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Cruising My Old Street with New Google Street View

Wow, the new interface for Google Maps Streetview is very slick! It fills the entire map frame, and you get a spinny controller (like in Google Earth) to rotate your view, plus drag and clicking the mouses gives a tilt-pan effect. So you can zoom down streets! I decided to pay a visit to the house I grew up at in Baltimore (I have blurred out the location and street name; the present occupants deserve some privacy).

Fortunately they have painted my old room, but I did zoom in and see where I had carved my initials on the underside of the side steps (just kidding).

I sure do not miss racking leaves or cutting grass, but there is where I lived until I was 18. I took a drive past my elementary school, and up through some old neighbor hoods, and did not really recognize much.

Now the notion of moving through a map and really seeing what is there (or what was there when the Google-mobile went by) is something I would never have imagined even a few years ago. Does it turn the world into a peepers delight, or does it afford a way to explore different places and really see that they look like buildings, houses, parks, and not just lines and icons on a map. A map is but a representation of the world, and a photo map adds an interesting layer of information on top of that.

I do find it limiting that the Street View is limited to where they can drive the car with the ball camera on top– I keep wanting to be inside parks, peeking down a slot canyon in Utah, or looking at the Sydney Opera House, but you can only see where they have driven.

But I love the new interface…

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An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. Totally forgot about the street view, thanks for blogging this.
    I just spent half an hour with my mom going to old places she hasn’t seen in a long time, she really enjoyed it.

  2. That is too funny…can’t believe how big the trees are on the side of the house. I almost expected to see Dad’s car in the driveway. What happened to the blue shutters and chimney;-)

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