Google Street View has arrived to Toronto, October 7th and quite a stir is has caused. Apparently it caught a van on fire and a park full of garbage.
And, the house across the street from my house had a BMW service truck in the driveway with their phone number clearly displayed… Great advertising, eh?
I’ve already been thinking of what I could use this for, other than seeing the houses of my colleagues. That fun can only last one day… Can I use this to look for areas to stay out of? Check an address and see what kind of freaks and geeks are loitering around?
I also heard on the radio that a DJ had booked a vacation resort in Florida that claimed to be on the waterfront and newly renovated, so he used the Street View feature and found the hotel to be run down and near a lake, nowhere near the water… He said he cancelled his reservation and used Street View to find a better place to stay at half the price. Slumlords beware! We can see you now!!!
As expected and now proven through Street View, Toronto is clean and orderly. One part that really pisses me off (Thank you Mayor David Miller) is the view of Christie Pits during the 39-day municipal (garbage) strike, as a dumpsite.
I heard there was footage of a man walking away from an adult video store on Yonge Street with his face blurred (he must have had it blurred or they felt bad for him. On the radio, the DJ said, “Buddy, I know your face is blurred, but everyone knows who you are. Apparently almost all other human faces visible on Street View have been blurred too.
Google was criticized by privacy advocates after Street View launched in 13 other countries. Sensitive to public concerns, the company is willing to blur faces more strongly or even delete certain images if visitors find them “sensitive,” spokeswoman Tamara Micner said.
Each Street View image includes a “report a problem” link. This would come in handy for several embarrassing voyeuristic situations, including one showing a man helping a young child prepare to urinate under a tree, had been removed from Street View by the late afternoon. No… That was not me, although when out and the phrase, “I have to pee! NOW!” is uttered, we find a tree. Then again… I just might be me!