And sometimes, the needs is not for very high resolution as much as knowing that a bridge still exists. From Mikel Maron presentation and notes:
My friend Jesse Robbins… headed down and helped lead the set up of a relief operation, not too far from where this bridge on US Route 90 had been completely destroyed. However, the Red Cross was giving evacuation directions to cross this bridge, so loads of cars would stop at the edge of this pennisula with confused drivers. Jesse phoned the Red Cross multiple times to complain the bridge wasn’t there anymore .. and they responded “but that can’t be — it’s still in Google Maps!”Maybe one of the way to bring maps without too much details is to use people taking pictures from planes and expecting them to upload all their pictures onto a web site. The stitching algorithm and software would do the rest. Since nobody is really an expert about stitching you can use a simple program like Autopano Pro that ask people to drag and drop images in a folder and Voila!.
Here is an example of overflying an area using a Commercial plane at 3,000 feet with a 3x optical zoom (not 10,000 feet as written, click on the link).
Here is an example of overflying an area with a jet at 30,000 feet at 500 mph with a 3x optical zoom (it is reduced to 10 percent but it can be shared on the web through zoomify at full scale).
Here is an example of overflying an area with a stratospheric balloon at 120,000 feet at 50 mph with a 12x optical zoom.
Clearly, a 3x point and shoot camera can tell you if the bridge is still there.