Streetview; thank you, Google

Though We humans have really made A New Kind of Hell for when old age tackles us all 🙂


I love streetview. Dont we all 🙂 Belgium just got streetview; I discovered they came on a hot day because all curtains in our house are closed; we do that to keep the heat out and we need to, considering the big amounts of glass everywhere.

From there I went on to discover they have a picture of a building my dad had built that has since been torn down; I couldnt help feeling sentimental. And that Huge cherry tree they had to take down together with the building. It was a Magnificent tree; I grew up doing a balancing act on the fence, eating cherries after lunch till I had to get back to school. And now that tree is gone. It was a beautiful and HUGE tree! And Google has some Wonderful pictures of it all!

Next I checked if I was on the footage for Jette.. I ran into a streetview car a few days after my so far only son was born. We had just left the hospital and were taking him out into the big bad world for the first time. After clumsily tying the Maxi-cosi in the car and minding every bump – he looked so frail that day.. We passed it near the last traffic lights before the highway; must have been a different thing though since I’m not on there..

All very emotional..

Next I checked Gent!
We lived in Gent, you know.. We loved living in gent! The pictures are mostly after we left though its still nice to take the digital tour, discover places anew, details in the shots..

Im glad to see that Google immortalized my favorite Cum* stencil art in De Gezusters Lovelingen Straat in Gent 🙂My fav Cum* stencil art!

I was surprised at the Korenmarkt fotos! For those that dont know, de korenmarkt has changed quite a bit in recent years. The google maps picture shows one big building and excavation area from when they tore up the old to replace it with something better , or at least different. (remember now, life is change, embrace change or grow bitter now & spare us all the process) Now that the streetview pictures are up, you can do an Amazing time leap! Exiting from De Veldstraat, you are treated to a view of the old Korenmarkt, street running in the middle, weird – maybe even ugly – de lijn building to the left; tram stops on both sides. If you go on and “enter” the Korenmarkt, the view switches to the new and current state; if you turn the cam around, you’ll see winds of change have talen the whole tram thing; that de lijn hut has vanished and … You can do a time jump there; a special thing for those that know how to appreciate it 🙂 It might sound sentimental but it knocked the wind out of me for a second..

Old Korenmarkt

New Korenmarkt, looking back

Streetview is a wonderful project that only Google was able to do. I can not imagine the meeting where they decide that having this kind of footage of an entire vilage/city/country/.. is worth the cost. I can see no immediate monetary gain except the add revenue everyone always mentions when talking about Google. Being a complete and astonishing service does draw the people in and its their Google maps that has their new location based services … Still; I cant imagine that that d have played a huge role in that meeting however many years ago when they decided

We need to take pictures of all the streets in many places so people can see them without putting their digital devices aside.

Its hard to call it anything other than philanthropic; then again, Google is too big for people to believe in any potential non money grabbing good they might do..

I for one am grateful and look forward to all this data and much much more being available in 20 years for anyone wanting to take a stroll down memory lane. Drive the street view to that tree you planted when you were a kid, use the time scroller and see it grow.
Show your kids the house you grew up in as it looked when you were their age. Ok; I wont be able to do that until he’s 29, but he will. He’ll be able to show his kids the house he grew up in, the yard he grew up in, the house his great grand mother lived in at the time, .. And his kids probably wont care 😀 heheheh

And this takes us to the new kind of hell we’re making.
By the time we’ve all grown old and senile, we’ll be telling everyone all those old stories. Describing our childhood places with the friendly fuzz of memory having blunted any sharp edges that were undoubtedly there. A bit like what our grandparents are doing now. Describing how there were no houses there, how a man used to come around with a hand cart, selling fish. How the cat stole a fish each week untill my great grand parents found out and started locking it in the barn each week around that time …. (thats a story my grandmother told me last week, nearly sobbing as she barely tastes the sweet in those bittersweet memories anymore. Old age is not pretty :/ But I digress)
Except that we’ll be telling those stories while scrolling through Google Time Maps, twiddling the dials, not sure if it was 2001 or 1998 that the garage doors were re-painted in that perfect hue of red.

Gotta love technology, progress and a company that seems to have vast amounts of money to do cool things that seem to make no sense other than being just nice & cool!


Thank you, Google.

Published by Gert


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