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August 05, 2008

Australian streets go Google

The official release of the local version of Google Streetview allowed us to inspect the passing traffic's view of the Bleeding Edge cave. It's somewhat greener than the current view - what with having a couple of trees die off as a result of the brilliant management of Melbourne's water resources - but it was quite exciting, none the less.

The Bleeding Edge spouse was amused by our delight, in much the same way as she's amused by grand-daughter Indigo's fascination for the contents of the toy box. Her immediate reaction was a sense of invasion. The dialogue went like this:

"I don't want everyone knowing where I live."

"But everyone doesn't know where you live."

"Well, if they knew where I lived they could check it out."

"Yes, but they could just drive past and see it, couldn't they?"

"But they wouldn't."

Maybe people will case the joint from their desktops.. Maybe this will become the new national pastime ... checking out where people live without having to fill the petrol tank. If we'd known Google was taking pictures, we could have popped outside and waved from the porch. Or possibly held up a "Do Not Disturb" sign.

The press release suggests it could be the basis for a new form of virtual tourism.

Andrew Foster, Product Manager at Google Australia, commented: "Google Maps has its origins as an Australian invention so we're thrilled to bring Street View here as one of the first countries in the world. A lot of remote and regional Australia is now available to explore virtually - Tom Price, Gundagai, Longreach, Esperance, and so much more. Street View will allow people to visit places in Australia they may not have had a chance to experience before." "Google Maps and Google Earth are incredibly popular with Australians and are used by Governments, businesses and individuals as essential and informative tools every day of the week. Street View provides an added experience by enabling users to see street-level panoramas of Australia's public roads, including dusty outback highways, tropical northern beach roads and major city arteries".

What do you think about it. Delight? Or fright? And are you happy with the picture of your place? Did you make it into the shot?

Posted by cw at August 5, 2008 10:15 AM

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