Amusing Monday: Google goes beyond the streets

Last week, Google announced a new “Street View” from Antarctica, a seemingly remote and desolate place. Is there nowhere left to hide?

Two new Street Views allow you a glimpse of a colony of penguins as well as a scenic vista of Half Moon Island, one of the Shetland Islands in the Southern Ocean.

Penguins on Half Moon Island, from Google Street View

Now, Street View images are available on all seven continents, bragged Brian McClendon, vice president of engineering for Google Earth and Maps.

Several bloggers were quick to point out that Antarctica has no streets to view, so the name is completely out of context.

Since penguins can’t speak on their own behalf, some bloggers are taking it upon themselves to complain that Street View is an invasion of privacy for these birds that can’t fly. See Cade Metz in The Register.

But anyone who thinks these penguins would be left alone except for the invasion of Street View needs only to “turn the camera” to the right, where some blurry figures in red jackets are peering at the penguins gathered on the rocks.

It turns out that Half Moon Island is a key stop on many Antarctic cruises, which are becoming ever more popular, according to Destination 360. So maybe there will be some kind of thoroughfare to view in Antarctica one of these days.

Tourists are flocking to see the penguins of Half Moon Island.

I was a little disappointed to learn that Street View can only be seen from two places in the entire continent of Antarctica: the penguin rookery and one scenic vista. Both are difficult to locate without the links to them.

But other people have contributed dozens of photographs, which can be viewed by clicking on the blue dots found on Google maps of the region. These photos substantially increase the amusement of this online adventure.

If you are not familiar with Street View, Google’s Gallery of Street Views from around the world is also worth a look. Begin with Street Views from Seven Continents.

Then there are World Landmarks, including Big Ben and the Space Needle.

And ya gotta love the Street Views of 16 Hawaiian beaches.

Of course, there are thousands of locations in Washington state, including Bremerton’s own Bachmann Park.

Anybody care to share links to their favorite spots, via Street View? (Go to a map and drag the little man in the zoom bar to a street outlined in blue. Click on “links” to grab the URL.)

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