Friday, June 1, 2007

Street Level -- Online Courtesy of Google Earth

Amazing what happens when you don't interact with the Internet for an entire day. I checked the news this morning, and low and behold, Google has created more controversy with its new StreetView feature in Google Maps.

The New York Times ran an article about a woman who saw her cat sitting in the windowsill of her apartment. The Lede chimes in with a host of things you can see using the new service.

The mention of seeing license plates got me thinking. If you can see the street view of anything, or almost anything, then what can you gleam from the Googleplex itself? License plates of the vehicles parked nearest the street? License plates of cars parked in front of the building? What companies make deliveries? Construction? Maybe, even, a glimpse of Googlers doing any of the things the company toutes so much on its website? Perhaps one of founders in the flesh?

And, no doubt, the papparazzi will take note of this new feature, and use it to help them spot celebrities, or catch people in the act of something that may or may not be what it seems.

Really. How ironic would it be to catch a senior member of Google in a questionable act using its own technology? And if not, then one has to question if Google is keeping itself off limits, removing or controlling information of itself in all areas of the Web.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Google is all about making the world's information free, as long as the world's information does not include Google. And when the world is so enamored of a company, it can do no wrong.

I keep waiting for Congress to enact the "Google Laws" that will govern the Internet.

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