7/03/2007

Virtual Constructions

I think I found a job; in fact, a job that does not make use of a computer. I will be working for the Steiner Family Construction Company doing siding and windows installation.

But in news that does involve a computer, Google Maps now has "Street View" in select areas. This appears to be a 360 degree camera that was driven up and down the streets of the area (e.g. Manhattan) and you can either click on the map for a view of that area of the street, or "drive" along the street through the street view window.

I drove past my old apartment building at 101 W. 140th Street, and saw the guys standing on the corner in front of the Harlem Up! Market just like usual.

This is my picture of my old building, by the way, not Google Maps.

It appears that, in Manhattan anyway, they took the pictures sometime in the last two months, because the park across the street from my building that was only finished in May was completed.

Some will probably say that this is creepy, because just like when Google Earth was first released, anything that give a close image of something automatically seems like survelliance. But frankly, while it was cute to drive myself 'round the old neighborhood for a while, it seemed pretty useless. You are looking at a picture of a street taken through a convex lens, so there is very little detail. In addition, there are things obscuring the view, so if you are looking for a specific door frame, you will probably be hard pressed to find it unless you have seen it before in person; the buildings are not accurated labels by address either: only an approximation is given. The view from "108 W. 140th," which was the most direct of my building, had a school bus in the way. In the other direction, shadows and glare made it impossible to see into the park. I wouldn't have even known it was a park if I hadn't actually lived there for a year. Furthermore, you are only looking at the street. What help is that, really? If I told you to come to my address, and then send you a picture of my street that I took from my moving car, which would you rely on to get to my house? Probably not that slightly blurry picture of trash cans.

So, while it was fun to virtually drive around Manhattan, I couldn't hear any of the car horns, get cut off by any cabs, feel the sweltering humidity, or get trapped by one way streets. I ask myself, what is the point? I answer myself, a gimmick that will be about as useful as web cams. Hey, look! It the Pyramid Live Web Cam! What do you know, but the pyramids are still there... just like that have been for thousands of years. Thank goodness for the Internet, or I never would have known.

Other technology that is actually useful and totally sweet:

The Transformers Movie comes out today. Then there is a Battles show tonight. And, tomorrow is Fireworks Day, and maybe there will be a special Independence Day edition of Horror Movie Club. Everything is coming up awesome, except for Google Maps. Google Maps can now sit in the corner and think about what it has done.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

you are weiod. will you call me back ?
-keegan

Rodrigo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.