Friday, October 01, 2010

My blurred out face on Google Street View

Google street view was launched in Ireland yesterday, and I'm sure I was the only person in Ireland to immediately look up the view of their own house. If you try hard enough, you can find out where I (or anyone else) live and look at my house for yourself - so here is the street view of where I live:

You can see my car (the red VW Golf), and you can also see me! I spotted the Google car going up my road (which is a cul-de-sac), as I was cleaning my daughter Claire's car in the driveway. So I made sure I was out on the path when it was coming back down. Sure enough, all reg plates and faces are blurred out, but I can recognize myself, Roma and Vicki, quite easily. I recall giving the driver a thumbs up as he passed by.

Curiously, the view from directly outside my house does not have any of the three of us in it - in fact it shows me at the boot of the car in the driveway. You can see clearly where one photo ends and another one starts by looking at the blue Honda and the house next door. I don't think that someone in Google edited us out - I note in neighbouring streets other people standing outside their houses. I presume they use a mixture of photos to make up the view from their 3D type camera.

I love Google Street View, and think we should welcome it. After checking out my own street, I also had a fantastic virtual "walk" down some of the country roads and lanes where I grew up in Ballingate (near Carnew in Co Wicklow). I can now do this any time I want - thank you Google! Here's a view of where my sister, two brothers, and I used to wait for the bus to take us to Carnew N.S. in the mornings:

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