Friday, November 09, 2007

Google My Backside!

I really should have been paying better attention when I read that Google added a "street view" option to its map search last month. In fact, I should have been paying better attention several weeks earlier.

This morning, a co-worker walks into the room and talks about how he looked at a Google street view and saw his car parked at a friend's house during a party. He had also looked up his own house and was disappointed NOT to see himself mowing the lawn. Now think about this excerpt from the P-G article linked above:

Street View is not, as some might fear, real-time video. Pulling up a view of Downtown will not show people walking down Smithfield Street -- the "Simpsons" episode in which Marge Simpson accidentally spies a naked Homer on a hammock got it wrong.

Instead, the images are huge collections of photos taken by people driving about in standard vehicles "equipped with imaging technology that gathers 3D geometric data," said spokeswoman Kat Malinkowski.

Still, issues of privacy and security have been raised since the May debut of the service. In Miami, Google's cameras photographed a man receiving a ticket from the police, and in San Francisco, cameras captured a shot of a man scaling a locked gate.

Well...I looked up my address using street view and DANG! It's my butt, right there on the Internet! A fully clothed butt, to be sure, but me from a posterior POV nevertheless. My co-worker was rather amused to see that I had attained the heights that had eluded him during his own street view search:

They shot me mowing the lawn.

Or, to put it more accurately, they took my picture using the weed whacker to do some edging on the walk. There I am, back to the camera, weed whacker aimed at the edge of the lawn, grass clippings all over the place. If they had shot me with anything more severe than a camera, I'd be dead now. Completely oblivious was I to the act of photography.

The circumstances are all the more remarkable because I'm not the kind of guy who makes a big deal about his yard. I get out there and hack away no more than half a dozen times per year, which makes such a scene extremely rare.

Not a bad pic, all in all, especially since, to my amazement, my ass did not look fat. My upper back looked quite wide and sturdy. I am quite pleased with that.

Yes, that Google photographer managed to snap me from a weird angle without making me look bad. And with all of my clothes on, to boot.

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