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« previous: Own a piece of NYC history at 9 West 19th Street   |  next: The transparent broker »

Friday, June 8, 2007

What's it look like there? Google introduces street views

google_street_view_350.jpgtechnologyThere's an interesting thread about historical documentation running through this week's posts. From the 1930s NYC captured by Berenice Abbott in photos— up to today's networked world. About a week ago, Google introduced a technology that redefines what documenting the city means, in a way that is unique to our time. They quietly launched an amazing mapping technology they are calling Street Views, as an extension of Google maps. It is pure function on such an impressive scale, that it is quite beautiful in a way that would have been difficult to imagine in Ms. Abbott's time. In a creative meeting this week, one of my client's showed us this jaw dropping new feature on Google, as we looked up my new exclusive at 9 West 19th Street. Above is what we found. This link will take you just down the block from it. Wondering what the rest of the block looks like? Spin it around— take a walk.

It shocked me.

"Street View is a new feature of Google Maps that enables users to view and navigate within 360 degree street level imagery of various cities in the US. Street View provides users with a rich, immersive browsing experience"

Use the arrows to move down the block, grab the picture and pan it around like a VR, move the little man, or search for your own address. They've already captured New York City, Miami, Las Vegas, Denver, and parts of San Francisco. This has fascinating implications for real estate Web site mash-ups, as they also introduced Mapplets, which, "enables third party developers to create mini applications that can be displayed on Google Maps", delivered in Flash. You'll need the Flash player to use Street Views.

google-car_350.jpgPosts about how this was done include this one on boingboing which shows us the camera setup used by a company named ImmersiveMedia who are working with Google. Radar also covered them. Some people and their pets have reacted to Google's new tool less enthusiastically as pointed out by the NY Times; and after all, who didn't like those 'find the hidden picture' puzzles as a child, via Mashable.

visit google street view »

reader comments:

I've used this and I love it. Any idea if they'll introduce it to Google Earth? I also hope they expand it to include more cities and more streets.


I don't have any idea what their plans are, but I hope that this is just a first iteration. The captures of San Francisco are much higher resolution and have much less motion blur, than NYC. Both have room for improvement.

People in my office have also remarked that putting in an address does not deliver one to the exact point in the grid— close by only.


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