So, in my last post I discussed some of the interactive stuff going on with cell phones, GPS navigation systems, and other forms of technological mapping. And then, lo and behold, I was made aware of Google Maps updated/updating ‘street view’ feature. I’ve been told that they’re driving frantically around the country in a video van, taking photos and film like crazy. It’s awesome. My apartment in a Boston suburb has already been mapped, though my family’s house in Indianapolis has not (hello, family!). I am now going through all acquaintances I have an address for, stalker style, to see if they’ve been mapped yet. Or if there are other ways I can invade their personal space.
Really, it’s not scary. And it’s not just about curiosity either. It’s about something new and exciting. It’s about the viewing experience as well as being able to interact more fully with your environment. it’s about landmarking in a new way. And while it still leaves questions to be answered about flexibility (I can’t pan up or down or ‘drag’ my environment around like I want to, and it doesn’t allow any user innovation such as adding more recent photos), it’s a very good start. And it’s free. Actually the flaws that I see with it are the same things I’d like addressed by Microsoft’s little Photosynth, but that’s another story.