Never go anywhere could be Google Street View’s motto!

Really it’s my dad’s motto but the whole modern world is built around it. How absolutely spectacular that more and more it’s not necessary for us to go anywhere.

Now, with Google Street View there is no longer a need to travel either! This works great for me because I dreamed of my family coming to visit me in Vancouver while I lived there. I’m so happy my uncle ended up coming for a conference from Toronto but none of my immediate family ever ended up making there way out there.

Now, suddenly, everything has changed. Now that Google Street View is available in Vancouver, I’m able to give my family a walking tour (OK, it’s a little slow to give a full tour but anyway) of where I lived! Seriously, it’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. It’s amazing to literally see, on your computer screen, your apartment building, your street, from different angles, and to be able to “walk” down the street.

There are obviously different opinions about this Street View. Some people think it invades privacy. Google says (I’m paraphrasing from the Wikipedia article which you should read to get more accurate and extensive information) that all the pictures are taken from public property so it’s OK. Also, it seems that if you write to them and ask for your house to be removed, they’ll remove it. My friend’s friend wanted his house removed and he sent them an email using my friend’s computer. They went according to her IP instead of the address he provided in the email and now her house is off the map!

Wondering how they got all those pictures? Satellites is one of the guesses I’ve heard but that can’t work because from above you don’t see all the details that you see from the street. It is actually cars driving around the streets of the world with cameras propped on top of the roofs. Cool, no?

Anyway, take a look. It’s a thrill. I’m sure my dad is very proud of Google.

How to use it

It’s very easy. You just go to the regular Google Maps site, type in the address you want and then click on the pointer pointing to the place on the map. If Street View is available in that area, a picture will show up in the balloon. Click on the picture and it’ll maximize. Then start clicking on the different arrows to figure out how to look up and down, how to move backwards and forwards and how to zoom in and out.

Enjoy!

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