Cycling

The Mysteries Of Google Street View

Street View is a great tool for fact checking. As I write the book I have to piece together bits of information from many sources; the original blog, comments on the blog, photos, maps, books as well as my own memories of course.* It can be frustrating however when looking at a picture and wondering what was on the other side of the road. Was it a single or dual carriageway? What was the name of that café? How many stories was that building? Was the hotel painted pink or green? You get my drift. Street View can usually answer these questions but take a look at the picture here. The main photo was taken by me while cycling to Benevento (I was shocked at the number of kilometres I still had to cycle). The smaller photo is from Street View. I know it is definitely the same sign as, apart from the kilometres all being identical, there is a small strip of gaffer tape at the top (in the red circle). But why have Google seen fit to blur out the fact that Caserta exists and that it is 30km away? Suggestions below please…

*I am trying to avoid using Wikipedia by the way. Not that I don’t think it’s not true – most of it is – but because it’s fascinating looking a little bit deeper. I spent last night watching an online documentary all about the battle that took place for Monte Cassino during the Second World War. It must have been filmed in the 1980s as many of the accounts are first hand from the people who were there at the time, Americans, British, German and Italians. Worth a watch!

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6 replies »

  1. I wasn’t aware of that… It’s quite a striking documentary to watch as you realise that all the men who appear in it are no doubt now dead and we don’t often get to see such lucid first hand accounts of the wars of the 20th century nowadays. There is a great section where one of the Germans talks about meeting an Indian soldier, spending 40 hours with each other (they happened to be trapped in the same place) and sharing cigarettes. Uncle Ben would of course be well over 100 now if he were still alive… RIP.

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    • They are fascinating pictures; I’ve just been scrolling through quite a few of them. Some are actually quite beautiful although it’s sad to note that the ones involving the guy showing his arse, the bloke stood at the door of his terraced house naked from the waist up, various of the prostitute ones and at least one of the images with a man giving the finger to the camera…. all appear to have been taken in the UK. 😦

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  2. Street view has an automatic filter on car registration numbers – I reckon it thinks that particular sign might be a car number plate, all the other place names have more spaces and hence don’t get filtered.

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