A few months ago, I received an email with a link to a street address in Australia on Google Maps. The link took me to the house where one of my cars is being garaged. To my amazement, when I zoomed in on the street view, I could see a full close-up of my car, number plate and all - I could even see that it could do with a wash!!
This is only the beginning as far as Google Maps is concerned - there are many websites and blogs posting some zany and even sometimes explicit pictures without the consent or knowledge of the people in the photos.
I'm led to believe that the "Street View" is not yet available in Singapore - please let me know if I'm wrong and send me the link, but I cannot see it anywhere on Singapore Google Maps.
Here's just a small sampling of some of the strange screenshots people have taken from Street View:
1. On fire ... one of the amazing images captured by the Google camera van for Street View / Screenshot.
2. Community ... discovering odd or unique images on Google Street View has become a hobby for many people, who post their findings to websites like streetviewr and Street View Gallery / Screenshot
3. Descent ... a plane flies over the highway as it prepares to land at McCarren International Airport in Las Vegas – the runway is the dark grey shape in the top right / Screenshot
4. Close-up ... Street View has been the subject of several privacy complaints. The company is in the process of introducing software to automatically blur faces / Screenshot
5. Zoom ... this clearly readable street sign in Cambridge, Massachusetts gives an example of how much detail the images taken by the Google camera provide / Screenshot
6. Fish out of water ... a person in scuba gear runs along the side of the road in a residential area on the coast of California, south of San Diego / Screenshot
7. Ouch ... one of the most popular images on Street View is of a young boy falling off his bike in a driveway in Cleveland, Ohio – the previous frame shows him still upright / Screenshot
8. Eye candy ... surfing Street View can be like a virtual version of "people-watching" – in this image firemen gather by their trucks in Minneapolis, Minnesota / Screenshot
9. More eye candy ... two girls in San Francisco, California, looking at the Google van as it passes by and taking a picture of their own / Screenshot
10. Americana ... young girls in skimpy outfits stand in the shade outside a carwash in Dallas, Texas / Screenshot
11. Just chillin' ... of course not everyone has been captured in such a flattering light – here the Google camera catches someone cooling off in Boston, Massachusetts / Screenshot
12. I know there's something in here ... if you look closely, this image shows someone diving into the boot of their car, possibly after some stray groceries / Screenshot
13. When nature calls ... this image seems to show someone relieving themselves in an alleyway in San Diego, California / Screenshot
14. Hope she has a poop bag ... another resident of San Diego relieving themselves / Screenshot
15. Collision ... the aftermath of a car crash in Phoenix, Arizona, seemingly captured before police and ambulance officers arrived at the scene / Screenshot
16. Rubbernecking ... and this is how these things happen – a taxi cyclist takes his eyes off the road to check out a woman walking past in San Francisco, California / Screenshot
17. Tourists ... a group of girls take photos of each other posing with a mounted police officer near San Jose, California / Screenshot
18. Ultra-compact ... Street View still has a few glitches – in this image a Mercedes convertible is shrunk to snack-size by an imperfect image join / Screenshot
19. Revealed ... in some photos can you see the drivers of the Google camera van, seen here paying a toll on the I-87 highway outside Albany, New York / Screenshot
20. Fleshy ... and in this shot, a street in Pennsylvania is obscured by a close-up of the driver's hand while adjusting the camera / Screenshot