You can See my House from Here

We noticed while we were in Killin this weekend that the Google Streetview car was beetling around, capturing the Trossachs for the delight of geeks in windowless rooms everywhere. It won’t be round us, we confidently predicted. You’d be surprised, my aunt said. So today, while I was idly checking my route to somewhere on Google maps I grabbed the little orange man and dropped him onto the road that goes past our house, and lo and behold it worked. My God, it’s all there. The view, our house, the giant topiary bird, the lowering grey sky, the threat of rain. No sheep – I would suppose that the Google camera car is even more terrifying to them than a cyclist is. We were probably in when it went past, unless we’d had gone out with the shed door open. How can we have missed the excitement?

After a little time going on a virtual tour of the area – checking the level on the ford, that sort of thing (it was dry) – I started to feel a little creeped out. It was okay in London, where your every move is captured on seventeen CCTV cameras, or whatever the figure is, but up here I’ve got used to the fact that, sheep aside, we’re not being watched. OK, well we are, but that’s by the village gossips and it only goes as far as the rural internet. It’s not that I’m worried about my privacy or security (although you’ll notice I’m not actually giving you a link to the ford so you can check it out for yourselves), it’s just it seems a bit wrong. I thought we lived in an analogue sort of place still. Turns out we’ve been digitised after all, we just didn’t know it.

I suppose it will have its uses, although I can’t think of any just now. No doubt in five years time we’ll wonder how we ever did without it (and in ten years we’ll look back on its quaintness with nostalgia). But right now I feel a little as though I was some primitive tribesperson, and Google and its cameras have stolen a little slice of my soul.

8 Responses to You can See my House from Here

  1. Dom says:

    Something like 90% of the country is now listed (went live a month or so ago?). I spent an age looking for myself on the A140 as I’d seen one of Googles cars while out and about. Can’t have been filming though as I’m not on it.

    My current house is down a little snicket so we’re not on it 😀

  2. Autolycus says:

    A dedicated stalker might be able to track any of us down from the various clues we scatter about the place. Google Streetview seems to have lost the picture of my window-boxes they had in the beta version – I’m assuming someone complained they’d been photographing on private property to get it, but it didn’t bother me (they looked tidy for once).

  3. disgruntled says:

    The pictures on our road seem to have been taken just over a year ago, from the state of the garden.

  4. We are on twice, at home and at the seaside! I’ve passed the car today, so I’ll look for me again!

  5. disgruntled says:

    It’s like managing to appear twice in one of those big group photos …

  6. Flighty says:

    I saw the googlemobile around here last year but have resisted looking so far! xx

  7. John_in_NH says:

    It was in Leeds last year around this time, Leeds was one of the first parts of the country to get the full launch. I found its home too, or at least a turn around spot, it was near my college residence. Satellite data was also updated last year, I could even tell you the day and time it was 😉

    they are very useful for cyclists or non residents who need to see what a place looks like before getting there, I survived a full tour of Europe by my self thanks to streetview and Google maps. They are helpful to look at road conditions along a given route, hill slopes, as well as traffic and possible places to stop.

    I find it very very useful for many applications 🙂 I saw the car once, and debated chasing it down on my bike, but it was a long day, I was tired, so decided not to 😉

  8. 2whls3spds says:

    I use street view and satellite (with a few caveats) for estimating projects (industrial contractor) and figuring out ways to access various projects.

    Interestingly enough they did go down our lane, but turned around at the mailboxes and never made it all the way to our house. Ours is a private road and I am sure if we raised a stink they would remove it, but I don’t think it is worth the bother.

    My dad got a picture of his backside done by Google street view, he was bent over the flower beds in front of the house when they went by LOL.

    Aaron

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