Well, I Was Walking Down the Street One Day
May 21, 2008 5:07 AM   Subscribe

I find this to be fascinating and uncanny. Are there other documented cases of people finding themselves on Google Maps Street View?

Heather was out walking in San Francisco a few months ago and noticed the Google Maps Street View vehicle. Fast forward to now, and the films from that day are online. Doing a search, she found herself on the street view map. Have you, or do you know anyone, or have you happened across anyone who has also be captured by Google Street View?
posted by netbros to Computers & Internet (30 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Not sure if there are lots more cases like this, but there won't be too many going forward, according to this article.
posted by Grither at 5:20 AM on May 21, 2008

From my campus newspaper (and I know at least one other student here who's found themselves on Google Street View).
posted by goingonit at 5:26 AM on May 21, 2008

I found myself on Street View, but only because I saw the camera car circling streets in my area and then flagged down the driver and talked with him for a few minutes. (He was totally shocked that I figured out what he was doing.) A few months later Street View was activated for my city and I quickly found myself in a few shots.
posted by Science! at 5:32 AM on May 21, 2008

I found myself taking out the trash. I'm not going to link it for the obvious reason.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 5:37 AM on May 21, 2008

What does the car look like?

They don't do street view in Canada, I don't think. Our privacy laws are more stringent, though I'm not sure that's why they haven't done it. They might just not have bothered.
posted by loiseau at 5:57 AM on May 21, 2008

It was just a regular sedan with a funky red cylinder (the camera) mounted on the roof. Inside there was a laptop bolted so that the driver could see where he was on the map and presumably do other stuff. The one I saw in the midwest had CA plates. It really only stood out because I watched it circle through this little apartment complex a few times, I thought "Is he looking for something?" Then I realized he had that weird cylinder so I started chasing him down.
posted by Science! at 6:07 AM on May 21, 2008

I personally didn't appear in our streetview, but our big black cat is clearly visible sitting on the front stoop. Not being a big Google fan himself, he was indifferent.
posted by hydropsyche at 6:10 AM on May 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

Loiseau, you are somewhat right... here is a letter from the Privacy Commisioner of Canada to Google regarding Streetview.

The letter suggests that there is a means of removing yourself from Streetview, though of course that's not especially useful if you don't know you're even on it.
posted by modernnomad at 6:28 AM on May 21, 2008

I won't link to it, but one of my friends has found herself in two different locations.
posted by Metroid Baby at 6:30 AM on May 21, 2008

This woman really didn't like Google Street View showing her cat.
posted by jrichards at 6:51 AM on May 21, 2008

What does the car look like?

They use a few different vehicles. There are some places in street view where you can see the car reflected in glass buildings.

And yes, as Grither mentioned, they are going to start blurring faces.
posted by Who_Am_I at 6:56 AM on May 21, 2008

My (then 6-month old) son is visible with the rest of his daycare buddies out for a stroller ride a few blocks from our home. I saw a Google car drive past our house but my hopes at internet non-stardom were dashed when I realized my street was filmed going the opposite direction.
posted by jalexei at 7:11 AM on May 21, 2008

I'm definitely on it as well, as I found a car in Jersey City and talked to the driver like Science!, but it hasn't been added yet. The car they had there was the Chevy Colbalt with the red camera sticking out the top. The guy had a Dell laptop inside with a GPS version of google maps running and tracking where he went. Also like Science!, he was surprised that I knew what he was doing.
posted by Mach5 at 7:20 AM on May 21, 2008

I saw my neighbor pushing her kids stroller on my street. I alerted her and so there's another documented case for your files.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 7:24 AM on May 21, 2008

I'm sitting in a car in front of the Starbucks on Tremont in Boston's South End. I saw the googlevan go by me last August, and sure enough there I was on the streetview in October.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 7:31 AM on May 21, 2008

I walk past this guy sitting there almost every day, including today. I've always wondered if I it would be cool to show him.
posted by rlk at 7:32 AM on May 21, 2008

A little while ago, I saw one of the Cobalts go by while on a street by where I live. The street hasn't been StreetViewed yet, so I'm pretty sure I'll be there when they put it up.
posted by zsazsa at 7:37 AM on May 21, 2008

I found my father standing next to his pickup truck parked in his driveway. I thought about sending my parents the link but I wasn't sure if they would feakout or not. He's far enough away to be blurry, but you can tell from the posture that it's him.
posted by beowulf573 at 7:38 AM on May 21, 2008

One of my friends recognized me on Google's Street View. I was on my daily (walking) commute back home, so I'm not surprised by the location.
posted by scission at 8:00 AM on May 21, 2008

You can't see me, but I was clearly in the process of loading up our truck to go home for thaksgiving, so they probably missed me by 1 minute at most.
posted by RustyBrooks at 8:04 AM on May 21, 2008

Mrs. notbuddha and notbuddha II show up in the front yard of our neighbors house, as does one of the neighbors.
posted by notbuddha at 8:04 AM on May 21, 2008

My car shows up in Los Angeles outside my old house and in front of the new in the midwest. Nice record of the big move.
posted by firstdrop at 9:08 AM on May 21, 2008

Two of my old co-workers can be seen walking between our two office buildings. That excited lots of comment when it was found on the first day Street View was available. Also, a friend with a Jack Russel terrier, who inhabits a pretty small chunk of San Francisco, can be found in several places in his neighborhood. He's easy to identify because of his dog.
posted by autojack at 9:58 AM on May 21, 2008

micayetoca: Street View has a nice image of my cat sitting on my front porch as well, but I'm not going to link to it for the same reason that I assume robot made out of meat doesn't feel like linking: I prefer not to associate the exact co-ordinates of my home with my username. (The ICBM co-ords in my profile are those of my local branch library, because I love it so, but it's within about half a mile of my house, so the nearest MeFites stuff is fairly accurate).
posted by mumkin at 10:17 AM on May 21, 2008

My car (with me in it) can be seen on streetview. (Link. I'm the gray Jetta). I knew I would be though as I saw the car drive by me at the intersection.
posted by disaster77 at 10:45 AM on May 21, 2008

I'm embarrassed because, though I'm not visible in the shot, it is quite obvious from the picture of my house that my front room ceiling light is on during the middle of the day.
posted by trip and a half at 10:47 AM on May 21, 2008

Poking around our neighborhood on Street View, I saw our kids' big wheel and scooter pulled up to the fence by our neighborhood pool. No enough detail to see them, but we know where we were when the Gcamera rolled by.

Interesting that there's been so many responses, showing the overlap between Metafilter members and Street View coverage.
posted by bendybendy at 11:24 AM on May 21, 2008

Does nobody else suspect that Heather stalked the GoogleMaps car obsessively and tried to pass if off as an accident?
posted by AmbroseChapel at 6:24 PM on May 21, 2008 [2 favorites]

modernnomad said "Loiseau, you are somewhat right... here is a letter from the Privacy Commisioner of Canada to Google regarding Streetview.

God, I love the Privacy Commissioner. Even just the fact of the Privacy Commissioner. It makes me happy to be the orderly, thoughtful little Canadians we are.
posted by loiseau at 9:02 PM on May 21, 2008

Does nobody else suspect that Heather stalked the GoogleMaps car obsessively and tried to pass if off as an accident?

Yes... in my copious free time.
posted by heather at 4:10 PM on June 10, 2008

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