Applications like Google Earth, Google Maps, and numerous panorama websites have come as manna for armchair travellers. You can ‘browse’ to places which otherwise would have taken the price of a ticket and more. Google Street View is a feature both on Google Maps and Google Earth that brings you panoramic 360 degree views from many locations around the world. It started from the United States and now embraces all the continents (even Antarctica). Take the “Pegman” and drag him around to view street level imagery on available locations on Google Maps.
The windshield view can take you to new places and help you plot out spots to visit. Google Street View has also given rise to a motley of websites and apps – some fun, some really useful. Let’s check out six of them.
The Google Street View based mashup ‘teleports’ you around the world with a random display of street sightings from around the world. You can choose locations of course, but the fun is in the hit-or-miss play. You can test your knowledge of world geography by hiding the location as you tramp about around the world. Try the full screen. For a quick browse, check out the gallery of Street View photos. You can view it all in a slideshow and the handy time limit box lets you have some control over the display.
This Google Maps mashup is a handy address finder because it relies a bit on Google Street View. Basically, it lets you type in an address and the location is displayed on a Google Map. Street View comes into the picture if the spot concerned is in the apps database. If it is, it’s great because then you have a realistic guide to take you through the streets. You can use the map just as you would any Google Map, and also share it via Twitter, Facebook, and email.
This site is very similar to MapCrunch in the way it displays random Street View snaps. You can go on clicking on the next button or filter sightings by country, tag, or choose the recommended ones.
Google Sightseeing as the name suggests takes you on a journey around the world courtesy Google Earth, Google Maps, and Google Street View. This is a blog which collects selected picks from around the web and presents it in a neat format. All blog posts are arranged around countries and categories. There is a specific section that aggregates street view sightings. The site has no affiliation with Google.
HistoryPin [No Longer Available]
HistoryPin is a neat combo of Google Maps, Google Street View, and historical photos. It is a community driven website where members can ‘pin’ old historical photos on a map. Using Street View, you can compare the two locations if that spot has a Google Street View record for it. You can also drag the timeline to see pictures of a particular place from a particular time in history. What’s interesting about this site and the photos is that every photo could have a story behind it. HistoryPin is a global project in partnership with Google. We talked about this app and two more when we looked at 3 Awesome Historical Google Maps Mashups.
Also try out the Flickr and Google Street View mashup which takes historic images from Flickr Commons and compares them with their respective modern day Google street view locations.
There have been controversies with Google Street View being said to be too intrusive and unmindful of people’s privacy. This site perhaps sums it up in a funny and humorous way. Street View Fun is an out and out collection of sightings that can conjure up a laugh or just a smile at its worst. Straightaway you can check out the Top 100 list to see the best on offer here.
For more laughs you can check out the very similar.
There’s even a Street View game…
If you are looking for a rather unique mashup, play the StreetView Zombie Apocalypse experimental game. The game takes an address and tasks you with avoiding zombies while you navigate with the help of Google Street View. You have to beat the clock too!
These apps are simple mashups, but you can experience the fun quotient when you immerse yourself in them. Take a few more ideas on virtual globetrotting with the help of the 4 Tips While Using Google Earth Street View.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons