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Google photo maps Portland with street view

October 11, 2007

All I can say is, wow.  Go to Google Maps, and enter in an address – maybe even your own address.  After getting to the address on their maps system, in the upper right click on “Street view” and you will be given a photographic image of the very area you are seeking.  It’s a little spooky.  I looked at my house and could see easily enough the license plate number of the car parked in front of it.  You can move around the image 360 degrees by using the arrows.

Portland is one of 15 cities that Google has photo-mapped.  Some people are upset about it, like this person, thinking it is an invasion of privacy – and it is, since the zoom feature lets you see right into the window of her Bellvue home!  It certainly erases boundaries that once restricted us from easily seeing the spaces around us, near and far.  How is it different than other ways of finding, of seeing, though?  What makes the visual picture alongside the map feel like a traversed boundary?  And, if this isn’t a limit, then what is?  Follow this link for a funny (but poignant) take on Google in 20 years.

All the more reason to remember to pull down the blinds in your front window.  Google might be zooming in on you.

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