May 13, 2008

Visitors will get to see more of Asheville before their trip

This past weekend my cousin was in town visiting. He recently moved to San Francisco and was telling us about his neighborhood. In fact, he put his address into Google maps to show us the location, and we had the option to select "street view." In this way, we actually SAW his street, his rowhouse, even his garden!

Here's a funny YouTube video from Google about Street View:

For those who haven't already discovered it, Google Street View allows those viewing maps of certain cities to 'cruise' around a location at street level. So far, Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh North Carolina are included in Google Street View.

But wait - Asheville, apparently, will also join this list. According to the Mountain Xpress, Google cars with mounted cameras on the hood have been seen perusing the streets of Asheville. It takes about a year after filming for Google to launch street view content, according to a spokeswoman quoted in the article.

Privacy lawsuits have cropped up due to this feature, and the article notes one in Pennsylvania. But Google cars shoot footage from the street, and privacy laws clearly state that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy on public streets or sidewalks. In other words, as the Asheville resident quoted in the article states, if you've got a problem with anyone looking at your windows, close your blinds! Anyone who has looked at Google Street View knows it's next to impossible to look into a home.

In my opinion, this is awesome for future guests of Asheville. Prospectively, you can see downtown Asheville, clear directions to specific locations, even your vacation rental! Very cool.

Read the Mountain Xpress online article.


Tena said...

Ooh, I love this!

The other day I was going to a workshop and got lost. I stopped at a gas station to ask for directions and the guy let me behind the counter as he pulled up the google directions AND he showed me the street..."see this restaurant?" he says while showing me the building, "it will be across the street."

Wow. And sure enough, seeing the restaurant signaled it was time to park.

I love the Internet.

Keri said...

Street View is pretty cool - well anything Google does is pretty cool!