I don't know about you, but before I choose a vacation home/condo, I check Google and specifically Google Streetview.
In case you've been Google and internet free for the past 10 years, you know that Streetview has mapped the entire United States with 360-degree photos of every street corner, highway, road and, in many places, interiors of buildings. It. Is. Amazing.
Google Streetview is celebrating 10 years this month. That's the reason the pegman (that icon you can place on most any street) is wearing a birthday hat and carrying balloons.
Many people thought it was crazy that a bunch of cars with cameras could roam the highways and streets to take photos and then stitch them together to make a photo map of the country, but that's exactly what Google pulled off starting in 2007. And it's only gotten better.
In addition to the hundreds of cars on the road right now, Google introduced a Trekker backpack that captures images where even cars cannot go. It's provided us with never-seen-before images from the tops of mountains, in the desert, down the Amazon and even underwater.
Google has faced some privacy complaints as its cameras have sometimes caught people walking into adult bookstores, pointing a gun, having sex and the occasional person passed out in the street. Other photos cannot be explained such as a man in an orange 'jail like' jumpsuit running down the street.
Google insists it only posts photos that are taken on public streets but since the camera sits high above the car and above the street, they've occasionally taken photos over privacy fences and on private property. In North Oaks, MN where streets are owned privately, Google complied to a request (demand) that no photos be posted within the city.
Pranksters have managed to get some odd photos on Streetview as they've gotten ahead of an approaching Google Streetview car to set up a scene. By searching Google I found a murder scene that was actually a hoax, but it fooled a lot of people who stumbled upon it.
Google Streetview is entertaining and a good reason to browse cities and states without leaving your desk chair. It's even better using Google's virtual reality headset, the Daydream.
If you're going on vacation this summer, don't leave home without Streetview. Or book a condo.
Happy 10th birthday Google Streetview. I cannot wait to see where you take us next.