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Google Maps Street View Bypasses the Hood

by Pao Tzu

2007-05-29 18:43:32

Today google maps unveiled "street view" which gives you a 360 degree camera angle view of the nice areas of some major cities.

I had fantasies when I was a child that if I stared close enough at a map, I could see the people move. Now, google maps has made this a reality. Currently, if you go to google maps and look at Miami, New York, Denver, Las Vegas, or the SF Bay Area, you can get a street-level view of the map. This is accomplished by vans driving around with high-tech cameras, soaking in all that they see.

Noticeably missing from the SF bay area are almost all of the ghettos. All of San Francisco is mapped but there is suspiciously no Hunter's Point or Bayview District. The vans drove all the way to Berkeley but never took one picture of Richmond. San Jose and Mountain View are blanketed, but only one street in East Palo Alto has a "street view."

Luckily for would-be drive-by shooting planners using google maps, some hoods were mapped in Oakland. A few scenes were captured that residents may have not wanted on the internet. For instance, if you go to B and 89th St. and look Southwest, there is currently an image of two ladies sitting on the hood of a Jaguar while one woman in a miniskirt jumps into a Cadillac. If you roll the shot backward (by going NE), you can see her talking to the guy through the driver side window a few seconds earlier. This may be her grandfather in the car, but it still sparks the imagination of this casual onlooker.

Amazingly, google decided it was too much trouble to blur anyone's license plate or face. There are some obvious questions only time can answer. When is google going to take the first picture of a guy breaking into a car with salad tongs? How long it is going to take before some dude sues google for taking a picture of them in front of a motel with someone who is not their wife?

Google, if you're listening, please map out some of the streets with homeless people, dice games, drug dealing, and other interesting things to see. For instance, roll through 82nd and Birch a couple of times, why don't ya? What is google scared of, someone carjacking their van?

Over.  End of Story.  Go home now.

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