What did you do when the Google car came past, daddy?
I awoke with an excited start this morning, when twitter informed me that Google Street View was now live for the UK. If you've not heard of Street View, then you've not been reading the scared sections of the press that have called it a "burglar's charter". It isn't.
What it is is a record of what most streets in the UK looked like at some point last year when the Google Car came past. I had high hopes of being mapped myself, after all I took a photo of the car:
It was not to be (I live in a cul-de-sac so it came past twice) although the camera did catch next door's cat having a snooze:
Google have gone to great lengths to automatically blur recognisable features, car number plates and faces - which is neither really needed or working perfectly (you could see the number plate next to Felix the cat there if you moved left a bit). This is of course to satisfy people's desire for "privacy", although since it's taken over a year to get the photos up so much has changed as to make the photos no invasion of anything.
In fact, it has already been referred to as a "snapshot of pre-credit crunch Britain" all the Woolworths stores are still open, it's sunny, everyone looks (in a blurry way) happy.
So, it's just a bit of fun; sort of useful, sort of interesting, definitely clever, but not incriminating. Unless you happen to be very, very unlucky, like this gent (in San Francisco):
I've not found anything like that in Birmingham yet, so that's your homework for the week - find something funny on Google Street View and post the link here for us all to see.