomores are common in the Bay Area I think.

    The big problem is that a lot of the infos are in pdf files that are french only!

    I'm eager to see how non native french managed to find.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I decided to start my search on Wikipedia, hoping to find a list of large parks from which I could narrow down the search.
    I navigated my way from "Park" to "Urban Park" to

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

    BINGO!

    The architecture (and urban landscaping) of the place looks distinctively French. Throwing in the fact that cars in the image are driving on the right and a the blue/white traffic sign I decided to start my search there.

    My first candidate in France was the Bois de Vincennes (also in Paris and even bigger than the one you were looking for). It contains several artificial lakes and streams linking them so was worth a closer look, by which I mean a visit to Google Maps' in Satellite View. Sadly this showed no area of similar layout as the overpass in your photo, so I decided to move on.

    Next up was Paris' second largest park, the Bois de Boulogne, which according to Wikipedia again included the type of water features I was after. Back to Google Maps and lo and behold:

    http://goo.gl/maps/iu16V

    It was a perfect match, the angle of the streets, the overpass, down to the rectangular light shaft on the protruding corner of the hotel you were in (Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile, formerly Hotel Concorde La Fayette). I also found a confirmation on Panoramio: http://www.panoramio.com/photo/10637925

    Now the Bois de Boulogne is home to several man-made streams linking a chain of equally artificial lakes. The longest and probably most suitable for jogging along appears to be the Ruisseau de Longchamp.

    Now as for the tree. The Wikipedia article on the park reads:

    "...four hundred and twenty thousand trees, including hornbeam, beech, linden, cedar, chestnut and elm trees and hardy exotic species, like redwoods."

    I'd say a redwood/sequoia would indeed be an unexpected sight for a Californian visiting a park in Paris, so it would have to be the most obvious answer ;)

    Nice question, Thanks.
    Time spent: around 10-15 minutes.

    ReplyDelete
  16. This one was tough without the exif data.
    However, the buildings looked very similar to buildings I’ve seen in Paris. I searched for “Google Paris” and found that there is a Google HQ at 8 Rue de Londres, Paris, France. Then I pulled that address up on a map to see if there were large parks near Rue de Londres. Down the road is the Blois de Boulogne.
    To confirm, I used Google street view to see if I could match the landscape. From this I could see that the streets matched, and there was even a French flag in your picture that matched a flag in the streetview. (You were staying at the Hotel Concorde de la Fayette!)
    The Wikipedia article on the Blois de Boulogne mentions several streams, but one major one: the Ruisseau de Longchamp. The article also mentions some special trees in the park. One of them is a Giant Sequoia, which is, I assume, what reminded you of home.

    ReplyDelete