Sunday, October 11, 2009

Going for a drive, playing the lookie loo with Google

The Google Street View was launched in Canada this past week, putting live the images captured by that neat little Google car of the summer out into the inter webs of the world.

The car with the fancy camera passed through Podunk earlier this year, recording our many sights, from the well kept homes and scenic parks to the boarded up downtown windows of Third Avenue , but as of yet they are still kept in the digital darkroom at Google Inc.
So far however, only 11 communities among the major cities of Canada (and a few of our more popular tourist sites) have been brought on line, Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Vancouver, Banff, Whistler et al gaining their first glimpse of trans national voyeurism.

The reactions have been mixed from those that have noticed thus far, some bemoan the sudden realization that Big Brother could very well be everywhere now, others finding it rather fascinating that they spotted their car in the parking lot at Tim Horton's just as the Google car passed by.

While we all spend our hours clicking through our favourite Canadian cities from the list, the Globe and Mail has made it a sport for us.

The national paper is asking readers to submit some of the more interesting snapshots of Canadian city life that the Google car stumbled across during its trans national photo shoot.

The list to the moment includes a car accident, a gaggle of cowgirls in Calgary, a less than successful protest march in Ottawa and the lovely visage of rotting garbage in a Toronto park (clearly taken during the civic workers strike this summer, well we hope that was when it was taken!).

The Toronto Sun was quick to find a photo that can only fuel the boasts of Toronto as the centre of Canada's universe, as a glitch with the Google Car provided for two CN towers to loom over the city's skyline.

There are countless more adventures in Googleland available for the viewing, providing for yet another diversion on the Internet to help you while away the hours. Though not everyone is impressed with the new gadget, BC's Privacy Commissioner has spoken out about privacy concerns with the latest in techno wonders.
There's no word yet from Google as to when the rest of the nation (Podunk included) will be ready for their close up release, so until then, we will have to amuse ourselves with a little snooping around the other neighbourhoods of the nation.
You can browse through the Globe submissions here, and then take to the streets yourself and see what you can find from here.
Toronto Sun-- Seeing double

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