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Google Debuts Street View and Mapplets

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the you-can-see-faces dept.

Google 157

Today at the O'Reilly Where 2.0 Conference Google unveiled two new map features. An O'Reilly blogger describes Street View, which uses 360-degree street-level video from Immersive Media to enable neighborhood walk-throughs in (for now) a few selected areas. The other new feature is Mapplets, which let you embed Google Maps mashups in any Web page. Much more coverage is linked from TechMeme.

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Editors? (5, Informative)

lenroc (632180) | more than 7 years ago | (#19317277)

TFS disagrees with TFA about what a "mapplet" is. From TFA #1:

A Mapplet is a special flavor of a Google Gadget, the XML/JavaScript-based widgets you can add to iGoogle - only that this time, you'll be adding it to Google Maps. From a press release by Google: Mapplets enables third party developers to create mini applications that can be displayed on Google Maps, much like Google Gadgets are displayed on iGoogle.

Re:Editors? (1)

rozz (766975) | more than 7 years ago | (#19319251)

TFS disagrees with TFA about what a "mapplet" is.
who cares? ...
the only questions is - how long until the LIVE version?

oh wait .. you dont want the whole globe watching britney spears' house !

Subways! (1)

dekkerdreyer (1007957) | more than 7 years ago | (#19317329)

The New York MTA Subway stops are now shown on Google Maps. This works on the PC version, but doesn't seem to be active for the mobile version of Google Maps yet. I hope they update this soon.

Re:Subways! (1)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 7 years ago | (#19317339)

Uhh, they have been for a long time now...

Streets! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19317355)

Hey, did anyone else notice Google added streets to their maps? Now I can see where the roads are!

Re:Streets! (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 7 years ago | (#19318929)

Yes, but sometimes you can't see the road [google.com] !

Re:Streets! (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 7 years ago | (#19319603)

God, what an ugly place. Is that California? Shew, I shudder to see such awful environs. I predict "street view" will be a flop.

Plus, I've got all sorts of privacy concerns.

Yes, it is actually very cool. (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 7 years ago | (#19317361)

TFA's 'Check it out' link takes you right into a streetview-enabled map area. Interesting to just walk/drive along the enabled road, following the familiar Google-ish road markings, now projected in 3D into to the view.

Waiting for Need For Speed 2010 Google World (5, Funny)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 7 years ago | (#19317813)

Or everyone's favorite: Google Theft Auto V

Re:Yes, it is actually very cool. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19318715)

hey... I think I'm being followed by a white panel van...

Microsoft Couldnt Do This In a Million Years (0, Flamebait)

SRA8 (859587) | more than 7 years ago | (#19317369)

Wow. Microsoft Couldnt Do This In a Million Years! No evidence needed (and I aint even a MSFT hater.)

Re:Microsoft Couldnt Do This In a Million Years (5, Informative)

tiffany98121 (1094419) | more than 7 years ago | (#19317393)

They did it over a year ago. But it looks like the project may have been abandoned: http://preview.local.live.com/ [live.com] Also, A9 (Amazon) had something similar but they got rid of it.

Re:Microsoft Couldnt Do This In a Million Years (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19317569)

I was always curious about what was happening with Microsoft's project. Last year I was at my parents' house in Philadelphia about 11 miles from the city center and in an area of no real interest and I saw a black SUV drive by with a large 4-way camera mounted on the roof and the Windows Live logo on the back. It was apparently driving up and down the streets in the neighborhood. While the site has not changed at all I would be surprised if MS abandoned this project given the resources they must have sunk into it. Maybe they're just waiting until they get a certain number of cities or decent area covered first? Who knows. Interesting concept, though.

Re:Microsoft Couldnt Do This In a Million Years (1)

StreetStealth (980200) | more than 7 years ago | (#19318139)

Wow, Microsoft's street level navigator looks like the designers played too many mid-1990s racing games during the development. Streets of Sim City, anyone?

To be fair, the MS' early version is probably exclusively the product of devs, with the UI designers to come in when the technology's ready.

Re:Microsoft Couldnt Do This In a Million Years (3, Informative)

imemyself (757318) | more than 7 years ago | (#19317455)

Its not exactly the same thing, but MS's map thing (whatever they call all their MSN/"Live" stuff these days), does have what they call "birds eye" view. It only works in IE, and its not ground level, but it still works fairly well. You can easily see landmarks and stuff to help you find places. And its a lot better quality than the satellite photos (and not straight down), you can easily see people and stuff in the photos. I think they have their birds eye view thing for around six months if my memory serves me, so I would give MS a little credit. They do make some cool stuff occasionally.

Its not available everywhere, but I'm sure its available more places than Google's street view is(it looks like only Manhattan, Miami, Denver, San Francisco and Vegas have it now). Google maps has a lot of cool stuff, but it would be nice if they offered some of the cooler stuff in places other than just the five or ten biggest cities. Granted, some of it wouldn't be as helpful in smaller cities or in the suburbs, but it would still be make it more useful to a lot of the population.

Re:Microsoft Couldnt Do This In a Million Years (4, Interesting)

SRA8 (859587) | more than 7 years ago | (#19317477)

Much like Windows Media Player, the Microsoft site was poorly designed, clunky, wasted precious screen real estate, and doesnt work around the typical user queries. Google's version almost predicts the features I want and works accordingly. I'm not purposely MSFT-bashing, its just that the difference is vast.

Re:Microsoft Couldnt Do This In a Million Years (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19317819)

The fact that your comment elicits a Score: 5, Interesting is a reminder to me why I stopped reading this site for a while. Now I remember. It's because of douchbags like you.

I can read more "Interesting" posts than yours on Myspace.

Re:Microsoft Couldnt Do This In a Million Years (1)

ThePromenader (878501) | more than 7 years ago | (#19318851)

Good! (waving) Goodbye!

Re:Microsoft Couldnt Do This In a Million Years (4, Funny)

Beetle B. (516615) | more than 7 years ago | (#19317555)

ts not exactly the same thing, but MS's map thing (whatever they call all their MSN/"Live" stuff these days), does have what they call "birds eye" view. It only works in IE, and its not ground level, but it still works fairly well. You can easily see landmarks and stuff to help you find places.

You lost me at IE...

Re:Microsoft Couldnt Do This In a Million Years (3, Informative)

Osty (16825) | more than 7 years ago | (#19317613)

ts not exactly the same thing, but MS's map thing (whatever they call all their MSN/"Live" stuff these days), does have what they call "birds eye" view. It only works in IE, and its not ground level, but it still works fairly well. You can easily see landmarks and stuff to help you find places.

You lost me at IE...

That's too bad, because the bird's eye view works just fine in Firefox (not in Opera, though, and I don't have a way to test against Safari/Konqueror at the moment). I just verified it, and you can, too. Here's Microsoft's headquarters [live.com] , in bird's eye view. View the link in Firefox, and all is good.

Bird's eye view is just using different images for the tiles, and the only limitation is whether or not Microsoft (or whoever they buy their data from) has flown planes over the area to take pictures. As the grandparent said, it's not the same as being street level, but it's still quite detailed -- I can clearly see my truck parked outside of my house in bird's eye view. The same truck just looks like a white blob in aerial or hybrid view.

Re:Microsoft Couldnt Do This In a Million Years (2, Informative)

imemyself (757318) | more than 7 years ago | (#19317709)

Interesting, it didn't work for me with Firefox 2.0. But I looked at the useragent, and apparently FF 2.0 uses a useragent like BonEcho/2.0.0.1, instead of Firefox/2.0.0.1. When I changed it to Firefox (like it was in previous releases) it worked fine. With BonEcho it just showed a small, boring looking map. Same thing with Opera. I wonder why the Mozilla folks changed the useragent in 2.0.

Re:Microsoft Couldnt Do This In a Million Years (2, Insightful)

Osty (16825) | more than 7 years ago | (#19318253)

Interesting, it didn't work for me with Firefox 2.0. But I looked at the useragent, and apparently FF 2.0 uses a useragent like BonEcho/2.0.0.1, instead of Firefox/2.0.0.1. When I changed it to Firefox (like it was in previous releases) it worked fine. With BonEcho it just showed a small, boring looking map. Same thing with Opera. I wonder why the Mozilla folks changed the useragent in 2.0.

I don't believe you're actually using Firefox 2.0. Or rather, you're using a very old alpha release (Bon Echo [mozilla.org] was the Firefox2 codename in development). Upgrade your browser :).

That said, this seems typical for Microsoft. They "get" that they need to support Firefox and other non-IE browsers, but they do so in the crappiest of ways -- using UA string detection. UA detection is obvious and "easy". It basically creates a "fail by default" model, where if you're not doing exactly what is expected then it just refuses to work. This is easier to build and test than a proper object detection mechanism which may have strange edge cases when the objects you need are supported in a browser but don't quite act the same way. It's possible to do, but it's a lot of work to get right and I bet that the Windows Live guys decided that just getting it working was more important than getting it right. If you use your BonEcho UA on other Live properties (Spaces, live.com, Expo, QnA, etc), they'll probably fail in a similar fashion.

I've fought that fight several times myself, and each time I end up losing because doing the right thing is hard and there's just no time to do it and all of the other high-priority work items. The only way to ever win that argument is to change priorities -- if working on all possible browsers was priority #1, there'd always be time to do it right even if another feature or two had to wait for a later release. If working on IE6/7 is pri1, working on Firefox (but not other Gecko-based browsers, like Seamonkey, Galleon, or K-meleon, even though if you did the right thing they'd just work) is pri2, and working on anything else is pri3, guess what'll happen? Yep, a quick regex against the UA for "Firefox", and if you don't find it then bail out.

Re:Microsoft Couldnt Do This In a Million Years (3, Informative)

Osty (16825) | more than 7 years ago | (#19318339)

Just a quick follow-up on my previous post regarding UAs. If you set Opera to identify as IE or Firefox via the per-site preferences (details here [zytrax.com] ), it renders Live Maps almost perfectly. Compare:

Playing around with Live Maps in Opera-as-Firefox, I noticed the following few issues:
  • Scroll-wheel zoom doesn't work. Scroll-wheel zoom does work in Opera on Google Maps, so this is not a problem native to Opera (such as not exposing events to hook scrolling).
  • There are obvious layout problems, but only with the floating controls. IMHO, those need to be cleaned up and re-arranged anyway, so I don't mind them being in the wrong places.
  • Some hover controls are missing. Hovering over an item in the scratchpad doesn't produce the popup that allows you to clear the entry, for example.
  • Missing close controls on some items. Specifcally, the "Welcome" box is missing its closed "X".
Aside from the scroll-wheel zoom, all other functionality works, and actually works quite well. More importantly, if 95% of the site works in Opera, I'd be willing to bet that 95% of the site works in Konqueror/Safari or any other modern browser. What's left is a matter of a few specific fixes for minor functionality, some layout adjustments that could serve as a catalyst for a better interface, and a move away from UA reliance.

Re:Microsoft Couldnt Do This In a Million Years (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19317889)

You are talking about another feature altogether. But while we're on birds eye, you are wrong. It is not IE only.

Re:Microsoft Couldnt Do This In a Million Years (2, Informative)

imemyself (757318) | more than 7 years ago | (#19318069)

Yeah, someone else posted something about that. It works find in Firefox, except that in my copy of Firefox 2.0 (actually the repackaged version by FrontMotion, that I can deploy and manage via Group Policy), the useragent is BonEcho, as opposed to Firefox. And if its not set to Firefox, then it takes me to the "old" ugly map. I'm not sure if its just with FrontMotion that the useragent is not Firefox, or if its with all Firefox 2.0 releases. I've found references to both user-agents with BonEcho/2.0.x.x, and Firefox/2.0.x.x.

Re:Microsoft Couldnt Do This In a Million Years (2, Informative)

stony3k (709718) | more than 7 years ago | (#19318325)

Ah! That explains it - if you remember the Debian Iceweasel stink a while back, non-official releases are not allowed to be named Firefox. Hence your browser identifies itself as Bon-Echo.

Re:Microsoft Couldnt Do This In a Million Years (1)

imemyself (757318) | more than 7 years ago | (#19318413)

Wow, I knew that people couldn't use the icon and stuff, but even the useragent? Granted, it is very easy for me to change it via FrontMotion's group policy extensions, so it is Firefox on all our computers, but I'm surprised that they would care about the useragent.

I know that FrontMotion's releases had it as Firefox at one point in time, because I had to change it in order to get to my high school's Blackboard site(hehe, one of the network people tried to block people using portable Firefox to get around their web "security" proxy server by blocking the Firefox useragent. I'm not sure if they were aware that it only takes about literally about three seconds to change that. They eventually did it the right way and got an application level firewall).

Exit Numbers (4, Interesting)

Ark42 (522144) | more than 7 years ago | (#19317371)


Thats all great and stuff, but when will they add exit numbers? It's a pretty basic thing along the lines of labeling road names as far as I'm concerned.

Re:Exit Numbers (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19317435)

They are there now. See this link [google.com] for example. The numbers in the green bubbles.

Re:Exit Numbers (1)

Ark42 (522144) | more than 7 years ago | (#19317647)

Finally! Thanks for the info. They could stand to show them at a few more zoomed out levels, but this is good, finally.

Getting closer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19317411)

While I do find all the map enhancements useful when planning trips to areas I've never been or viewing an area I'm going to be forced to move into without being able to physically look it over (college student going on co-ops), how long until these types of services link up with 'security cameras' and we or 'them' can get live shots of the areas?

Awesome - any landmines? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19317425)

These street views are amazing. Some of the shots are pretty high res - people on streets, through windows - I bet if you look hard enough you could see inside of people's homes - hmm, a new crop of google treasure hunts - find the guy in his window. How many people can you find breaking traffic laws? Hmm, how many people will go look up their cities and find their bfriend's car in front of a stranger's place! ;) so many fun things...

Are there any potential privacy laws google could break by making these photos so readily available online?

Re:Awesome - any landmines? (2, Interesting)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 7 years ago | (#19317941)

I found a pretty cool Easter egg on Google Earth the other day, while digitally roaming through the Gobi Desert. Fire up Google Earth and click "fly to" and then paste in the coordinates 40.4026777778, 99.7833888889 , which will take you to Inner Mongolia. You can see a couple of Badger bombers, Antonov An-12 transports, a Beriev A-50 AWACS plane, some Mig-19s, a couple of Mig-21 Fishbeds, and a few cool-as-all-hell Mig-29 Flankers. Not that I know that much about Russian-made aircraft, I was simply able to figure out what they were using (what else?) Google. It's a pretty amazing tool, though the Chinese must be pissed that so many of their military establishments can now be checked out by anyone with an internet connection...

Re:Awesome - any landmines? (2, Informative)

l-ascorbic (200822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19318777)

Not just Google Earth: it's on Google Maps too [google.co.uk] .

Re:Awesome - any landmines? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19318459)

definition of invasion of privacy depends on the individual. for me, as long as someone is not intentionally noting down my movements or frequency of visits to certain place or has not created a huge network like in UK, it is not invasion. if someone finds me where I don't want them to see me and it was not intentional, i won't like it but will pass it as a coincidence. that's what is happening here. raise your concerns but don't try to make a mountain out of a molehill.

RLY! (-1, Offtopic)

vx922 (1108955) | more than 7 years ago | (#19317439)

ORLY? MAPLETS RLY? NO WAi!

Today the Cities, Tomorrow the World (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 7 years ago | (#19317447)

Cool, we're almost there [slashdot.org] . While this needs dedicated hardware today, and thus dedicated surveillance of areas to be displayed, as digital cameras get integrated GPS and people post those pictures on the web, Google can index the EXIF tags, and do some image processing (based on embedded lens and exposure data) to get us this kind of experience anywhere somebody has taken a/enough picture(s).

Uh Oh (4, Informative)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 7 years ago | (#19317451)

Here's a video grab showing Street View in action - this looks & feels amazing, albeit there's potential privacy issues due to the level of detail (you can make out individual faces, license plates and so on):

Uh Oh, people might see you in a public place.

No seriously, If you're walking along the side of a road, driving your car on a road, what expectation of privacy do you have here. Are taking pictures of people and vehicles illegal now, do I need to go back and blur out all faces and license plates?

Re:Uh Oh (5, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19317581)

Although I completely agree with you on the matter of "privacy", I do believe there is a social norm which dictates that it is rude to photograph someone without their permission. That's the problem we have with paparazzi, and those annoying "current affairs" shows that go around with their cameras trying to get people on tape telling them to fuck off, as if it somehow exposes their guilt. These people get punched in the face not because of some expectation of privacy, but because they are violating a social norm. Especially when they continue filming after they have been told to stop. If you want a dose of this yourself, go down to the beach and take some pictures.. you'll be quickly approached by men responding to their girlfriend's squeels of "he's taking our picture!" It's just not acceptable behaviour.

Hi. I am Mike Moore, and this is Frontline! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19318169)

those annoying "current affairs" shows
It is sad that I read that and the first thing I hear is ...
"Hi. I am Mike Moore, and this is Frontline!"

How is that the norm at all? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#19318295)

Although I completely agree with you on the matter of "privacy", I do believe there is a social norm which dictates that it is rude to photograph someone without their permission.

I have no inkling of any such norm. Instead I have a large number of books filled with street photography, much of which was taken very much without the subjects knowledge or permission or even awareness.

While this is not exactly in the same artistic category, I personally agree that there simply is no expecation that images cannot be recorded of you at any moment you are in public view - that to me includes standing at your window in full view of the street!

If you want true privacy and eliminate any chance of stray images capturing you, get enough land or move somewhere remote enough that you can have it.

Re:How is that the norm at all? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19318309)

I have no inkling of any such norm.
So what you're saying is that you've never tried to take pictures of people without their permission. Get your camera, go outside and start doing it, right now. If you don't get at least one person who says "hey, I don't want my picture taken" then you live in another world to the rest of us.

Video cameras, more so.

Re:How is that the norm at all? (2, Interesting)

TheVoice900 (467327) | more than 7 years ago | (#19318957)

I'm a photographer. I shoot people on the street all the time. I've yet to ever have anyone get angry or hostile at me for taking their photograph. In fact, many people actually enjoy having their photo taken and will react positively if you point your camera at them. Most of the rest just assume you must be trying to photograph something else and they're standing in the way, so they'll do their best to move. I'm not aware of any "social norm" neither here in Canada nor in Japan where I lived that dictates you shouldn't take photographs of people in public.

Re:How is that the norm at all? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19319507)

Canada and Japan, no shit eh.

Google ignores yet another Memorial day, politics (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19317789)

It has been noted that Google chose not to recognize Memorial Day with an altered logo, as they do with many other holidays [google.com] .

A reader forwarded the following reply from Google, about their continuing failure to mark Memorial Day; it's the same reply they've given for at least three years running.


        Thank you for your note. We appreciate your interest in seeing a Memorial Day Google logo. If we were to commemorate this holiday, we'd want to express reverence; however, as Google's special logos tend to be lighthearted in nature, this would be a particularly challenging design. We wouldn't want to create a graphic that could be interpreted as disrespectful in any way.

        We have a long list of holidays that we'd like to celebrate in the future. We have to balance this rotating calendar with the need to maintain the consistency of the Google homepage. We really value your feedback regarding the Google logo, and please be assured that we're actively pursuing ways in which we can acknowledge Memorial Day and other such occasions in the future.

        Regards,
        The Google Team



By "in the future," they apparently mean sometime in the next century or so.

As for their claim that they want "lighthearted" logos, how "lighthearted" were those melting glaciers they used on Earth Day?

Here was Google's reply in 2005 when people asked why they didn't mark Memorial Day [littlegreenfootballs.com] .


        We have to balance this rotating calendar with the need to maintain the consistency of the Google homepage.

        Furthermore, Google's special logos tend to be lighthearted in nature. If we were to commemorate Memorial Day, we would want to express reverence, rather than mirth. This would be a particularly challenging design. We would not want to, in any way, create a graphic that could be interpreted as disrespectful. In light of the mail we have received about this, we are actively considering designs we could display on this day next year. We welcome any suggestions you may have.


To show you how transparently false this excuse is, here's the logo Google used for Australia & New Zealand's ANZAC Day, the Aussie/Kiwi equivalent of Memorial Day [blogspot.com] .

And here's their logo for Canada's Remembrance Day [littlegreenfootballs.com] , which they've been running for several years:

And here's the British Remembrance Day logo from 2004 [littlegreenfootballs.com] :

In truth, Google is willing to honor the fallen of every country--except their own.

Re:Google ignores yet another Memorial day, politi (1)

ThePromenader (878501) | more than 7 years ago | (#19319065)

The above is rather off-topic. All the same, I severely doubt that Google's failure to come up with a 'light-hearted' memorial day design was anything planned or intentional - unlike the above poster's (obviously an owner or administrator of the extremely right-wing-delusional "little green footballs" website) very obvious intention to paint Google as something "bad". Also, the arguments presented are as ineffective as they are non sequitur - the rather 'light-hearted' poppy is not the symbol of American Memorial Day.

The above post was rather despicable even in its blatant, off-topic slanderous intention. What was its goal, exactly? Why slashdot? Keep the delusional hysteria to your own website, please.

Re:Google ignores yet another Memorial day, politi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19319803)

In truth, Google is willing to honor the fallen of every country--except their own.

How pathetic. That is what 'honoring' means to you? Some fucking website banner?

It's all about symbols to idiots like you. Fucking flags, and bumper stickers, and logos, and catch phrases and sound bites.

Re:Uh Oh (1)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 7 years ago | (#19317827)

Yep, people don't understand that there is no expectation whatsoever of privacy in public. But it isn't until you actually spell it out like that that it sinks in and they go oooohhh, I see what you're saying...

Re:Uh Oh (3, Interesting)

mgblst (80109) | more than 7 years ago | (#19319451)

You make a decent point. But the way something like Big Brother comes in, is as in most changes to society, it creeps in.

No matter how you look at it, this is a loss of privacy. 20 years ago, you could expect to walk in a public place, and there would be no record of you ever being there. Now, in places like the UK, you are captured all the time, and these recrods can be kept for a long time. So we have lost privacy going out in a public place. The next step is some form of recognition software that can track individuals, everywhere they go.

So where do you draw the line? When do YOU start to get upset. Or are you one of these people who are happy for the government and private industry to know where you are at all times? If that doesn't bother you (whether you never do anything wrong or not), then you have a problem. If that doesn't bother most people in this world (and I think it won't), then we all have a problem.

Re:Uh Oh (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 7 years ago | (#19319731)

I might be way off on this, but I thought there were laws against broadcasting pictures of people's faces without their permission. Isn't that why some news programs have had to blur out people's faces, especially people in the background? I don't think it's an absolute rule (or nobody bothers filing lawsuits), so I'm a bit curious about the details.

mashup mashup mashup (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19317463)

could we please have a moratorium on that word? The quicker it (and the jizzmops that use it) dies the better.

Re:mashup mashup mashup (1)

BooleanLobster (1077727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19318355)

I cringe every time a new buzzword is created. When new buzzwords are made out of what used to be respectable, technical words ("mapplet"?), I almost want to cry.

Re:mashup mashup mashup (4, Funny)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 7 years ago | (#19319777)

If you cry just a little is that a "crylet"?

Yahoo Ad in Times Square (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19317465)

Go to the street view of Times Square and what do you see? A big billboard for Yahoo.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&sll=37.84883 3,-122.420654&sspn=1.051842,1.867676&ie=UTF8&om=0& layer=c&cbll=40.756663,-73.986495&cbp=1,156.292682 926829,0.5,0&ll=40.763544,-73.987255&spn=0.013392, 0.031028&z=15 [google.com]

I know Google themselves didn't collect the data, but it's still kind of amusing.

Re:Yahoo Ad in Times Square (1)

trawg (308495) | more than 7 years ago | (#19319663)

Interestingly the copyright on some of the SF photos (at least the ones I've looked at near the Golden Gate Bridge) belongs to Google, so maybe they did take at least some of the pictures themselves.

Re:Yahoo Ad in Times Square (1)

smallfries (601545) | more than 7 years ago | (#19319889)

Seeing as people are posting weird things they've found as replies here. Take a look at this [google.com] .

It looks pretty unremarkable but move one step east and see what happens? I guess that either their stitching chokes or the gps on the car flaked out while they drove through the carpark that you see just off the road. It's a bit weird.

Wow, it's a great century to be a stalker (1, Insightful)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 7 years ago | (#19317517)

This stuff makes scoping out someone's house soooo much easier.

Scoping out apartments (1)

Belgand (14099) | more than 7 years ago | (#19317761)

Actually, this was one of the first really interesting uses I had thought of for it. Albeit, not for stalking.

Combined with the already excellent HousingMaps (google maps + Craigslist apartment listings) hack this would be a great way to get a view of potential apartments... well, from the outside at least. If photos are available (and for a good chunk of San Francisco they thankfully are) you can even get a quick, vague overview of the neighborhood without having to go all the way out there first.

Good for the environment (and congestion) (1)

funkdancer (582069) | more than 7 years ago | (#19318085)

... if it saves a few car trips around the neighbourhood to scope out places to live.
Now I don't have to go to SF, I'll just spend a a few hours online "walking" the place! :)

Re:Good for the environment (and congestion) (1)

Belgand (14099) | more than 7 years ago | (#19319677)

Meh. I live in the city. I almost never drive anywhere inside the city limits if I can possibly avoid it. It's not worth the hassle of traffic and (especially) parking. If I don't know for certain that I can get easy, free parking then it's walking, BART, or Muni.

I only drive when I'm going to be in the suburbs.

Games (4, Funny)

hack slash (1064002) | more than 7 years ago | (#19317525)

So how long now 'til we can play Grand Theft Auto:Earth?

Oh FFS (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19317551)

I REALLY FUCKING HATE THE WORD "MASHUPS" !!!!!!!! Apparently there were too many caps in my post, so I typed this to change the cap/lc ratio. Bite that you yelling detectors!

Perhaps.... (1)

madbawa (929673) | more than 7 years ago | (#19317571)

A little more programming and this can become a second Second Life ?

Re:Perhaps.... (1)

rozz (766975) | more than 7 years ago | (#19319167)

A little more programming and this can become a second Second Life ?
actually it may become TheRealSecondLife ..
i wonder how you'll have to pay for a two-bedrooms in TheRealSecondLife manhattan

some lucky modpoints owner should MOD PARENT UP

The car that takes these kind of pictures (4, Informative)

grouchomarxist (127479) | more than 7 years ago | (#19317603)

Wired has some pictures [wired.com] of the kind of car rig that takes these street-level panoramas.

Re:The car that takes these kind of pictures (1)

FatAlb3rt (533682) | more than 7 years ago | (#19317899)

Ok - so that one is Teleatlas, Google has demonstrated that they are doing it, and I saw a live.local.com camera-rigged SUV (looked a lot like the one in the wired article you linked to) going down Bay Area Blvd on the south side of Houston about a week ago. So they're all obviously interested in doing something similar, just seems like a lot of duplicated work.

Re:The car that takes these kind of pictures (1)

stuff and such (980278) | more than 7 years ago | (#19318171)

I would chase the car down the street just do I could see pics of myself doing it on google maps

Re:The car that takes these kind of pictures (1)

aarku (151823) | more than 7 years ago | (#19318603)

Excellent. So now when I see that car, I open the sun roof and hold out my "Hi, Mom!!" sign for a few blocks. Or if I were more nefarious, your standard Buy V1AgR@ ad. Google bombing to the extreme.

Mapplets (3, Funny)

jd (1658) | more than 7 years ago | (#19317625)

Damn, I thought it said Muppets.

I can see my dog. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19317627)

I typed in my own address, and by zooming in all the way on the street view photo, I was able to very clearly see my dog sitting in the window, staring directly at the camera. Scary.

Re:I can see my dog. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19319873)

I typed in my own address, and by zooming in all the way on the street view photo, I was able to very clearly see my dog sitting in the window, staring directly at the camera. Scary.

"Scary"? What are you, an un-frozen caveman lawyer or something? "Scary... me see um picture of dog on glass box on table. How happen? Is dog actually in glass tube?"

Re:I can see my dog. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19319947)

No. Scary in that he was having sex with his dog at the time.

Yay! (0)

uber0ne (1104591) | more than 7 years ago | (#19317643)

Now we can have 3d images of every place on earth. Finally i can set up my stalking routine a little more carefully. I can also plan a better escape for robbing a bank!

great, more flash crap (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19317655)

i'm getting really fucking tired with all this flash crap. next.

Troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19317693)

Umm.. Hasnt that street view crap been availible for some time now? What the point? Its a fruitless effort on Googles behalf. Its over-engineering at its finest, and its limited to only the places that Google's little truck has visited. I guarantee you that you'll never see my hometown on maps.google.com's "Street view".

After seeing the dude in the orange jump suit on their demo, I dont know if I want to even use Google at all anymore. That was traumatic. (Oh, that and the fact that since they bought out YouTube, they canceled my account that contained a couple of hilarious South Park moments that I captured via MythTV, I think it was 6 clips of the funniest South Park moments I've ever witnessed, each being less than 20 seconds long. Thats advertising for South Park and viacom. They were lil' mini commercials, if u will... but no they bent over to that whole DMCA bullshit and canned my account which not only had those 6 clips, but a whole world of links to other YouTube videos, and many videos that I created myself.)

Screw you Viacom! Screw you Google! And screw you nerd-freak in the orange jumpsuit.

(btw, I tried to boycott them altogether but their new monopoly on the internet prevented that from ever happening - have u ever tried to use MSN Live? You'd know what I mean)

Got stuck in traffic in brooklyn (2, Interesting)

Tharkban (877186) | more than 7 years ago | (#19317715)

search for "500 State Street Brooklyn NY" and move west along state street. The camera gets stuck in traffic and the address keeps moving along. Additionally, 500 State Street isn't what it's supposed to be http://www.mro.org/firelotus/firelotus/index.shtml [mro.org] . It's cool and all that they did this, but I'm not impressed with it's usefulness.

Move East not West (1)

Tharkban (877186) | more than 7 years ago | (#19317743)

Sorry, I meant to say move East not West.

Live 3D view is very cool (1)

manekineko2 (1052430) | more than 7 years ago | (#19317741)

Also new is Microsoft's (yeah, yeah, boo, hiss) 3D view update to maps.live.com [slashdot.org] . Similar to Google Earth, but integrated directly into their website, albeit with plug-in. Shockingly, they even support Firefox with a separate plug-in I hear.

To try it just click 3D view on a major city. It really is quite beautiful once it's done loading, but it takes a helluva long time on my system to load. I think it's the bandwidth that's the limiting factor on it, since my computer is pretty up to spec.

Triboro Bridge (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19317857)

I count at least three of the "Use of Cameras Prohibited, Strictly Enforced" signs on the Triboro.

Re:Triboro Bridge (2, Funny)

martinX (672498) | more than 7 years ago | (#19318075)

Got any pics?

Re:Triboro Bridge (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19318279)

When will it get to my city? (4, Informative)

cmacb (547347) | more than 7 years ago | (#19317861)

The competition between Microsoft, Yahoo and Google over all these features is wonderful, but as each new feature is announced they work only in a few major cities and in some cases there seems to be no prospects for a wider roll out. While New York and Silicon Valley may have 3D rotating virtual reality animations large parts of the coastline are still low resolution 8 year old images. This is starting to look more like a pissing contest between the big players rather than anything that will be useful in the near term for most Americans (let alone other countries).

For comparison I picked a random part of Washington DC and zoomed in using Microsoft maps to see the 3D view, which (since Google isn't there yet with this feature, would put MS in the lead as far as usability for my general area) but as I zoomed in I noticed that I was looking at a construction site and during my zoom the construction went from bare dirt to a fully developed community (ie the closer pictures were more up to date). Well, thats nice, but in general it is very distracting to see roads change and seasons come and go as you zoom in or out of an area. Google is no better with often old fuzzy-to-the-point-of-useless sections right up next to crystal clear housetop photos, with no rhyme nor reason to which sections are sharp and which are fuzzy. At least with Google the image resolution doesn't change as you zoom in or out, but I've certainly been following a road in mid density areas and found that the road would be clear enough to see vehicles on it in one section and then almost impossible to discern the road from the surrounding objects in the next.

Let's face it: ALL the imagery is a nice to have not a need to have. The cartoon maps are good enough for navigation. But if they are going to present us with imagery at all, isn't it time some of these things get out of the laboratory phase and into something more closely resembling production?

Re:When will it get to my city? (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 7 years ago | (#19319517)

Yes, you are right. It is not perfect. How dare they release something that is not perfect, who knows what this will lead to?

Stop your whingeing, don't use it if it upsets you. You don't have to use it. Meanwhile, lots of people will find many uses for this, sure not as many people who enjoy google earth or google maps, but still many people will.

I can see my house from here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19318019)

I "walked" through my neighborhood with this thing. Damn, it was a weird feeling. Another quality stalking tool from Google!

Immersive Media and Street Views (5, Informative)

PotatoPhysics (126423) | more than 7 years ago | (#19318181)

All of the non-San Francisco Street View data is provided by a company called Immersive Media [immersivemedia.com] . They have a special omnidirectional video sensor with 11 elements that shoots 30 frames per second. The 11 cameras do a great job rejecting glare from the sun. Compare the SF footage with the Las Vegas footage and look for sun glare overriding the sensor. At street speeds, there is about 1 image every 3 to 5 inches. Street View is showing you one frame every 30 to 100 or so.

The Teleatlas camera car doesn't shoot panoramas, the cameras are too far away to avoid massive parallax errors and their cameras are pretty narrow field of view. I'm sure the collect very good POI data, though. The survey vehicles used for the Immersive Media dataset are actually Volkswagon Beetles, there is a tiny picture on the Immersive Media homepage. The camera can actually see down most of the way to the road and anything other than a Beetle has a pretty big footprint in the image. The camera system also see straight up even though the Flash viewer in Street View does not. It's actually the warping of the pixels to make the view that is the weakest link in the distribution chain.

The vehicles have the camera system and a special inertial positioning system that provides survey grade coordinates as the vehicle moves down the road even underground. That system is made by Applanix and it's the same type of system used by many of the Darpa Grand Challenge Candidates.

All this adds up to many TBs of data and although it isn't easy to stream on the web, they have figured out how to do it. If you visit the demo page [immersivemedia.com] you can see full motion video panoramas that you can drag and look up, down, left and right in! Requires Shockwave from Adobe. The streaming isn't as sharp as the original product but it gives you an idea of navigating an Immersive movie. Sort of like Quicktime VR but it is really a movie!

Immersive Media has collected data all over North America, you can see the complete extent of their collects and browse some clips [immersivemedia.com] . We also just announced a major expansion into Europe so we'll see you blokes over the pond soon!

Full Disclosure: I wire the systems on the Beetles and write post-processing software for Immersive Media. I've trained a lot of drivers in how to run inertial positioning systems and I'm really pleased that data I support is finally being seen by people! And feel free to Slashdot the demo page, the servers are waiting to show you our movies. Remember to click and drag to look around, this isn't boring old static web video where you look where we tell you too.

Re:Immersive Media and Street Views (1)

Daychilde (744181) | more than 7 years ago | (#19318753)

You guys rock. This stuff is awesome.

I found my car (1)

NaDrew (561847) | more than 7 years ago | (#19318247)

The blue '06 Infiniti G35 in the center of the picture [google.com] , with the license plate conveniently obscured by the "City of Palo Alto Parking" sign.

Oh, and my I-key is fine.

Re:I found my car (1)

friend.ac (1071626) | more than 7 years ago | (#19318429)

Crap parking mate, can you not park straight?? ;-)

Pagesjaunes did already better for years ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19318613)

Hi,

pagesjaunes.fr (the French yellow pages) did already better years back, they had shot pictures of each streets from Paris and other major cities from France.

See http://photos.pagesjaunes.fr/ [pagesjaunes.fr]

This is quite convenient, if you have to use the metro. Before you arive somewhere you can see the exact way you will take and identify the building you have to go visually.

Not sure anybody provided a mashup with google maps or mappy by the way ...

So for once, google is lagging ;-)

Rgs,
TM

Bus stops in Seattle (1)

Seismologist (617169) | more than 7 years ago | (#19318637)

Google maps now shows bus stops [google.com] in Seattle with schedules for next bus along the line. Only thing missing now is the ferry schedule nearby...

Re:Bus stops in Seattle (1)

golgoj4 (993133) | more than 7 years ago | (#19319001)

I miss the ferry rides. Yeah I know. Nothin to do with the topic but take a ferry ride across the sound. Its nice.

Pah, useless (1)

naich (781425) | more than 7 years ago | (#19318859)

You can't look up and down.

Re:Pah, useless (1)

Goffee71 (628501) | more than 7 years ago | (#19319253)

...in (for now) a few selected areas????? Like this will ever pass through 99.999% of the planet's populated areas. This is possibly the most useless Google creation yet. Fine for looking cool on selected US locales but anywhere else, forget it!

Smile! (1)

jaqr (141733) | more than 7 years ago | (#19319487)

A9.com has had this for years. (1)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 7 years ago | (#19319577)

Why is it news that Google now has it, too? Has Google become like Microsoft--so automatically newsworthy that it is automatically news whenever Google copies its competitors?

I played with it A9's version a while, but have never been able to find any practical use for it. At one point I thought I had a use for it--trying to settle a question of how many stories tall a particular building was--but the views didn't show enough in the vertical direction.

And then another time I thought I a use for it--verifying the exact name of a building. Specifically, I was trying to find out whether the signage on the old old John Hancock building, the one on 197 Clarendon Street, actually said "Stephen L. Brown" building or not. The sign or plaque or whatever was obscured by parked trucks.

Meanwhile, it appears that Google Maps does not currently have any street level views of Boston at all.

PennDOT (1)

kantellopo (249176) | more than 7 years ago | (#19319725)

For some reason, the state made this program with tax money:
http://www.dot7.state.pa.us/ividlog/video_locate.a sp [state.pa.us]

it only works in IE, but the images are pretty cool.. it's very extensive too
if only google could index this information
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