Saturday, February 18, 2012
9-Eyes: The Silliness that is Google Street View
Posted by Jay at 5:21 PM
From the serious scenes of the World Press Photo, it's time to look through the other side of photojournalism. Google Street View has grown in bounds and leaps over the last few years, which also means its derivative uses have also multiplied exponentially. One of the more unusual uses is the selection of quirky day-to-day images that have found their way on countless Street View blogs online. For now, enjoy the silliness that is Google Street View as presented by 9-Eyes.
Google Street View was first introduced to the US public in 2007 as part of the larger Google Maps service. The service allows users to see panoramic views of the Earth from a highway, road or street in numerous cities and towns around the world. In theory, it allows online tourists a glimpse of a place they've never had the pleasure of visiting. In practice however, it captures moments that unwitting subjects would rather not have recorded for posterity.
9-Eyes is a blog that collects amusing images from Google Street View. The site is curated by Jon Rafman who began collected Street View images of his own around four years ago. He says that he was attracted to the "spontaneous quality unspoiled by the sensitivities or agendas of a human photographer." Street View indeed is a neutral observer, so finding amusing or alarming pictures is all the more rewarding (or disturbing).
Google has come under fire because of privacy concerns brought about by Google Street View. Althought the service blurs out the faces of its subjects, it still records scenes that have brough embarrasment for some (and entertainment for countless others).
Whether or not you're for the continued unbiased recording of Google Street View, one thing is certain; people will continue to perform mundane activities that somehow, through the lens of the Google Street View cameras, become amusing and bewildering enough to elicit questions for many years to come.
Check out more silly Google Street View pictures over at 9-Eyes. You might also want to check out Michael Wolf's A Series of Unfortunate Events which utilizes images from Google Street View to question the boundaries of photojournalism.