Google Street View is a Time Capsule

Recently the Google Street View footage for the area I live in got updated. This got me thinking: Google Street View is a time capsule. I’m quite sure that one day we’ll be able to time travel through the captured footage.

GooBing Detroit is a project compares old and new GSV footage from the Detroit Area:

GooBing Detroit – An archaeology of Detroit through Google Street View →

Upgrades for Google Maps Street View

Google is rolling out upgraded cars with upgraded camera rigs to capture Street View imagery.

The new camera rig will help capture photos that are clearer, higher in resolution, and more vivid in color. Like the old design, the rig will attach to a vehicle’s roof, but the smaller ball on top now features just seven cameras (down from 15) fitted with 20 megapixel sensors. The rig also plays host to two cameras that take still HD photos, and two LIDARs.

For comparision, here’s the evolution of the Google Street View cars:


Sidenote: Check out “Address is Approximate”. Even 6 years later this video still gives me goosebumps.

Night Walk


“Night Walk” takes you on an immersive journey through lively Cours Julien, a neighbourhood of Marseille famous for its unique atmosphere and street art. Listening to your guides Julie and Christophe, you can wander around the vibrant streets as if you were really there, thanks to 360-degree panoramas that we captured at night. Your walk is enriched with photos, images, videos, sounds and interesting facts, allowing you to dive into this neighbourhood and learn more about its diverse culture and history. Enjoy your night walk!

Very nice interactive tour of Marseille, using Google Street View. The gap between the various POVs is a bit too wide/long though, to have a smooth transition (it now feels more like jumping, instead of walking). Other than that: brilliant execution.

Night Walk →

(via @donotfold)

Google Street View Wifi Snooping Cover-Up

Image Courtesy Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

The engineer who wrote the code to capture the data told his managers about it. He told his colleagues about it. He wrote the code in his “20% time” – the “spare” time that Google allows staff to do projects that interest them – and it was then incorporated into the code used on the Google Street View cars which drove around the public byways of the world, capturing pictures … and also data from open Wi-Fi networks.

And what did Google say? Initially, that the data collection happened “mistakenly”. No, it didn’t. Initially, that only “fragmentary” data was collected. No, it wasn’t: the first page of the FCC report says that: “On October 22 2010, Google acknowledged for the first time that ‘in some instances entire emails and URLs were captured, as well as passwords’.” That it was the work of one engineer acting alone, and not in any way part of how Google rolls.

Google’s problem is that it now believes itself above others – even governments →
Google staff ‘knew of wi-fi snooping’, report says →

(via )