Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Google Street View

I don't know why it took so long to get on the bandwagon but I've been having a lot of fun with Google Street View. They even launched a Tour de France version. They don't have our tiny residential street on the map but they do have several nearby larger streets.

I was puzzled to see that many cities around the country are featured yet Seattle was left off the list. Evidently, the word on the street is that Seattle is in the works. I got a kick out of this article, published by the Naked Loon. I've reproduced it here, in full:

(From the Naked Loon):

In a press release published Friday, internet technology leader Google announced that its revolutionary Street View technology will not be expanded to include coverage of the Seattle area, ever.

First introduced in May 2007, Google’s Street View originally offered web users a panoramic peek into five cities across the country. Given Google’s presence in Seattle, with offices in Fremont and Kirkland, many assumed that coverage of Seattle neighborhoods would soon follow. However, three months later when the next group of cities included in Street View was announced, Seattle was not among them.

Since the original release of Street View, four subsequent announcements of additional coverage have failed to include Seattle. Currently 30 metropolitan areas are included in Google’s Street View, more than half of which are actually smaller than Seattle. The list of insignificant cities Google has deemed more important than Seattle includes Albany New York, Manchester New Hampshire, and Juneau Alaska. Yes, Juneau.

Friday’s statement from the internet giant finally answered the question that has been on many tech-savvy Seattle residents’ minds: When is Seattle going to get Street View? The answer, according to Google, is never.

“There are just so many things we care about more than bringing Street View to Seattle,” the press release stated, “important upcoming technologies like our theme park maps, sausage recipe search, and web-based phone calls for prisoners.”

The release also indicated that just to make it absolutely clear that Google’s failure to include Seattle is intended to be a deliberate snub, the next additions to Street View will be ten Canadian cities, including Vancouver, Calgary, and Mississauga. “You probably don’t even know where Mississauga is,” the announcement said.

When asked whether there was any chance that Google would reconsider its position, a representative for the company replied that it was “extremely unlikely, save for some kind of highly localized disaster centered somewhere in Redmond.”

The following metropolitan areas are included in Street View (ordered by population):

  • New York, NY
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Houston, TX
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • San Antonio, TX
  • San Diego, CA
  • Dallas, TX
  • Detroit, MI
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • Boston, MA
  • [Seattle will never take its place in this list here]
  • Denver, CO
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Portland, OR
  • Tucson, AZ
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Miami, FL
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Orlando, FL
  • Boise, ID
  • Salt Lake, UT
  • Providence, RI
  • Manchester, NH
  • Albany, NY
  • Juneau, AK