When most people talk about problems with privacy due to the Google Maps system where Google contracted cars drive up and down roads snapping photos, they talk about being seen in places they don’t want to be seen (like walking out of their secret lover’s condo). Well, those people may just need to be thankful they’re not the guy riding down Howard Street out in front of the Moscone Center on the fateful day that Google’s car happened to be cruising along….
I recently attended the Ad:Space event at this year’s Ad:Tech conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. As I generally do before heading out on the road to a location I have either never been to before, or haven’t been to in a while, I like to Google Map the area and get a visual cue of the buildings. So it was quite a shocking laugh I got this time when I went into street view outside the Moscone Center and spun the view around to find myself looking at the butt-crack of an unsuspecting cyclist who was clearly caught on camera just as the Google Map car was driving by!
This is the view looking northwest – across the street from the front of the Moscone Center’s main entrance. Just goes to show you how the concept of being “seen” in public takes on a new meaning thanks to the power of the web! And no, I didn’t have the willingness to click on the “report a problem” link to inform Google this is out there!
OH – And if you don’t believe me, go to Google Maps search for “Moscone Center” switch to Street View. (drag the little man icon onto the map near the “A” bubble). Or alternately, click on the “A” bubble, then in the bubble window that opens, click on “Street view”.
Depending on exactly where along Howard St you drop the icon, spin the view around and you’ll see the cyclist just ahead or just behind the car – move down the street til you get the camera just behind his bike, then BAM! there he is…
Scroll down below the full page view for the close up!
So just be careful out there people – you never know when the snooping eye of the Google street view camera is going to be cruising by, else you too may be caught in a compromising situation!