Contrary to popular belief, Google can’t be everywhere at once (they’re working on it), and one of the most obvious examples of this limitation is the extent of Street View functionality in Google Maps. Of course, tons of roads and even some obscure neighborhoods have been mapped out with street view, but all too often your own front yard is left un-street-viewable. And while that may not be much of a tragedy for most people, those that would rather change that now have the option to with DIY Street View’s new Street View Camera System. Read more…
Google recently brought its Street View camera inside the White House for the Google Art Project’s documentation of the artwork found within. In addition to displaying the art itself, the website also features a Street View-style museum view of the White House, allowing you to walk around inside virtually. Earlier this year Google did the same thing for photography mecca B&H Photo Video in NYC.
The White House – Museum View (via Coudal)
If you go to Google Street View and type in “rue de londres, paris“, you can visit the location where photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson captured his famous street photograph Behind the Gare St. Lazare in 1932. It’s an ordinary location that became an iconic photograph through Cartier-Bresson’s “decisive moment” style of photography. Cartier-Bresson notes,
There was a plank fence around some repairs behind the Gare Saint Lazare train station. I happened to be peeking through a gap in the fence with my camera at the moment the man jumped. The space between the planks was not entirely wide enough for my lens, which is the reason why the picture is cut off on the left.
If you know of any other iconic photo locations that can be revisited through Google Street View, leave a comment!
“rue de londres, paris” in Google Maps (via Erik Kim)
Named after the fact that Google Street View cars shoot with 9 separate cameras, Canadian artist Jon Rafman’s Nine Eyes of Google Street View website is an ongoing project that publishes strange scenes photographed by Google’s automated cameras. Rafman writes,
This infinitely rich mine of material afforded my practice the extraordinary opportunity to explore, interpret, and curate a new world in a new way. To a certain extent, the aesthetic considerations that form the basis of my choices in different collections vary. For example, some selections are influenced by my knowledge of photographic history and allude to older photographic styles, whereas other selections, such as those representing Google’s depiction of modern experience, incorporate critical aesthetic theory. But throughout, I pay careful attention to the formal aspects of color and composition.
[...] I can seek out postcard-perfect shots that capture what Cartier-Bresson titled “the decisive moment,” as if I were a photojournalist responding instantaneously to an emerging event. At other times, I have been mesmerized by the sense of nostalgia, yearning, and loss in these images—qualities that evoke old family snapshots. I can also choose to be a landscape photographer and meditate on the multitude of visual possibilities.
New service called the Catlin SeaView Survey is planning to do for the ocean what Google Street View has done for land. Using a special camera, the joint venture between the University of Queensland, Google, and insurance firm Catlin Group will use a specially designed underwater camera to capture interactive 360-degree panoramic photographs. The purpose will be to carry out one of the most intensive studies of reefs ever, starting with Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. It’ll go into full swing starting in September, but some sample imagery is already viewable over at the SeaView website.
Catlin SeaView Survey (via Xatakafoto)
B&H is one of the most popular retailers in the photo world, but most customers haven’t set foot inside the physical superstore in New York City, one of the largest photo stores in the world. If you’ve been wondering what it looks like on the inside, you can take a virtual tour through Google Street View (click the arrow pointing into the building). Starting late last year, Street View started including imagery of the inside of some buildings in addition to its street-level views.
B&H Photo Video in Google Maps (via ISO 1200)
Street View Stereographic is a fun little web app that creates a “little planet” (i.e. stereographic projection) using the photos from any Google Street View location you provide it.
Street View Stereographic [Github]
Address Is Approximate is a beautiful and creative stop-motion video by Tom Jenkins of Theory Films. Here’s the one-sentence synopsis:
A lonely desk toy longs for escape from the dark confines of the office, so he takes a cross country road trip to the Pacific Coast in the only way he can – using a toy car and Google Maps Street View.
No CGI was used — all the animation you see in the video was done by hand and captured on a still photograph using a Canon 5D Mark II!
We’ve seen that Google Street View imagery is capable of winning photojournalism awards, but how would the camera-equipped cars do as fine art photographers? Photographer Aaron Hobson has a fascinating gallery of fine art-style photographs found in Street View — cinematic photos that would look great blown up and exhibited on museum walls.
Google Street View is neat in that it allows you to step into far away places through street-level photographs, but it’s missing the fourth dimension: time. WhatWasThere is an awesome project that aims to combine the element of time with a photographic map of the world. The map includes both modern day and historical imagery, and users can contribute their photographs by tagging them with a date and a time. The site even lets you switch to Google’s Street View and overlay historical photos onto their present day images!
WhatWasThere (via Laughing Squid)