DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Jun 16 2008

Google Street View–Cool or Creepy?

by Nolan R

Even as a librarian and a firm believer in freedom of information, I have to admit I’m both fascinated and weirded out by Google‘s newest addition to their mapping product. I was trying to verify a zip code last week and since I was in a hurry, I just typed it quickly into Google. If you haven’t used Google for maps or directions, it’s very simple–you just type the address into the Google search box. Alternately, you can click on “Maps” and go there directly. This time, something new popped up along with the address and map–something called “Street View,” complete with a thumbnail photo. Curious, I clicked on it and felt a little like I’d invaded someone’s privacy. I then typed in my own address, and lo and behold, there I was staring at a photo of my own house from the street. You can click on the screen and rotate the view 360 degrees, as well as travel up and down the street. We think our picture is from the fall, because you can see pumpkins on our porch.  Which means sometime last fall, the Google car went down our street. Our cars are in the driveway, and our garbage can is out by the street, so we figure it must have been a Sunday afternoon.  Here’s a link to the street view of the Decatur Library.

Read more about the how, why, and where here. You can see a picture of the Google camera car, and see what they have to say about privacy concerns. I think Google’s Street View could be really useful in some situations, like checking out a new neighborhood while house-hunting (especially in distant cities), visiting a new doctor’s office, or driving to any address you’ve never visited before.  Google has a short instructional video and more info HERE.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Alison W. June 16, 2008 at 11:46 AM

I vote for CREEPY…at least they are off by about 5 houses when I look up my address.

David June 23, 2008 at 10:42 AM

I concur. Creepy!

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