Bring out the torches and the pitchforks!

The google street view car is here…

I once wrote a fairytale (ok maybe not a fairytale- can I never say anything nice about something I write?) about this artificial intelligence/ conscience kinda *thing* on the internet(it’s complicated you would have to read it) that by virtue of absorbing your netprints (kinda like foot/ thumb prints) learns everything about you (I wrote this six years ago so don’t bother laughing).

Anyway a lot of people today tend to think that google is morphing into this ‘Big brother’ like character that probably knows a lot about you and wont stop from learning more either.

So it wasn’t surprising to see the brouhaha (did I spell that correctly) about the Google street view car-  People complaining about the invasion of privacy, angry mobs out in the street trying to lynch the driver of the car (kidding about the lynching part but the angry mobs were there anyway- no offense to anyone please, I’m just being flippant.)

Bring out the torches!
Bring out the torches!

(If you are wondering what the google street view car is- you are one of those untouched by google and technology and I envy you- though I wonder how you managed to get to my blog!- Google street view (here) gives you 360 degree digital photographs of streets. Imagine how much easier it is not to get lost anymore or how you wouldn’t have to ask for directions..yay! I myself discovered this and loved it whilst planning for my trip to Paris. Do this if you have the time- Try searching for Quai Branly, Paris and move your view a little to the left to get a delightful view of Eiffel Tower through Cherry Blossoms)

Many opinions have poured forth from either side- people who argue that there is nothing lillegal about google  taking pictures from public areas so will you please stop trying to stop them and make life easier for people looking for directions on the internet (Amen!) and also people who feel worried that these views may somehow be used by anti-social elements. I can understand the anxiety, but I think it is overplayed. Afterall google streetview is not photographing just one house. If you are worried that your house is out there, you can take comfort from the fact that your neighbour is doing no better. As for people who feel upset about being caught in hmm compromising situations- I think the google car ought to make announcements over the megaphone so people can be forewarned.

Not content with scouring and cartographing the earth, google of course also offers google mars and google moon. Of course!


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Lav says:

    They use a volkswagen bug with a camera on top? I want THAT job!!!!!

  2. Sun says:

    @Lav : Me too!
    @Suki : Isn’t this the old street view? I thought they did it through a satellite?

    1. sr256 says:

      @lav: Are you sure? Facing angry mobs may be part of the Job description
      @Sun: That was google maps. This is google street view 360 photos from road level. Check out the link.

  3. Sunanda says:

    The utility of this is just the same as the satellite view IMHO! Why they would go around wasting gasoline is beyond me! I remember seeing this clear view even through the satellite version.

    1. sr256 says:

      No it’s not, did you even explore it properly? And pray, how would you obtain a view of a doorway or the sign in front of a shop if you were photographing from above with a satellite. And street view has been in the US a long time so you probably looked at streetview thinking you were looking at the ordinary map. The recent controversy was in the UK.

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