Anyone see it?
Have you ever looked at Google Maps Street View? Have you ever wondered how they did it? If it’s new to you, take a look at this Street View demonstration.
This car was a classic Street View car, and it’s pretty cool looking. It prompted your Roving Reporter to do some research.
Google has to physically drive around and photograph the streets – can you imagine? It boggles the mind to think of thousands of little Google cars prowling streets all over to document the locations.
They have to consider the sun, shadows and weather so they begin documenting southern states in the US in the winter, moving to the northern states as summer comes.
Since more people want street views of Seattle than Bozeman, the larger metro areas are covered first. Within the area, they photograph the city centers, downtowns and popular sites then move to the other locations.
‘Course, that’s only the beginning. The car has a global positioning system (GPS) and sensors that figure speed and direction. Using that info, they match it with the photos.
Sounds daunting to this reporter…
Are you starting to feel like Big Brother’s watching?
Google insists it respects privacy, and they blur the imagery of faces and license plates, and they explain more on the privacy section of their site.
It’s not just us, either. Since they began in 2007 with five U.S. cities, they now have documented streets on all seven continents.
Whewh! That’s a lot of cars, cameras and stitching!
Wondering about the locations where you can’t drive a car?
They have a Street View Trike, a bicycle-based camera system, that goes on trails, parks, campuses and other places where a bike makes sense.
For snowy locations, they designed a Street View Snowmobile, using duct tape and 2×4’s. Who would have thought Google has the same design team as my backyard projects?
Using this upscale system, they photographed Whistler Blackcomb so you can visit virtually.
The Street View Trolley was designed to travel through museums.
As Google documents the world, it may drive some people to head for the mountains, and hope the Street View team isn’t hot on your heels.
It gives the state’s tourism tagline, Get Lost in Montana, a new dimension of appeal.
Regardless, it is fun to travel the streets of cities without leaving your house.
What do you think of Google Street Views? Please comment below…