Google Street View I guess provides some kind of light-hearted, novel entertainment. You can sit around the computer and show your friends where you used to live as a kid, check out an apartment you might be interested in or kill time just surveying the lie of the land in any given area.
Aside from this though, what purpose does it really serve? Is it just an avenue for Google to flex it’s technological muscles? To show that satellites can also be entertaining and visual as well as put your phone calls through?
The reason I’m asking these questions is due to the latest story to break over Google Street View capturing a little bit more than it should.
Gizmodo broke the news story today of a hit-and-run murder being captured on the viewing service. The pictures were graphic to say the least but it left a sour taste in my mouth when considering the purpose of the service itself.
Sure, it’s helped the cops catch some chick who threw a live cat in a bin – wow, but what does it really ‘do’ for the public aside from make the news for the wrong reasons or provide internet lols like when Street View captured that weird dude standing on a street with a horse mask on.
Google apparently pulled the pictures down as quickly as they could but it obviously wasn’t fast enough as the pictures have filtered through the news media. Makes you wonder how many children saw them, or what they’ll be exposed to in the future.
I think Street View could provide a handy observation tool for authorities to monitor problem spots of violence in cities or monitor traffic for congestion or accidents but I think the implications of it’s public availability long term is of concern.