Official Street View Website

For Google's official website on Street View locations (present and future) and much more, go to:

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I CAN Believe It's Not in Street View

Vox Populi author Sam Sweeney is surprised that Detroit, MI, came before Washington, DC, in Street View. He writes a blog for the Georgetown Voice, and is disappointed that the capital of the United States has been delayed for Street View release. Washington is one city that, because of its high security, does not surprise. Here is a list of other cities that obviously will be delayed for a while:

  • Grand Canyon, Arizona - Although it's a wonderful national park, there are very few roads that show the main wonder, the Grand Canyon itself. Most roads in the area would show mostly forest after forest after forest, and they aren't as tall as Yosemite's.
  • New Orleans, Louisiana - Although a large city, because of the damage from global warming and/or Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma, it wouldn't be too entertaining right now, and Google might be considered inconsiderate if they did release New Orleans.
  • Washington, District of Columbia - Security, security, security.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Street View Directions

On Google Maps, you can now use Street View for your directions, an idea that has been popularized on YouTube.

On Google Maps, ask for directions located in a Street View covered city (see full list on the right sidebar) and when directions come up, you'll see a few camera icons next to some steps. Clicking one of these icons will show you the Street View for that step. The Street View will look familiar, but the differences are that the yellow bar which shows the name of the street is blue for directions, and a large white arrow will appear in the direction of your directions. Following this arrow will take you on a virtual drive through your directions.

Above the image are instructions you are virtually "following". Also, two more options are available on top of the Street View image. These will speed up your drive. Clicking Prev Step will take you back a step, and clicking Next Step will take you forward a step.

This is very useful for previewing roads you have never driven on before, therefore giving you a better chance of not getting lost, especially handy in complicated cities such as Denver, Raleigh, and Santa Fe.

So you're sure not to get lost, use the new Google Maps Street View Directions feature.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Privacy invasion? No way.

There have been many complaints from Americans about privacy concerns. One newspaper even brought up the argument "What if you're caught in a place you're not supposed to be?", while others don't want pictures of their cat on Street View. What is all this madness? Google is very nice to do this for us, and especially to provide it free to everyone. It is very useful and fun, and the images aren't live, and many are of poor quality. So why are people against it so much?

Street View images are very old, and when Google makes a mistake, they fix it ASAP. Remember the Boring family? They sued Google because their car drove on their private road. That was Google's mistake, and the images have been removed, but the Borings still aren't happy. These types of cases are true mistakes, but they should not be fussed over so much. Also, filing a lawsuit because someone found your hiding place actually makes people want to see your home, not get people away from it.

One lady in Oakland found her cat sitting in her window of her home on Street View, and was creeped out by the detail on the Internet available. First of all, although cats can be quite defensive of their personal space, you can't really invade a cat's privacy. Does taking a picture of an elephant from space invade a zookeeper's privacy? Nope.

Then there are all those images of people in weird positions. You find people in those positions all the time. These are just regular people that we can laugh at. It's not an invasion of privacy if you're seen in a public area, no matter what you're doing. However, some images we wouldn't like to see, such as a woman's underwear or a dog pooing, so Google helps us out there, but those still aren't an invasion of privacy.

And finally, there's Googlephobia, where people think that Street View might go in their backyard or inside their homes or even real-time live video. hat' just not going to happen soon, and laws would really have to be changed for that to be legal, so don't worry about that.

Street View is a tool, not a toy or a spy. Google makes mistakes just like you and me, but at least it's rare, and the cost is definitely worth the benefit.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

PropertyMaps adds Street View too

#4 on the list is now PropertyMaps, the newest member of the Real Estate Websites with Street View Club. Since the word "Maps" is in their title, you'd expect this new Street View feature to be very well-designed, and it is.

If the home is covered by Street View, along with the home's information will come a Street View tab (seen above) with Street View Guy looking to the left. Click it to see a Google Maps satellite view of the home with Street View turned on. Below the map, you will see the Street View for the home's neighborhood. This comes in a very large frame, which gives the feeling of being right there.


Although Google is known for their maps, and the Street View feature has been extremely popular, today a mistake was noticed on the map. The city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, has been misspelled "Alburquerque" on the Google Maps Street View ballon. Thankfully, the name is correct on the map.

This mistake has been reported to Google via their Maps Help Center.

Google Updating Kansas City

According to KMBC FirstNews at 9, the Google car has now been spotted in Raytown, Missouri, a suburb of Kansas City. As you can see in the picture, Raytown is currently not covered by Street View, so this could mean that Google will be updating the Kansas City area for Street View, and possibly on the next Street View update.

If you live in the Kansas City area and see the Google Maps Street View car in your neighborhood, "call the KMBC 9 Newsroom at 816-760-9335 or send an email to", as their website says.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Bike Crash Recorded

Kensington Victoria started a new popular Street View sighting: a bicycle fall in Cleveland. Drive down the street to see the fall captured by the Google car.

View Larger Map

Poor guy; poor bike.

UPDATE: These images have been replaced.

Funny Adventure Game

Here is an adventure game built entirely with Google Street View. Follow the directions (you may need to zoom out first) to play. Each time you move, you run into a certain situation, and the goal is to "escape the clutches of cruel fate", however it is quite hilarious to try all the options given. Try it out!

UPDATE: The images of San Francisco, etc., have been replaced or removed, so the game might not work properly.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Street View in New Zealand Coming Soon

Another Google Street View car was spotted in New Zealand, according to Start-UP. The journalist reports that he had met with Julian Persuad of Google NZ, who revealed that Google is currently taking pictures of "every street in New Zealand" working on Street View for New Zealand. The reporter also saw a black car with a camera on top of it on the way to work. He followed it for about 3 miles and managed to take this photograph:

A bucket? Obviously it was raining, but a bucket?

Monday, April 21, 2008

And now,!

Well, Street View is obviously a great tool for use with real estate, since Trulia and DotHomes have added it, and today, so has

Unfortunately, only has most of the current 43 Street View locations in their directory. Fairbanks, Anchorage, Yosemite, Albuquerque, Nashville, and Madison are not included on

The way their maps tool works for Street View is by clicking on Street View Guy and moving the cursor to the desired Street View location, probably marked by the orange icons. When you click on the location you desire, a new "window" will pop up which will display the Google Maps Street View.

If you'd like to see this in action, you're going to have to play around with the search before getting the hang of it.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Possible Future 3D Street View

Remember those Italian Street View vehicles? Those cameras on top of the car(s) were noticed to include devices resembling SICK Laser Measurement Sensors, which would provide Google with 3D Street View technology, for future use in Google Earth.
As to whether this is true or not is currently unknown, but it would become quite tedious if Google had to remove each of the obstructions that are seen in Street View, such as this UPS truck blocking users' Street View of the Old North Church in Boston:

View Larger Map

Further down on the list of obstructions which would possibly have to be removed? Trees, people, bicycles, signs, telephone poles, mailboxes, fences, fire hydrants, lights, random poles, trashcans, etc. Also, depending on the detail of this 3D information, Google Earth users will either have to have a very high-performance computer, or spend quite a while waiting for 3D stuff to load, only to be disappointed by Google Earth crashing because of an overload of information and/or errors.
If these 3D Street View rumors are true, expect an amazing update of Google Earth when it comes out.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Street View going Global

There have been numerous Street View car sightings all over the world. As to whether they are hoaxes or not is uncertain, but here are three nations with the sightings:


The Sydney Morning Herald

A blue van with a Google logo and Street View Guy was found in Sydney in November 2007, with a tall red camera on top of it. Google Sydney has said that these Australian Street Views will hopefully debut in a few months. They will most likely not be in the next package in May.



The Brock Family

A small grey car with a Google logo and Street View Guy was found in Tsunashima on March 22, 2008, with a tall red camera on top of it. Tsunashima is a suburb of the largest city in the world, Tokyo, and the Tokyo metropolitan area is home to approximately one fourth of the entire population of Japan. Gavin Brock, the spotter, claims that Japan has very strict privacy laws, especially in the Tokyo area, and it would be very surprising if the Japanese government allowed Google to take Street View panoramas.


A small black car with a Google logo and Street View Guy was spotted in Rome on April 18, 2008, with a tall black camera set on top of it. Another similar car was spotted in Milan the day before.


By next year, you should see Street View released in these countries and possibly more.

UPDATE: All of these countries have Street View now. Hooray!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Street View released in Google Earth 4.3

Yesterday, Google Earth 4.3 was released, and it came with a bunch of great features, including a sun control, faster loading of buildings, new camera features, and you can read about these at, but you want to know about Street View, right? Well, they've added that, too!

To use Street View in Google Earth, check the Street View layer and wait for the yellow camera icons to appear. Double-click one of these, and Google Earth will zoom in to that location, and then you'll see a very shiny sphere on the ground. Google Earth will take you inside that sphere to see the Street View.

To look at the Street View, there are a few differences between Google Earth and Google Maps. First, when you press the up or down buttons, it will move the camera up or down, not drive you down the street. To drive down the street, double-click another camera icon. To zoom in and out,scroll the mouse wheel (if you have one) up and down. You can also double-click as usual to zoom in, but there is no Zoom Out button like on Google Maps, so you'll have to use the Zoom control on the top right.

You will see a control like the one above. The image in the middle of the arrows shows you a 2D version of the 3D panorama you are viewing. Clicking any of the buttons around it will move the little white box (your current view) around the Street View. You can also drag the white box. The + and - slider zooms your camera in and out, making your view and the little white box bigger or larger. Hovering over the little camera will display the control if it is not currently displayed. The Exit Photo button takes you out of Street View and back into normal Google Earth.

Street View Guy is still there! Yay!

Thank you very much, Google. We love it!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Street View in Google Earth Today!

There will be an update to Google Earth sometime today, and this update will include (according to the Google Earth Blog) Street View! You can read more at this previous post.

Approximate time of update will be 7:00 PM Eastern Time in the United States.

DotHomes gets even easier

Remember Trulia using Street View? Well, the already super-simple is adding Street View to make things a breeze.

Just type in a location and a price, and search results for homes in the area will come up, and now with a new option: "Street". Clicking this will display the home on Google's Street View, showing the nearby neighborhood.

How much easier can it get?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

YouTube Street View Karaoke

On YouTube, there is a Google karaoke video starring Street View Guy singing a Street View song. The song came out in October 2007 when Google added Chicago, Portland, Pittsburgh, Phoenix, Tucson, and Philadelphia.

The video description reads,

To make your own Street View video, right-click and download this free MP3:

Reply with a video response for a chance to be featured as a YouTube
karaoke star!

Bonus points go to those with the catchiest Street View lyrics and

It's been about half a year since the video was posted, and there are currently no video responses, so the contest is still open! The lyrics to Google's version of the song were:

Street View! Find a place to park in Chicago
Street View! Look at all those streets in Portland
Street View! It's good for seein' new neighborhoods
Pittsburgh! You'll look virtual, Pittsburgh
Street View is an awesome feature in Google Maps
You can zoom around and see lots of cool stuff
Street View! The streets are really hot in Phoenix
Street View! It's also hot in Tucson
Cheesesteaks! Tour the City of Brotherly Love
Street View! So much street to view!

Google would love to see your videos, so get that MP3 and go nuts.

Friday, April 11, 2008

"Hiking Trails" Explained

Remember that Rocky Mountain National Park trail that was covered by Street View? Well, another one in Yosemite National Park has been found, and this absolutely beautiful view explains it all:

View Larger Map

Those trails covered by Street View are not exactly trails at all, but rather scenic drives. So if you find a "dotted" blue street in Google Maps, click on it. You just might be treated to a beautiful scene.

And the SketchUp Crowd goes Wild!

If you haven't used Google SketchUp in a long time (like, forever), then you most certainly have to get it. SketchUp is an extremely easy-to-use 3D modeling software. SketchUppers from all over the world are modeling buildings with SketchUp and putting them into Google Earth; these are the buildings you see in the Google Earth 3D Buildings Layer. Both SketchUp and Earth are free, so give Google a hand and start modeling!

The 3D Warehouse is where every single 3D model sent to Google is kept and stored.

Just recently, the 3D Warehouse added Street View to model description pages, if the address provided is covered.

Why was this done? Well, SketchUp models are great, but they have to be "painted" with photographs of the building so the model looks realistic enough for Google Earth, but these photos have to be low-resolution enough so the model won't crash the program when the whole city is put together. Street View photos cover many angles, and are of low resolution, and this makes them perfect for SketchUp. This model of the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia uses Street View photographs.

The 3D Warehouse is full of cool stuff, so get SketchUp and tour the site!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Interesting Weather in Alaska

In the Street View coverage of Anchorage, Alaska, you can see that a few roads in two nearby towns, Girdwood and Alyeska, are covered. Well, there's some weird stuff going on down there. Check this out:

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The Google driver possibly had to pull over in Alyeska to wash the cameras off before entering Anchorage; you can see it came into the town via the Seward Highway. The van had probably come through or was going through a rainstorm or snowstorm.

Alyeska is most famous for its ski resorts, so the "bubbles" you see are most likely melted snow.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Trulia using Google

Ever heard of Trulia Real Estate search? They have just added Google Maps features to their property searches in all 43 Street View areas (yes, even Yosemite National Park). Here's how it works:

  • You search for a property.
  • You click on one of the properties that come up on the search, and you will be taken to that home's description page.
  • If the home is covered by Street View, you can find it below the property's description.
There are also other tabs on this gadget which allow you to see the property on all other features of Google Maps except Terrain.
Trulia's integration of Street View is a great example of Google's success in indexing the world so far. And although the images may not be perfect, they are very accurate, which is why so many are turning to Google now for information.
If you're looking to buy a home, check out!

Google Van on Rocky Mountain Trail?

Looking in the Street View coverage of Denver, Colorado, you can see this strange sight in Google Maps; a trail in Rocky Mountain National Park covered by Street View!

This is quite strange, since no Street View-covered streets take you there. What could this mean? Well, at the end of the covered area of the trail, you can see a parking lot, so this could possibly mean that Google is working on Street Views of Rocky Mountain National Park.

Take a drive down the Gem Lake Trail below. It's quite nice, even though there are only a few panoramas.

View Larger Map

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Street View on Google Earth!

According to Webware, the already amazing Google Earth application will have a new addition. You guessed it: Street View!

It seems like it can't get any more exciting, but according to Webware, it will be released within a matter of weeks! Street View will probably come as its own layer in Google Earth, or added to the current Roads layer. You might see the roads highlighted in blue like in Google aps, or there could be little placemarks every 10 meters or so, which you can click to open the Street View for that location.

The possibilities are endless. If you don't have Google Earth already, now would be a mighty good time to get it. All you need to do is go to, and click "Download Google Earh (Free)". It's extremely useful, and very addictive. Check it out!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Another Boring lawsuit

[May 25, 2013 update: Previous post text replaced, due to its negative language against the Boring family. I, the author, apologize for these inappropriate remarks.]

News link here.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Why Street View is the Best

Of course you've heard of Street View. Well, there are two other street-level imagery free websites available, and they are MapJack and Microsoft street-side. Many people consider these to be Google Street View's "competition", but those people are wrong, are here's why:

MapJack is an entire website dedicated to street-level imagery, and uses Google Maps to show the location of Jack, the MapJack mascot, who represents the viewer of the imagery. Most of the MapJack imagery is regular resolution, while about 1/3 of the locations in MapJack are quite HD. The images in MapJack are very bright, and appear to all have been edited by a photo editor.

Microsoft street-side is still in development, and a preview is all that's available. The entire website, like MapJack, is devoted to street-level imgery. It uses Live Local maps to show a car which represents your location. The way Microsoft displays the imagery is unique because the images are placed in three frames; one view straight ahead, one to the left, and one to the right, which makes the left and right frames look like side view mirrors. The three frames come in three styles, as if you are inside a car driving through town, illegally in a racecar speeding through town, or illegally walking in the middle of the street.

Google Maps Street View is far ahead of MapJack and street-side for many reasons. The most obvious reason is that MapJack only comes in three areas; San Francisco, Sausalito, and Chiang Mai. Microsoft street-side comes in only two areas; Seattle and San Francisco. By the way, these cities are only available in their downtown areas.
Google Street View has forty-three locations, and that is the main reason why Street View is the best of them all. Although most of Street View's imagery is not in high-resolution, the Street View imagery is good enough to see things such as buildings, houses, and stop signs. Also, with normal resolution, no one can make out license plates or people's faces, and that saves Google loads of time, where in high resolution, the companies would have to spend hours on Photoshop blurring faces and license plates.
Along with the already numerous benefits of normal resolution comes much quicker loading time than high-resolution sites.

Another reason why Street View is better is because Street View is not its own website like MapJack or street-side. Street View is a part of Google Maps, which adds information to Google Maps, instead of directing users to other websites for the imagery. Imagine looking at real estate on Google Maps, and you want to see pictures of the neighborhood. Instead of going to another website for the pictures, all you need to do is use the option that's already on the map you're viewing, and you have the images right there in Google Maps. And when you want to go back to the map, just exit Street View. Simple and quick = convienient.

If you'd like another reason why Street View is best, then you've come to the right place:

Google is cranking out new Street View locations at a rate of about 5 new locations a month.
MapJack is releasing new locations at a rate of about 3 new locations a year.
Microsoft street-side comes up with new locations at a rate of about 1 new location a year.

Who's fastest? Who's most efficient? If this was a Millionaire question, street-side would be the D answer in the $100 question that everyone laughs at.

Google Maps Street View is the best street-level imagery software in the world, becuse of its fast loading time, ease of use, convenience, and overall awesome Google genius put into it. Clearly, Street View has no competition, and as long as Street View is as great as it is today, it will continue to be the best street-view imagery service in the world.

Oh, and Street View shows the clouds! :-D

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I Can't Believe it's not in Street View!

  • Seattle, Washington - Yes, it's Microsoft City, but with Seattle's unique culture and architecture, who wouldn't want to tour it?
  • Atlanta, Georgia - This capital of Georgia is one of the largest cities in the South, and home to numerous stadiums and arenas.
  • St Louis, Missouri - A possible reason for the delay in St Louis's Street View is the high crime rate there, where people would possibly find amusing images. However, downtown is definitely a sight to see, with its hotels, courthouses, and the famous Gateway Arch.
  • Cincinnati, Ohio - Rich history and rich neighborhoods. We've also been dying to drive over all those amazing bridges!
  • Sacramento, California - It's the capital of California, and would complete the Street View collection of California large cities, along with Fresno.
  • Oklahoma City & Tulsa, Oklahoma - When Oklahoma City is shown on Street View, Tulsa will most likely be included, since the same thing was done with other central-state cities like Indianapolis and Albuquerque. Oklahoma City and Tulsa have nice quaint downtown centers, and the real estate would be nice to see online.

Street View aids Miami Real Estate

Kevin Tomlinson in Miami, Florida, is a condo realtor whose website is now using Google Maps Street View to help people looks around the neighborhood of their future condos. uses the Street View API. In this example map from the site, you can see a blue condo which marks the location of the real estate you are searching for. This shows a Street View of 1500 Ocean Drive.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Poor Google Driver.

Try checking out a street view of the area near the geographical center of New Mexico. Driving a few miles southeast of Mountainair on NM-55, you should see nothing but desert until you reach B029, where you'll find this:

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The poor Google driver had to drive the Google van out to the middle of the desert, and three miles of this was lost. This was probably an error with the camera, but how it got fixed so soon is a mystery. However, if you were hoping to see the geographical center of New Mexico, you'll probably be disappointed.