Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Street View

Do you use Google Earth and Google Maps on the internet?
If you don't you are depriving yourself of a fantastic resource. I often browse Google earth when I want to know more about a place. We used Google maps to create a map for the Marcouxs before they went to Australia, and they made one for us, with important locations such as the doctor's surgery, post office, best supermarket, where to buy the best bread, shop for cheap clothes, the garage for the car service, parents' house, schools, swimming pool, and other points of interest. We are able to use the map facility or the aerial photography view, and zoom right in to see the details of each location. It makes it easier when trying to find a place later. But what if we had an actual view from street level? Then we would really have a feel for the place.

The sign on the car door says "Google"
which was the only indication of what this car was doing

Well thanks to Google's "Street View" facility, I think we will soon be able to see Sainte Marie d'Alloix from street level on the internet. Yesterday afternoon I was surprised to see this car (above) with a complicated camera set-up mounted on its roof, driving up our street. When I realised what it was, the kids and I waved to the camera (like we do to security cameras etc - don't you?). Then we spoke to the guy who was driving (he was English) who was not very happy about us waving. He said it will make more work for him because he will have to remove us from the picture. He also was adamant that I wasn't allowed to take a photo of him or the car. Lucky for him I didn't have my camera! (New rule: Never go out without a camera.) But I went and got my camera in the hope of catching him somewhere else in the village, and as luck would have it I caught the above snap as he was heading down the Route Nationale out of town. It will be interesting to see what ends up in the final street view scene! Hugh's little bike will probably make it onto the map, because we had left it at the top of the hill, just near the mail box, and taken the pusher instead.

The "Street View" cameras would have had a slightly higher view
than this of our driveway off the cul-de-sac.

To find out more about Street View I searched the internet, and found an explanation about it and a guide to using it. Click here if you want to find out more. Then I had a look at the extent of street View in France, and found that the course for the Tour de France 2008 (official site HERE) has been mapped with Google Street View! Apart from cities in the United States of America it seems that this route in France is the only other mapped so far by street view. Have a look at France on Google maps on the links (in English) or (in French) and make sure you click on the "Street View" tab to activate the street view feature.

P.S. I wonder how long before Telfer Road in Darkan appears on Google street view??!

1 comment:

Kerrie said...

and we'll make sure we're all at the gate on Telfer Rd, waving!