Streets is searching – Google street view

In a time long forgotten, men voyaged the earth without knowing when it would end. They did not know for sure what would lay next. Was the world round or flat? How far was the next mountain? How high was the sky? Did humans live on other parts of the world?

In search of these answers, they sailed the high seas, faced starvation, disease and stared death in the face. These brave souls combatted the desire to return home and brokered peace with humans in new places (and killed quite a few of these natives too). These men forged new paths, new societies, crossing cultural and physical boundaries and created new ones for generations to follow.

In the last 24hrs, the inhabitants of Australia have just moved into unforeseen terrority. Actually, it might be seen terrority. Google has introduced street view for Google maps for Australia, which has literally put Australia on the map. Street view allows you to see an actual address using real images. Instead of seeing a traditinoal 2D line representing a street, you can see bricks and mortar – and concrete, trees, cars and people! You see the same view as if you were standing there. It is quite amazing. The trippiest thing is that it allows you to walk up and down the street, and do a 360 degree panoramic spin. Check out the corner of George St & Bathurst St, one of the busiest intersections in the city.

I’ve used it before in New York and in San Fran, and its so handy. I was going to meet up with a friend in downtown San Fran near his work. Since I had never been there before, I had to look it up on a map. So I jumped onto Google street view and saw the actual building and the surroundings so I wouldn’t get lost. It blew me away with the accuracy and realism.

There is also plenty of advertising opportunites available as well with virtual tours, virtual advertising, ability to have specific ads for certain street addresses. People now are able to leave reviews of a restaurant, comments about a bar, etc…

There’s some more official info on it via Google’s Australia blog. It takes realism to a whole new level. However, it also takes stalking to a whole new level as well. Google’s politically correct line is that you are not seeing anything beyond what you would see if you were standing there yourself. It’s true. but its just so …… intrusive. Having the world at your fingertips and every location you would ever want.

I can just imagine a bank robber testifying in court saying how they used google street view to case a bank, study exit strategies, etc… Or potential terrorist targets being indentified.

On the brighter side, I also managed to follow the tour de france route along the Champ D Elysees, and had a look at the Arc D Triumph. Its still looks magnificent and brings back memories of when I stopped at the same traffic island and took a photo.

I’m out like regular street directories,

Matt.

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