what’s the haps, google maps?

going beyond just mapping streets, Google is also sending bikes on hiking trails, college campuses and other places that cars can't (or shouldn't) drive - watch for one to zip through your bathroom any day now

I’ve been “driving” around on google maps street view, checking out a few different places to visit on our next trip. If you use the arrow keys on your keyboard, you can go forwards or backwards and left or right when a street catches your fancy. This allows you to see places in a sort of stop-motion video.

If you do this virtual traveling long enough, you’ll find that sometimes there is a marked difference in the mapping (video) quality from section to section. I’ll be driving down a street–the sun is shining, there’s a person on a bicycle (whose face is blurred), birds are in the sky. Life is good. Then I’ll turn a corner and suddenly the image is dark and grainy. The sky is overcast, and no one is outside. It’s like unexpectedly entering the forest in Hansel and Gretel. I keep looking over my shoulder for the wicked stepmother as I go ever deeper into the darkness. Then I turn another corner and things are bright and sunny again. Just like real life.

The google must have upgraded their recording equipment over the past couple of years. I checked on our old place in the Heights, which was on google maps fairly early in the process, and it has that same dark/grainy/depressing/an old witch is going to put your fat ass in the oven look. I wonder if they’ll go back and remap those earlier places? Once they’ve made the rounds, seems like they’d have to start over again since things tend to change. At least around here.

It’s truly amazing (and scary) that every inch of urban and suburban America seems to be available for anyone’s perusal. Guess the moral of the story is: when leaving an x-rated store or your mistress’ house or the STD clinic, look both ways before you cross the street. And keep your garage doors shut when you can. And don’t parade in front of your front windows in the nude. All good things to do whether the google mapping car is nearby or not.

2 thoughts on “what’s the haps, google maps?

  1. That guy isn’t geo-mapping that’s actually an ice-cream bike and that black box on top of the pole shoots ice cream cones out. That to me seems like the only rational explanation for riding such a bike.

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