Google streetview doing the rounds

Coming on to Mopac heading north from 6th St this morning one of the Google Streetview camera cars passed in front of me. That’s the second one I’ve seen in a few days, I couldn’t start the camera on my phone quick enough to take a snap, so you’ll have to trust me on this one.

Now, there are probably two active schools of thought on Google Streetview. The first view is it’s the most fun, time wasting effort you can take part in on a rainy day. Browsing up and down your street, trying to see what you can find out that you never knew(to be honest Microsofts’ Live Search maps have better pictures from the air, presumably taken from a low flying aircraft given the angle etc. (see birds eye view)) – Looking at my house on the current Google Streetview, I can tell it was a taken on a Tuesday, after 10am, probably around March 2007.

The second view is that it’s pure evil, a complete inavsion of privacy. Allows criminals to virtually cruise the street, decide where their next hit will be and it also invades your privacy by taking pictures of you, if you happen to be on the street at the time, without your consent.

So, the pictures are getting updated, probably in higher resolution. Now if you happen to be on the street when one of the cars passes by, as I see it, you have two choices. If you subscribe to google streetview is evil camp, immediately turn away or do something offensive. You could combine the two by turning away and mooning the camera. First up this will go a long way to continuing the keep Austin weird mantle. Second, eventually google will be required by some do gooder, to remove the image. That will be much easier than trying to get it taken down yourself.

If you are in the first camp, the google streetview is great camp, I suggest for the next few weeks walking around with a sign that says “hello to all my fans on the worldwide web” and when you see the car, start jumping up and down.

The Google Streetview and privacy issue is nicely summed up here in a Times piece, comments are also always priceless and often offensive.
Update 14th May Turns out that the day I wrote this, the Greek Government but a temporary stop to Google doing the same over there, there are also privacy concerns in Japan. There is a good write-up and links in this PC World article.

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