26 October, 2007

I See Hooters

In trying to find the location of the Bensalem Hooters for a roommate dinner we are planning for tonight, I came across this interesting new technology... "Bird's Eye View" of the map, an improvement on the aerial maps now used by Google and MapQuest. An even more interestingly is the fact that this map was on Windows Live Search, which I was using by accident through the toolbar at the Tech Center, thinking it was Google. Imagine that - a Microsoft product beating out Google in technology? I had to investigate. Here is the bird's eye view from "Microsoft Virtual Earth." If you zoom in, you can even see the Hooters sign!

So of course I had to go to Google and see if maybe I was missing something in the mapping world. Apparently I was... but a different technology called "Street View." Different from Birds Eye View? Let's see.

There it is, in all its wonderful glory. The only problem with Street view is that it's harder to navigate, these funny yellow lines are always following the road, it's slightly counter-intuitive, and it's VERY limited. Mostly major cities and some major highways. My area in NJ had none although I explored 287 a bit to see if I would get hit by a virtual car. Somehow Google doesn't let that happen - your lane changes or the car does, it's kind of weird technologically speaking. Nevermind philosophically speaking. This bring up some new Second-Life-esque issues. Even creepier, I found this image near Temple...

Note the Temple vs. Navy banner, which from my deductive reasoning tells me this must be sometime in August. Which also explains why the campus isn't poppin. I wonder who that guy is, and if he knows that he is now online for all the world to see, because at that very instant he happened to begin crossing the street and a satellite somewhere was taking his picture. Is someone watching me.... or you?

When aerial images first came out, it was cool to see a mini-pic of your house, your neighborhood, your friend's house. Your enemy's house, even? Now it's like, "aerial" images are not enough. We have to have "bird's eye" or even "street" view. Of course. So here is my hood:

Let the creepiness continue!

A real bird's eye view...

Bird's eye image
© Astra Ravenscroft Used with permission.


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