The UX of Google Street View

Google Maps and street view is getting scary.  For a while, Microsoft’s Maps, was the closest look at my house.  But the Street View for Google is just crazy.  It’s a digital photo from the street of every house in my neighboorhood.  Interestingly, I can’t make out any of the license plates on the cars.  I wonder if they do that automagically.

The coolest new thing I saw today was how you could edit your own house.  I looked for my address, and then noticed that the marker was one house off.  I clicked edit and moved the marker.  It told me that if I move it more than 200 meters that it would not work right away.  How cool is that?  How scary is that?

Yesterday, I had the idea that any digital camera on a phone with GPS could be configured to upload the coordinates and the photo to google maps.  The combination of millions of these photos could be formed into a virtual earth collage.  Almost a 3D real representation.  I can’t even fathom how much data storage all this needs.

The whole thing strikes me as the beginning of a virtual reality helmet where I could visit a neighboorhood that I am interested in moving to.  This is first steps towards the Holodeck on Star Trek.

I am excited and terrified at the same time.  Using this system makes me feel like I am on a scary roller coaster.  Will we fall into a world where predators can steal your identity and reality is bent like Total Recall?  Or will we end up in utopia like in Star Trek – The Next Generation?

We live in exciting times.

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