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Taking a Closer Look

StreetView.jpg

I remember way back when, using Amazon's A9 maps to scope out different blocks in my neighborhood. I was apartment hunting and thought I'd save myself some trouble by pulling up A9's photos of certain streets—what did the building look like? Was the block it was on seedy or going through gentrification? Was there a bodega (as corner stores are called in New York) on the same block?

If my above description of A9 sounds familiar, it might be because you've heard of the Street View feature in Google Maps.

The feature has opened up a new dimension of interactivity, beyond what I was capable of with A9. Privacy issues aside--see "Google Maps Is Spying on My Cat" for one discussion--there is something very Internet-age about browsing street photos for peculiar scenes, posting them on a Web site, and inviting readers to contribute humorous captions.

Street View is currently only available for Denver, Las Vegas, Miami, New York City, and the San Francisco Bay area. The San Francisco photos are of a higher resolution, making it possible to play Where's Waldo? with real life.

Links:
Google Street View
"Google Spy: Zooming in on Neighbors, Nose-Pickers, and Sunbathers with Street View" (Slate)
"Frank Chu Located on Google Maps Street View, Plus Others" (Laughing Squid)
Streetviewr--collection of odd Street View photos

Photo: Looking north to Times Square outside of the World Almanac offices.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 11, 2007 10:53 AM.

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