Google’s StreetView

If you haven’t tried out Google’s StreetView I think you’re really missing out on something. But that said, the product is not without controversy. I’ll get to that in a minute but first here’s your basic guide to seeing the application in action.

In your web browser go to Type your address, or any address and city in the box and then click the “search maps” button to the right. A map will appear with the location you requested and a red pushpin marks the exact location you requested.

Click once on the pushpin and a small box will appear. In addition to some options you will see a small photo of the location. (NB: Not all locations are available just yet). Click on the picture or the Street View text under the picture and voila! You be shown an actual picture of the location. And you can move the picture around by dragging your mouse around the picture.

Now this is quite cool to be sure. But some people are troubled by these views. And the jury is still out on the whole “invasion of privacy” thing. I’m not touching that aspect just yet but here’s what I saw as a humourous side to all this.

I was having coffee the other night at you typical local “one on every corner” coffee store. Two thirty-something couples were seated next to me. Here’s the conversation I couldn’t help but overhear:

Guy #1 – “Google has this great application called StreetView. You can actually see a picture of your house or any other location: Here, check it out…”

He whips out his iPhone and demonstrates. All are amazed, ofcourse, except one of the women who says:

“Well, I typed in my home address and looked at the picture and honestly… I wish they would have told me that they were going to photograph the street because our driveway was full of construction material and the house just doesn’t look good.”

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