The cherry blossoms are out in London and the birds are singing. The sky is blue. Strange to think that last month we had the most snow here in almost 20 years!
After attending a 9.30am breakfast meeting (over a delicious spinach, cheese and mushroom omelette at Richeloux, St John’s Wood, which I am still raving about) I wandered down Circus Rd to capture the spring blossoms… sadly, I only had my mobile (again) but you get the idea.
Last year, Google vans began trawling the streets of the UK, taking photos of every single street and property using a panoramic video camera. Over the last few months, the images were stitched together.
Today, Street View is live in the UK, giving people the ability to view a 360 degree replica of the nation’s streets in photographic form.
From what I’ve seen of Street View in London it is very impressive, particularly as it was a cloudless, sunny day when they took a picture of my flat! Sadly, some common landmarks such as Covent Garden are marred by endless bendy buses, the continual digging up of the roads to fix old water pipes, and/or the scaffolding that is reminiscent of a changing metropolis.
To use Street View simply type in a UK postcode into Google, and in the balloon that pops up on Google Maps, click the ‘Street View’ link to take you to the panorama view. You can zoom in and out and click the arrows on the road to travel back and forth along it. To see the 360 degree view, hold your mouse down on to the street view image and drag the screen up, down, left or right.
Because people are in view there are privacy concerns. Google’s blurred the faces, but someone wearing distinguishable clothing could still be recognised. And they haven’t blurred everyone’s face – after just a couple of minutes browsing I noticed this guy – he is wearing a cap but you can still make him out. What if the woman he’s holding hands with isn’t his wife?
I wonder when people will start finding the funny images they found when this service launched in other countries – the guy passed out on the lawn, the burglar escaping over a fence, and so on. It’s only a matter of time and I am sure there are some people with too much of it who are quite keen to be one of the first Google Street View controversy-spotters!
Sunday was the warmest day of the year so far. I still get a tad confused whenever people start queuing up at the ice cream van when it’s actually not that hot – 17C or something.