Now on Google Maps you can find the yellow man at bottom right and drop him onto almost all roads in Colombo and quite a lot in Sri Lanka to get a view. Be careful you don’t end up inside a Photosphere, which is not the same. You can move up or down a street and look around. It’s kinda amazing. You can check out a video we made here:
Of course the first thing you do should be try to find your house, or office. Check out the Google Asia Pacific blog for more details.
The impressive coverage map for Google Street View, March 2016
According to ReadMe’s tweets, Google Street View is launching in Sri Lanka tomorrow.
Google Street View, if you’re unfamiliar, creates panoramic views of streets and even remote locations all over the world. That means you can ‘drop in’ to streets on the other side of the world and look around. For us this will be useful because we forget where restaurants are after we review them. It’s also just cool.
You should expect to see the Google Street View car plying Sri Lankan roads soon. Maybe even the trike they’ve used in India, or the backpacks they used for Antarctica.
You can see Street Views global coverage above. Sri Lanka should be a good addition because the country is relatively small – they could presumably map it quite quickly, and comprehensively. According to their event, Ann Lavin (Head Of Public Policy, Southeast Asia) said that they would start with 3 locations and move across the country. Our guesses would be Colombo, Kandy, Galle, but that’s just our guess. We just hope it’s after election season, so we don’t have to see posters for then next five years.
What Do We Do With This?
What can we do with Street View? On a cultural level it’s great because places like Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa will be documented so that future generations can walk through them as they are today, or people can look through them from across the world. For us it’s great because we can write better stories than our memory allows, we can walk back through places we’re reviewing when we’re doing the final articles in office.
Internationally, people have used Street View images to create art (note that faces and license plates are blurred in all the imagery). Sometimes the quality is high enough that you can use screenshots as photos, so maybe we could even stop going to places to review them… No, that would be bad. But it would still be a good supplement if we missed a shot or wanted to talk about something in more detail.
So that’s a lot you can do with Google Street View, plus it’s just cool. There’s no ETA on when we’ll be able to see the images, but the cars should start driving soon.