October 23, 2009

Street View

So I came across this feature on Google Maps today... the street level view. I have read/heard about it back in the spring when the Google cameras were apparently making their rounds through the streets of Toronto. I know there was a bit of uproar about it but to be honest I didn't really pay a lot of attention to it at the time.

Anyhoo, I was legitimately searching for something today and a colleague pointed out that we could use the Street View to get more detail (you type in the address like normal and then from the zoom scale, pull the little orange guy right onto the map where you want to jump to a street level view). Well holy crap, NOW I get what all the talk was about. As soon as I got back to my desk I looked up my own house (instead of carrying on with the work I was originally focussed on) and could not believe it.

This is my house! And it's just there on the Internet for anyone to see. How freaking creepy is that?! And yet... I can't stop looking at it. I can tell this pick was from a few months ago because the outdoor extension cord I used for the Christmas lights is still in a pile next to the porch and The Other Girl's little red shovel is still leaning against the steps even though the snow is long melted. (Hey! At least I got the Christmas lights down before this.)

And there's Sheila looking all whole and resting on the driveway... *sniff* You can see that the license plate is blurred out which is supposed to be for the privacy factor. But this still *feels* pretty personal to me. I mean there's my dog lying on the front porch (probably waiting for one of the kids to let him in). Heck if our curtains had been opened you probably could have seen straight into my living room! Weird.

So of course after this major freakout, I do the only logical thing I can think of... I start looking up all my family and friends' houses to see what was going on with their front yards a few months ago.

All in all it seems to pretty harmless, and could certainly be useful when travelling to unfamiliar areas, and realistically, who's looking up stranger's houses on Google Maps? And if you should see something at your place that you think is jeopardizing your privacy you can contact Google and ask them to remove it.

But in the meantime, get your stalker on!

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