Saturday, May 3, 2008

"Finding Myself" on Google Street View

As a long-time fan of Google Earth, it has been fun to view all kinds of places from above, especially my neighborhood and house.

Now Google has taken earth viewing down to the street level.

While using Google Maps I recently discovered Google Street View. Many heavily populated areas have been mapped out using a 360 degree field-of-view cameras, mounted on moving vehicles. The photos are taken about 10-15 yards apart and they have been incorporated into Google Maps.

After entering an address on Google Maps, the user can then select "street view". (Not available for all areas.) This brings up 360 degree photos taken as these roving recorders drove past the address.

Not only can you see your house, but people on your porch, cars in your driveway, license plates etc.

My son and I were using street view when we entered our address. We "drove" up the street just a bit and I said, "Hey there's someone walking." We pulled up along-side and my son said, " Hey Dad it's you!) sure enough, there I was, walking to the nearby mailbox to ship a slide scan order!

Click and drag on photos to look around or click on the arrows on the photos to "drive" up the streets

Although Google Maps Street View is a cool toy, I can see potential for it to cause some people trouble.

Examples: Spouse calls home from work after viewing pics of home on Street View: "Honey, who owns the blue sedan I saw parked in our driveway?"

Workman's comp investigator: "Dave, how is your injured back? Was that a washing machine you were lugging up your front steps?"

Woman to husband: "Hey Joe? Who's the woman you're sitting with on our local park bench?"

With millions of people looking at millions photos of their own neighborhoods, things like this are bound to occur.

Read someone else's blog about street view.

Readers are encouraged to post your comments and thoughts on this subject by clicking on the comments link below.


Eric said...

Besides not being available for all addresses, I can say with certainty that it's quite a bit off for some addresses. When I try it for my own address I get a house that's around 0.15 miles away.

Keep in mind, too, that they drive around in different areas at different times. It's very possible to be caught by their cameras in more than one place. I haven't seen myself in it, but my car was parked in front of my parents' when they photographed Central St.

Parallel Divergence said...

Thanks for the link Jim. It's great when you are truly able to find yourself (in Google Street View)

I really love this one:

When you go there, click North.