Google Maps Street View

Thursday 21 August 2008

How long until there is Google Maps Loungeroom View, or Google Maps Inside Your Undies View? Now there is Google Maps Street View. I didn't even know it had come to Australia until Monday afternoon when my Mum came visiting and wanted to take a look at her house.

(Her house looked fine. My grandma's house, though ... very sad. What once was a blooming garden has now been concreted and looks completely like the rental property it now is. Which is ... very sad).

Seriously, I think I might have a problem with this Street View in some way. It's not because I'm worried about people surveilling my house, or people scanning my house to burg it or any of that safety type of thing. (And anyway, where I live right now, and where I hope to live for 40 million years to come, is not even observable from the road anyway, being in someone's backyard).

It's not a physical concern I have with it so much. It is something a bit more spiritual and ethereal perhaps than that. I've been trying to put my finger on why it concerns me so much all day, but the feeling flits out in gossamer threads and I just can't tie them all together.

I think part of the problem for me lies in yet one more virtual thing to disembody our bodies. Which sounds stupid (and for reasons beyond the complete clunkiness of that sentence :). It's not so much the virtualness of it, it's the disembodiment of it. Which might sound the same but it's not. I don't have an issue per se with stuff being online and virtual. I think concerns about that, at least to my view, are like concerns people once had about the telephone when it was first installed. Online is just another way of communication.

But I do have a problem with the fact that maybe some people will be content to just look at stuff, stuff that they could go and walk around in, and somehow will lose the desire to go and be in it themselves because they will feel like they've seen it. But looking with your eyes is no alternative to actually being in a place, feeling it on your skin, standing on it, touching it, hearing it, smelling it, and seeing the crap bits that the screen didn't show you, and seeing the people that live in the spot. That's the bit that scares me sometimes. That we will forget to keep the differences separate in our heads. And that one day, we will prefer the virtual, nice, cleanness and the real will look unreal. And the virtual will suit us because it's so damn easy, and the real will be stupid and outdated and antiquated.


  1. It seems to have already happened in most cases, that is people not getting or giving or wanting the real....your post here made me think of it on another level The level that John Lynch described in Twofaced.

  2. Yes (btw thank you for linking to that podcast. I loved it).

    Actually, this reminds me of so many different levels of this - it's a how deep do you want to go thing, ain't it.

  3. I already feel like that unfortunately. I prefer the virtual world sometimes, and even the made up childrens pixar animated world....any other world but this one.
    But I dont see that as anything new really, people have tried to replace the real world with a multitude of things for a long time.
    Anyway, I love google streets, it feeds my obsessive stalking habit.

  4. Andi - I prefer it too a lot of the time, and sometimes that's fine, you know? I mean, let's go curl up on the couch before winter's out and watch Mr Darcy for 5 hours' straight :)

    LOL your stalking habit. Have you looked up Pas's house yet? Who lives at 156 Goldhawk Road in Shepberd's Bush?

    Okay. Go to Google Street View and type in 6 Lincoln Street, Preston (or if no Lincoln Street in Preston, then Wheelers Hill, then Box Hill, then Belgrave, then Lilydale, then Cobram, then Geelong, then Manangatang. Surely there is a Lincoln in all of those. And wherever it is, you will live there for the next 40 years :)

  5. Okay. I tested my own game and none of those came up exactly. (First rule, has to be exactly? Or do we just say the first one that comes up closest? Anyway, if it's A, then my last choice is Richmond.

  6. It bothers me's funny, but they got every street for miles and miles...but missed our street entirely.

    But I will say how often streetview has helped me find a place of business. So I conclude that business should be included, but not private residences. I don't like that people can see in the windows of my parents house.

  7. I actually looked up (one of) my childhood homes.. as in places I lived not orphanages:)... and it was quite amazing to see it for the first time since I was 10...

    Some people call this brave new world we are living in the "superflat" society. where people commit "social suicide."

    I also noticed yesterday that people have no problem having personal conversations on their mobs in public places now. That really annoys me. It all really annoys me.

  8. Erin - yeah, that sounds pretty good to me.

    Monk - superflat. Yeah, damn right. Superflat and super bloody weird. Sometimes it creeps me out so much I can't wait to get home and get online :)

  9. another reason we're glad to live on an island, no street view of our little piece of paradise

    but we did use it to look at the house we sold in Melbourne before coming here, and they ruined the garden!


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