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?