Computer Driving Directions rank above sliced bread and twist ties on my list of wonders. We can enter our home address and a destination hundreds of miles away, then a minute or so later hold door-to-door directions in hand. GPS will correct us if we take a wrong turn and a multiple of cell phone applications provide locations and directions. I understand there is even a program to find a convenient restroom.
If we manage to get lost with all that help, it’s time to have a tracking device implanted in our navels.
Hey, Google Earth can zero in on the actual building so that we can see the structure itself. Truly amazing!
Google Street Maps allow us to look up and down streets all over the world. When our daughter and her family moved recently, I cruised her street by moving my index finger on my computer touch pad. Sometimes, if the picture moves too fast, I even feel a wave of vertigo like I’m going to be carsick. (Which says something about the marvels of technology, as well as how much fun I am to take on trips.)
I can’t draw, but even if I could, I’d never think to use a Google street map as a subject, yet that is precisely what artist Bill Guffey requires in order for people to add their own artistic renderings to his Virtual Paintout blog. Every drawing, painting, or sketch on his blog is based on a Google street view. Currently, the blog is featuring addresses in Lisbon, Portugal.
It’s a fascinating couch-potato tour through a city and an art gallery all in one.
Because Google Street Views show soundless images from satellite photos, there is an eerie feeling about it all. For one thing, the Google streets I’ve seen have few people in sight and the vehicles all look empty, like they’ve been abandoned.
On The Virtual Paintout site, the artists’ sketches feature a dog in one, individuals by a bus, and a child crossing a bridge. I wondered if the artists who chose those scenes did so to add life to their pictures.
If The Virtual Paintout ever decides to zero in on our city, I hope someone does a rendering of our street, even though it was garbage pickup day. Most of the houses have a big green rollout garbage bin and at least one red recycling container by the curb. When we located our own house on the map, we discovered something very surprising: there is a man standing out by the street. My man.
Talk about being “out there”!
The day I found the image happened to be our weekly garbage pickup day, and Dearly Beloved happened to be wearing the same shirt and shorts he is wearing on the satellite photo. We thought that without knowing it, DB had just been caught in The Twilight Zone. Much later we realized it was actually taken much earlier, not even the same year.
Still, the entire universe can zoom in any time and see Dearly Beloved immortalized in dutiful husband mode, about to roll the emptied garbage can back to the garage. It boggles the mind to think about it; I’m staying mum on our address. The man-hungry, cane-carrying neighbor I wrote about yesterday could have competition if husband hunters (or handyman seekers) start beating a path to our door.
I wonder where I was that day, that instant. Do Google Street Views include the Target parking lot?