Friday, September 28, 2007

Getting Screwgled

So Google, which I looovvve as a search engine, has gone one step further in its Google Maps and now has Google Street View. A company called Immersive Media uses "a patented 11 lens camera system that simultaneously takes photos in 11 directions based on a dodecahedron geometry" so now you can see pictures of people or billboards or traffic or whatever at the street level. And boy can you see things. Of course three things happen when a new technology manages to catch people in everything from scratching their butts to scooping dog poop to committing crimes. First, bored people spend way too much time trying to find weird things in Street View. Second, people develop websites to tell the rest of us about what those bored people have found. Examples are The Google Street View Gallery and And third, new words must be developed from this technology. Hence the new word screwgled, a term referring to what happens to the poor people who get caught doing something embarrassing or even illegal on Google Street View.

And what of we Canadians? Will we see our own faces on a close-up level? Well, not really. Seems Canada has these pesky laws about privacy so, although Immersive Media is snapping pics in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City for Google Street View, if the images ever go out there, Google is agreeing to respect Canada's privacy laws and blur out faces and license plate numbers. More boring though the Canadian version will be, much less likely to get screwgled here.


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