Google Street View is one of those projects that is awesome and frustrating at the same time. I can’t tell you how often I use it to look up a destination, but so often the imagery is old. I’ve often wondered how often Google is planning on driving every street in the world (quarterly?), but even with older imagery, it’s still a great service.
This brings us to New Orleans, I mentioned the Google Street View imagery almost 4 years ago (crazy huh?). Basically at the time, the Street View images were much more recent than the satellite imagery. Times change though and the street view images were locked back in time. Mayor Landrieu is happy to note the improvement of New Orleans though the Street View pictures.
We invite you to take a look at the updated Street View imagery of Louisiana to see, appreciate, and celebrate the progress in neighborhoods here in New Orleans and across the entire state. And I welcome you to come experience the sights, sounds, and soul of New Orleans for yourself once you’ve gotten a virtual preview to whet your appetite.
Now this brings up an interesting crossroads for Street View. Clearly the project is for navigation and tourism (especially given this) but what about analysis and research? We’ve had Historical Imagery in Google Earth for years, but what about historical Street View? Years ago when I was going for my Masters, I was researching the “conversion” of orange groves in Mesa, AZ into tract housing. I used the Landiscor historical imagery which I guess was what we all did before Google Earth to see the destruction of the orange groves. Today I’d probably use Google Earth, but what about using Street View?
I’d love to see Google offer up this historical Street View imagery as part of Google Maps Engine (does this project change names monthly?). It’s pretty amazing to think how Google has indexed the worlds streets through Street View and I think that’s a hugely valuable service for analysts to have. We all want the most up to date Google Street View images, but future generations will love to see what the world looked like back in 2007-2012.
It doesn’t take a real genius to figure out this is a good idea