aerial photographs spur property claims in Cuba

June 10, 2007 § Leave a comment

A satellite view of Havana.

(from via NPR)

(excerpted from the story by Greg Allen)


Exiles from Castro’s Cuba are using new technology to help them find their former homes in the island nation. Some have filed claims against frozen Cuban bank accounts in the United States for their losses.

Many exiles fled Cuba after their homes and businesses were seized, and have not returned since that time. An ongoing exhibit of photographs in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood offers them the next best thing to a visit.

Mario Sanchez is a professor of computer sciences at Miami Dade College who conceived the exhibition, part of a project that marries computer technology with high-definition photography. It is aimed at helping Cuban-Americans locate and see images of their former homes.

Napthali Rishe, or, shows how Cuban Americans can find their homes. At his laptop, he brings up the Web site he runs, A few clicks later, he is navigating around an interactive satellite map of Havana.

In some cases, the interactive map links to high-definition, street-level images of the property or others nearby, taken by U.S. volunteers and entered into the database.

Rishe says the project isn’t political. It was intended to be an interactive archive that would document the current architecture of Havana, but which would also allow users to register claims to their former homes.

Read the whole story, or listen to the podcast from All Things Considered. The show aired last week on NPR.



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