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Google Street View: Cool? Scary? Both?
Yesterday I noticed that Google Maps, a tool I use frequently, had a new button at the top of the map. The button "Street View" was something I'd heard about a few months ago.Clicking the button, I saw most of the roads in Lawrence become highlighted in blue. As I zoomed in closer, a little virtual man appeared on the map. Clicking on him caused a picture to appear above his head. The picture was a view of the city street where he was "standing". With my mouse, I was able to pan the picture around and get a 360 degree view from that location.Then I used my mouse to drag him to near where I live. From within the picture, you can not only pan, but, by clicking on the arrows superimposed on the picture, move up and down the street.Soon I had navigated to my street and then to where my house is. I panned around to the right and there was my car sitting in the driveway!Before I go farther I should say that these picture were clearly taken in summer, probably last summer. THEY ARE NOT REAL TIME IMAGES. Google has sent a vehicle around to take these pictures. It has a camera with a 360 degree view on top. Some of you have seen it, as I'll describe later. It may have been a van, or a car with a spherical camera mounted above the roof.Speaking of people who have seen it, I noticed that the blue lines (which shows those streets which have been mapped with images) extended up north of Lawrence in to Jefferson county, where my Aunt lives.I found their road and as I "approached" (virtually that is) their house I first saw my one of my cousins driving his ATV down the road, past the camera vehicle. As I approached the house, my other cousin was clearly visible on a riding lawnmower, mowing his mother's grass.Cool? Absolutely. A little scary? Maybe. One thing I'm sure of, this is only the beginning. It will only get better... or maybe worse, depending upon your perspective.The Journal World's Christine Metz also had an article on Street View" which has more information.For those of you who follow my So Much to See blog postings, here is another hint for the lastest image. It uses Google Street View to let you search the area where this week's landmark is located. Navigate around a bit and you will see the subject of this weeks picture.BTW. I've been working with the LHS Robotics Club and hope to soon have some pictures and information as they prepare for this year's US First robot competition.