Google Street View: the cool, the strange and the adventurous

If you’ve looked up the apartment you’ll be viewing to see if it’s in a sketchy area or searched what the front of your new office looks like so you don’t miss it on your first day, then you have undoubtedly witnessed the magic that is Google Street View.

google man

Google patrols the streets of 49 countries (and counting) with an SUV topped with a very interesting contraption consisting of a camera with 15 lenses and a GPS. It collects photos in all directions, which are later aligned and pasted together. This is how the 360-degree images we navigate are born. While there isn’t much more to know about Street View, since its name pretty much sums up its function, you will hopefully be as pleasantly surprised as we were.

 

The Cool

Google sees all. It has even gone so far as to offer the street view technology inside buildings. You can start to navigate museums and even take a peek inside the White House. It is rapidly expanding across the globe and has now even expanded into the animal kingdom! Google has decided to partner with zoos around the world and allow you to have an inside look at their inhabitants.  So if you haven’t made it there yourself yet, check out the Giant Pandas in China!

The Strange

Don’t forget, nothing is safe from the all-seeing eye of Google’s cameras. Some, shall we say curious, and often puzzling images have been captured over time. While the cameras catch the usual yellow cabs in Times Square and tourists crowding around Buckingham Palace, it sometimes captures images that we are sure weren’t meant to be recorded or ever seen by the world.

Among these interesting photos, the most PG are people walking their pet llamas and samurai warriors engaging in combat.  So keep this in mind the next time you use street view to look up St. Peters Square. Go ahead and take a closer look around to see what the pedestrians are up to. However, if you saw a Google car drive by recording you embarrassing moment,don’t worry, people’s faces and license plates are always blurred for privacy reasons. The only person that will know it’s you is you, which we guess is embarrassment enough.

The Adventurous

Strap on a funny looking backpack, pull on your hiking shoes and help Google explore the world!

trekker

If your middle name happens to be Adventure then this next part is directed at you. Google has created a Trekker Load Program where explorers of uncharted areas can apply to borrow their equipment and capture these views. While this is only a pilot program, we think it has great potential for a future way to cover the entire Earth. After all, Google can’t be everywhere, can they? So whether you plan to climb a pyramid or venture down a remote valley, contact Google and show the world what’s off the beaten path.