Google street view : the unadorned truth about us

I imagine a Star Trek episode. The explorers have landed on a barren planet and deep in some bunker is an access point to a database left by a lost civilization. The away-team hits a button in error and a series of images are projected on a huge screen. The images are both exciting and disturbing; they are detached from events. They are a capture of moments past. A street photo of an apartment building, a restaurant, a grocery. The images are from many geographic areas and cultures.

This isn’t science-fiction this is Google, today.

Chances are that you’ve also seen some of these images when you have used google maps. Street View is an enhancement to the service. You can look at the landmark surroundings; make sure you are going to the right place; find out what the neighborhood is like. The camera captures these images without any other intention than a street view. But when one takes the time to look at more than just a couple of these images we can see the unadorned truth about us.

2588 N Hutchinson St. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

10 IJsselmeerdijk, Zeevang, Netherlands

These thoughts came to mind after readying a very interesting piece in Art Fag City written by artist Jon Rafman who lives and works in Montreal Canada. He raises some interesting questions about the cultural texts of the images one can find in this vast ever-expanding library.

I encourage you to give it a read and I would enjoy your comments.

Art Fag City : IMG MGMT : The Nine Eyes of Google Street View.

Green takes on new meaning in Iran.


This was a great site that I found about actions taken around the world to support the election protesters in Iran. An easy to navigate site that incorporated map locations. It used your IP to present you with an appropriate map view. You could drag and position the map to see other areas.

At the height of the protests the map was filled with green. The sea of green was information made visable.

Sorry I didn’t get it up sooner. The site is still live although it has changed.

Taking careful aim.


Putting each drawer in took careful aim.


Task complete. What a great job.

Craig was an amazingly hard worker while helping us move. I think the rewards of going to the cafe for crepes and coffee was part of the motivation to get things done. Still, we had fun moving this piece of furniture and he put in each drawer by himself. He was very pleased when he completed the task. And helped me hang the George Nelson clock too; making sure it was straight.

We could still use some of his help.
Maybe I’ll give him a call.

Saturn Equinox 2009

saturn rings picture

August 11, 2009—A mystery object that punched through one of Saturn‘s thin outer rings created a glittering spray of ice crystals and pulled some material along in its wake, as seen in this rare image recently released by NASA’s Cassini orbiter.

It’s believed that the object is a moonlet. yes a little moon. There are some 60 moonlets around Saturn. Ok so this is what happens to make Saturn disappear:

“Whenever equinox occurs on Saturn, sunlight will hit Saturn’s thin rings, the ring plane, edge-on,” said Spilker.”The light reflecting off this extremely narrow band is so small that for all intents and purposes the rings simply vanish.”

Saturn’s rings are 200,000 miles wide, but amazingly are only about 30 feet thick.

see :
Science Daily
Cassini Equinox Mission

iPhone app planning : wish list


Ok, I don’t have an iPhone yet. Basically because I wasn’t willing to be an early adopter this time. Now I’m more interested. Video capabilities and the addition of interfacing with third party devices is very compelling. My almost dead Razr is another.

I have a love/hate relationship with my Razr. I love that it is a flip phone. I hate that my contacts have a different entry for each number rather than grouped by person. I love that my phone is small and sturdy. I hate that I can’t read the keys in the bright sun. I love that my phone can take being dropped. I hate that I have to listen to a whole message before I can delete it. I hate that texting is impossible.

I love that it has the Motorolla logo – the bat signal on it. And most of all I love that Jack the Cingular logo is still on my phone. I hate ATT.

So, I’m sure I will have the same relationship with my iPhone. I’ll love my iPhone but I will still hate ATT.

But, I’ll have lots of apps that I can’t wait to get my hands on.
Koi Pond, Bloom, Spore, Level, Compass, Pandora, iTunes, Tweetie, Bloom, Shazamm …

That’s a start.

Anything I’m missing?