Thursday, March 18, 2010

Google Street View

I absolutely love Google Street view. Isn't it fun? Thanks to the folks at Google, I am able to visit all of my old haunts without ever leaving home. Yesterday I was curious to have a look at the little house where I grew up on Vancouver Island (it's slightly bigger than it looks in these pictures, and you can click on the pictures for a better view).  I was able to get a 360 degree view of the street and my house, and I was able to see all of the neighbours houses.  Our house has changed a bit.  My mother always had a wonderful garden, and our house had been featured in a couple of magazines.  I still have the pictures.  We had two lily ponds -- one in the front yard and one in the back.  When the water lilies bloomed, they were a mass of pink lotus blossoms.  The ponds were stocked with goldfish that grew into carp.  My brothers and I used to take live worms from the compost heap and hold them over the ponds and say, "Here fishy, fishy, fishy..." and the goldfish would leap out of the water and take the worms from our hands.

But I digress...

Have you used Google Street View yet?  It's amazing.  You just type in an address, a map comes up with a marker on it. You click on the marker, and it takes you to the street view. From there you can actually drive along the road and look at the entire view at a 360 degree angle. So I was able to "walk" past the house and have a look at it from the other side. My mother and father built the house themselves from a piece of property in the woods. So they saved some of the large trees in the forest to keep near the house.  The large monkey puzzle tree that my mother had planted is gone, but there is a smaller one there now.  There was also a lovely, tall poplar tree in the back, which is also gone.  I used to love to listen to the wind in those trees. There are several large Douglas fir trees where I live now, and I understand why I am most comfortable living near those big, old growth trees.

If you haven't tried Google Street View, give it a try.  It's just way too much fun.

Cheers,

27 comments:

Boodoggy said...

There is a YouTube clip "Mickey Mouse out of Versailles Gardens" that shows an aerial view of Versailles that amuses. This can be seen also in the aerial shot when "Versailles, France" is entered in Google Maps.

The photos of my son's house on street view show the neighbor's dog in different positions as it ran after the photographer's car.

I'm glad to know someone else finds street view entertaining and useful.

Brenda said...

I bet if you went to the new owners and told them you used to live there, they would let you take a tour. I have a few friends who have done that. Of course it would depend on how nice the current owners are. So far I haven't heard of anyone getting refused. I have used google earth, but the last time I did, it looked like the trash companies were using the cameras in their trucks on pickup day. Everyones trash cans were on the street. I need to check it out again soon. Thanks for the reminder.

Carol E. said...

Ohmigosh... I never thought of doing that! I have looked up other people's homes, but never looked up my own past houses. Thanks for the idea!

I know what you mean about sounds. I love the sounds of wind in tall trees, and, believe it or not, I love the sound of a chain saw working in the distance (not too close so it's annoying). That's because as I grew up we spent summers at the lake place where my dad and my uncle were building cabins and sawing up downed trees and pieces of lumber, etc. While I happily played and swam, the chain saws buzzed in the background. Now I love the sound.

Patrick and Katrina Foster said...

That is so neat you are visiting old haunts! I'm currently looking to buy my first home and use it for checking out neighborhoods before making any actual visits. It weeds out some losers instantly!

arlee bird said...

Pretty cool, but kind of freaky too. I looked up my house and found a rear view taken from a main street that runs behind my house. Looked up some other addresses with varying results. It's really amazing how they have all of that data. Somebody was taking a lot of pictures.
Lee

Marguerite said...

Lovely home, Jo. I have been using Google Street view to view houses that I am thinking of buying. But, it can be a bit of an invasion of privacy, when someone on the other side of the world can look you up, and see where you live. Thankfully, they are not live shots. lol

A human kind of human said...

I love Google Earth and often go into the street views. Funny thing is that only a couple of days ago, I visited the very bridge you posted a photo of on your previous post.

Whitney Lee said...

The last time I looked up an address on Google earth it didn't even show my street - and it's been here for 8 years or so. Strange. Still, it never occurred to me to look up my old houses. Talk about a walk down memory lane. I'll have to check it out; thanks!

Holly said...

Such fun! Several places have changed ...others look just the same. Checked out some of the places here in Sicily we like to visit ... unfortunately one road must have been shot in the morning - the hookers (or umbrella girls as we call them here) were out.

Donna B said...

Hi Jo, I really like your new format...which one did you use? I too would like to have bigger pictures. Sorry I have not been visiting that much...packing to move back to California...but have not found a house to move to yet...keeps me pretty busy...hugs to you my friend.

PinkPanthress said...

I am glad you were able to take a look at past places of your life. It must have been bittersweet to see its familiarity, yet seeing the changes clearly, too. :)
I love Google Street View, too.

But unfortunately it has not the Streets in which I grew up, because Germany has not given a Green Light for Google.
I guess they are scared that Foreigners might see how ugly this Country actually is, when you virtually walk on its Streets... :(

Every now & then I like to look up Places like Canada, New Zealand or the UK, by 'walking' the Streets via Google! ;)

KrippledWarrior said...

The dark side is that criminals can case your house using the same tools you find so interesting. I'm glad you didn't include the address info, or the home owners might not think this was so cool. or neato.

Mac the Mom said...

I walked to school from 1414 Barclay Skreek to Lord Roberts again not too long ago. Took me right back to 1972.

Mac the Mom said...

I just walked around the T. Avenue house too. It seemed so much bigger as a kid, and the lily ponds are gone!

Jo said...

Boodoggy, I love Street View. I'm going to check out the YouTube clip of "Mickey Mouse out of Versailles Gardens". That sounds like so much fun!

Brenda, I have thought of asking the new owners if I can take a tour. I want to see if my footprint and my name are still in the cement sidwalk. :-)

Carol, you are the only other person I know on the face of the planet who loves the sound of chains saws in the distance. To me, it is a very relaxing sound, and reminds me of where I grew up. What a hoot!

Patrick and Katrina, what a fabulous idea! You can actually walk through the neighborhood and check out where you are going to live.

Arlee, they have the houses from almost every angle. It's a bit weird at first, but at least if there are people in the pictures, they don't show their faces.

Marguerite, no, they're not live shots, they're actually several months old, and I think the photographers were quite careful. It's a great way to buy a house.

Anna, my goodness! You know, my mother lived in South Africa, and I have been thinking of looking at some of the places where she lived. What a great idea, hey?

Whitney, I think they are getting more and more detailed neighborhoods now, so give it another try. It's an odd feeling to be able to walk along the street.

Holly, *chuckle* Now, that is one way to advertise. Gosh, I have always wanted to visit Italy. Google Street View is a great way to do it. :-)

Donna...! It's nice to see you. I wondered where you had disappeared to. If you're looking for a house in California, maybe you can Google Street View some. *heh*

PinkPanthress, yes, it was bittersweet to walk along my old road again. I'm surprised Germany doesn't allow Google Street View. Is that all of Germany, or only what used to be East Germany?

Charlene, how are you? I hope you're doing okay. I love to walk through New York on Street View. It's wonderful...!

KrippledWarrior, there is nothing more to be seen in the photos than Real Estate websites use to post houses for sale -- millions and millions of them. And the photos are not current.

Mac, omigosh, that is too funny! Barclay Skreek. I actually looked at that the other day. The West End is so beautiful now. And yes, the lily ponds are gone from the house, and Gambie's wonderful garden is gone, but it still looks pretty much the same otherwise. It was very bittersweet. I looked at Frannie and Stan's house, and they were actually outside, and I could clearly see them!

PinkPanthress said...

Nope, it's all of Germany that they do not want to show.

The funny part is, they don't want that because the wrong people could use it for god knows what, but at the same time they watch your every step that you take in the internet! :/

DJan said...

Wow. I went and looked at my old apartment in Boulder and found that major construction is going on all around the apartment! Am I glad to be gone from there, and I didn't even know about that... thanks for the tips! It's easy to use, I'm gonna go look at my sister's house now.

Jo said...

PinkPanthress, omigosh, I had no idea! I think they even have it in Russia. I'm going to check out the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. :-)

DJan, isn't it fun? I mean, you can actually walk along the street and see everything, just as if you were there!

Cloudia said...

I too love the old trees, Jo.

Born: Philadelphia
Lived Hawaii: 23 years



Aloha from Hawaii my Friend!


Comfort Spiral

Jo said...

Cloudia, aha! For some reason I had thought you might be from Europe. You sort of have that European caché. :-)

Firefly said...

They are currently busy filming Port Elizabeth and the rest of South Africa for Google Street View. The guy said that it should be up by the middle of the year.

Jo said...

Firefly, I can hardly wait...!!!!!

The Bug said...

The street over from mine is available, but not my actual street (small town!). But I was able to look at the satellite view & saw that, as we suspected, the big round patch of new grass in the back yard was from a previous tenant's above-ground swimming pool! And there was a tree in our front yard that's not there now. Very interesting!

In fact, I spent so much time playing around that I forgot to clock back in from lunch LOL.

Carol E. said...

I googled my childhood home, and it is in such a small town that the street it's on has not been google-mapped. Only one highway that runs through the town has been photographed. I was bummed. I googled the house we moved into when I was in high school. The trees in the front yard have grown up so much that I couldn't even see the house! So my mapping experience was not as successful as yours. Now I am going to try to find the house in Panama where we lived when I was born! It'll be a challenge as i don't know the exact address.

Land of shimp said...

I think the access to technology that people have as a regular part of our everyday lives is astounding.

I'm not all that interested in Google street view, but nearly everyone I know loves, loves, loves it. It's quite delightful to see people made so happy. The places they love are only as far away as the nearest internet connection.

The one that gets to me is the satellite view from overheard. Talk about six degrees of separation :-) Views of your home from space!

Mia said...

That's not available here or in most of the world. Which is fine with me. Nefarious people could do a lot of damage with this.

Paula Slade said...

Google street view is so much fun! I too have gone home again!