Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Caught on Camera

I use Google maps quite a bit to pre-navigate places that I plan to visit, or simply to show someone where a great little fabric shop is, or how to get from Uncle Will's to the ice cream dairy using the back roads. This afternoon I had heard about a place out in Gordonville, PA that I wanted to visit, but Google maps wasn't producing very good directions. So as usual, I hit the "street view" function and started virtually driving around Lancaster looking for this store. I love using the "street view" maps for this because it's always a sunny, clear day and once in a while you catch something unexpected. Like this...

View Larger Map

Is this the first Amish man to be caught unaware by Google's cameras? Better him than me!


  1. Surprise! I remember there was a question about Google's right to invade the privacy of people's lives but maybe it was only on their property and not when they are out in public, but I would be upset if someone covertly photographed me and then put it out for the world to see!

    The first time I ever saw one of these scooter bikes was just outside of Ronks, PA. You don't read about these in those "Amish" novels :-) Good thing the land is relatively flat and the roads straight!

  2. Backing up to my comment, let me say that I don't think it was wrong for Monica to show the picture that has already been published but it shows questionable ethics on the part of Google to be, without being noticed, taking them for the purpose of publishing them... big difference here.

    For instance, Katie Troyer takes wonderfully candid shots of people, places and things in Pinecraft (Sarasoata FL) but she doesn't ride around in a vehicle snapping every 20 feet :-) Everyone knows Katie is taking pictures and if they don't want her to, they'll tell her.

    Google doesn't ask ... just not quite sure how I feel about that.

  3. @Peggy- The first time I saw my house on Google street views, all I could think was that I was glad it was not captured with me in the front yard pulling weeds in all my dirty glory! Giving thanks for small mercies. :-)

  4. That's scary. Just another reminder that more people are watching us than we realize!

  5. Uh oh! I hope he doesn't mind, or doesn't know about it.

    I have two experiences of the Google camera car. I looked up our street address and was amazed at seeing lots of cars parked outside our place. We live on a one lane, dead end street that hardly anyone drives down. Then I worked it out. The photo was taken on my 60th birthday and everyone was here for a party.

    The next time I actually saw the car. I was working at our Neighbourhood Centre, looked out the window and there was the Goggle car turning around in front of our building - another dead end street.

    Does anyone know how often they take these photos?

  6. Google's official position on updates is that they will not say when or how often. I know there is an awful lot of out of date street view pictures out there, including our house. And the satellite picture is so old that it has someone else's car in the driveway.
    @Rhonda- That was so nice of Google to capture your birthday party like that. What a precious momento. ;-)

  7. I just Googled Mapped our old pre-1997 address in Phoenix. The picture shows my deceased father's car in the driveway. If that won't make you catch your breath...


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