Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Other people's lives

Where we live:
I can't avoid the topic of Google Maps' StreetView any longer, since it's become such a huge topic of discussion, and is worth a look.

Google's been sending vans with cameras mounted on the roof to take streetlevel photos of cities. So far they've covered San Francisco area, Miami, Denver, Las Vegas and New York.

Fun for folks in those cities, and for the people attending the SLA Conference in Denver this week.

I tried searching my street in South Miami for a view of the mcmansion that's replaced my old house, but couldn't get it to work. I think only the most popular neighborhoods in Miami have been photographed, and today it keeps giving me SW 82nd AVENUE when I search SW 82nd street. Hmm.

I do get a Street View of 1 Herald Plaza, though, where I worked for 20-some years. (Click on any blue-lined street for the view.) This early morning shot doesn't show any traffic, pedestrian or otherwise, or the building entrance: just the security guards' golf cart.

Well, this feature is causing lots of discussion, from people who are upset their buildings have been photographed (one woman found her cat looking out her window), to those just enjoying the views. Some are collecting unusual sights, from a man relieving himself to others gawking at women, etc.

(The woman with the cat didn't mind having her photo in the New York Times, though.)

Some of the discussions:

Boing Boing has collected a whole lot of links and blog comments.

Freakonomics interviews the Google Maps project manager.

Google Maps Mania links to several more collection sites, including Google Sightseeing and lots more.

What we eat

For a totally different view of how others live, you just must look at this photo gallery from Time: What the world eats. It's from a new book by Peter Menzel, called Hungry Planet. Similar to other previous books showing how people live around the world, this shows typical families in several countries surrounded by the food they might eat in a week.

So revealing. Compare the Japanese family surrounded by packaged goods, to the Mexican family with fresh fruit and vegetables in a beautiful display. How much for the Japanese family? $317 a week.

Nothing compared to the German family, who love expensive foods and spend $500. The British family spends almost as much, and lots of packages there too.

Suprising how ubiquitous the Kellogg's breakfast cereal is, not to mention the soft drinks. And how the Sudanese refugee family can live on so little, only thanks to the UN.


Post a Comment

<< Home