Fear and Excitement as Google’s ‘Street View’ Hits BremertonNovember 17th, 2008 by josh farley
Poulsbo veteran cop Nick Hoke called me this past week with news of yet another fascinating project from the techie wizards at Google.
Hoke hopes this project will give him a chance to don a Sasquatch suit, but we’ll get to that later.
The Google development is a takeoff of the company’s wildly popular maps and is called “Street View.” It crept onto the shores of the Kitsap Peninsula Nov. 4 to little fanfare.
Many of us have zoomed in on our searches on Google’s satellite maps as close as we possibly can. But at some point, there’s just no getting down on the ground to look around — without actually being there.
“Street View,” allows you to do just that. You can literally “drive” down any street, and turn 360 degrees to get a panoramic view on the ground.
How did Google make this happen? Three simple ingredients: a car, a camera mounted atop it, and a contracted driver, legions of which were willing to journey the country to compile such a database.
Only two weeks ago, much of the Seattle area was “mapped” and debuted online. They don’t have all the nooks and crannies of Kitsap, but most of the City of Bremerton and parts of Port Orchard have been mapped, meaning you can virtually peruse the streets from your computer screen.
Hoke had called to say that, alas, Poulsbo is not yet included in the project. But he wanted to know when Little Norway would get its chance. When it does, he’d like to be ready, he said, sporting a Sasquatch suit for a little Internet fame.
Hoke isn’t alone. Associated Press reporter Dan Nephin wrote a story last week about some Pittsburg residents having some fun with the Google cameras, including, Nehphin says:
- Two 17th century swordsmen doing battle;
- An escape from a building using knotted sheets;
- A laser zapping a Steelers fan and a Cleveland Browns fan, rendering them love-struck and about to embrace.
There’s even a web site set up for people to send in eye-catching images caught by Google’s cameras.
So when will Hoke get his own chance?
“We don’t have specific plans to share about future updates to Street View,” says Elaine Filadelfo, a spokeswoman for the Mountain View-based company said. “But we do continue to gather imagery around the country on an ongoing basis.”
But I’m also curious to see how residents around here will react to such voyeuristic views of our local streets. I’ll pose this question: is having the opportunity to cruise roads around the world worth having your own home for all of said world to see?