Street With a View
November 11, 2008 2:21 AM   Subscribe

Street With a view On May 3rd 2008, artists Robin Hewlett and Ben Kinsley invited the Google Inc. Street View team and residents of Pittsburgh’s Northside to collaborate on a series of tableaux along Sampsonia Way. Neighbors, and other participants from around the city, staged scenes ranging from a parade and a marathon, to a garage band practice, a seventeenth century sword fight, a heroic rescue and much more... Street View technicians captured 360-degree photographs of the street with the scenes in action and integrated the images into the Street View mapping platform. This first-ever artistic intervention in Google Street View made its debut on the web in November of 2008.
posted by srboisvert (25 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
The idea of an "artistic intervention in Google Street View" is awesome. I imagine a future where Google can show you what your driving directions would look like if you live in an alternative reality.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:12 AM on November 11, 2008 [2 favorites]

What fun! I never really saw the point of Street View until now.
posted by jack_mo at 4:05 AM on November 11, 2008

I love that they did this. Finally some performance art even a dummy like me can understand and enjoy.
posted by pomegranate at 4:37 AM on November 11, 2008

Yah, this is good. Two thumbs and big toes up!
posted by jeremias at 4:39 AM on November 11, 2008

Oh, this is cool!

Of few of my friends did something similar on the StreetView outside Google headquarters in Mountainview, but it's a bit less well-orchestrated.
posted by lunit at 4:44 AM on November 11, 2008

This is one of those web things that makes me feel like I'm missing something. It sounds like a cool idea, but all I see is a marching band on the highlighted link, and then when I arrow it around to the other direction, it's just an alley. Clicking on participants shows me individual photos, but no Street View stuff. Going to "larger map" just gives me Google maps. I tried clicking on various spots along various roads, and it's just normal Google maps street view stuff. No sword fighting. No marathons. No damsels in distress. What am I doing wrong? What's the secret you-have-to-be-under-35-to-get-it code? Am I about to feel really stoopid?
posted by nax at 5:28 AM on November 11, 2008

It's all along that street. Go east through the marching band and further.
posted by mendel at 5:45 AM on November 11, 2008

(Or, click on "Scenes" at the top and just see photos and descriptions.)
posted by mendel at 5:46 AM on November 11, 2008

I was wondering if someone would post this, I kept meaning to but didn't get to it. This is only about five blocks from my house, I had heard about this project beforehand through the neighborhood mailing list and had wanted to get involved but I think that I was out of town that day. It probably didn't come out as spectacular as it sounded on paper but it's still pretty neat and it's cool for Pittsburgh's arts community to get some recognition.

Nax, make sure that you stay on Sampsonia alleyway, there's a little jog to the right at Arch st. that you have to make to stay on Sampsonia (right by the chicken) and continue east. You know that you have left the project area if you go into the sunlight, you want to stay in the rain. The sword fight is all the way at the east end of the alley, at the intersection of Federal St.
posted by octothorpe at 5:54 AM on November 11, 2008

I think some of these loose something in the translation to Google Streetview. A newspaper photographer who was out covering the worlds smallest and dullest marathon would take a number of pictures with some attention to framing and subject. The google van drives by and goes click and then a few seconds later goes click.

And from the "only a select few will get this" department: What's with the reverse vom tag stance? And stop blocking with your head!
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 6:53 AM on November 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

What fun! I never really saw the point of Street View until now.

When in a mapped but unfamiliar city, say San Fransisco, I've used street view to make sure I know what the particular street looks like that I'm heading toward because I have a deep seated and irrational fear of getting lost.

Plus, I can see my house!
posted by The Whelk at 6:58 AM on November 11, 2008

And if you go all the way east you find a huge chicken. (I swear)
posted by ShawnString at 7:13 AM on November 11, 2008

This is awesome. I think the mad scientists' lab is my favorite. Also, that street itself was really neat. As someone who's only ever lived in suburbia, my streets lack that charm. Makes me itch to move to a big city.
posted by lilac girl at 7:30 AM on November 11, 2008

My favourite bit is that if you look directly upwards, there's loads of giant wet confetti stuck to the sky.
posted by flashboy at 7:51 AM on November 11, 2008

I don't think I could live on that street. I wouldn't be able to stand the marching band going by my house every 12 hours...
posted by rageagainsttherobots at 7:57 AM on November 11, 2008

That was a lot of fun!
posted by Mister_A at 7:57 AM on November 11, 2008

There's a kid dressed as a ham at the corner of Arch Street!
posted by moonmilk at 8:16 AM on November 11, 2008

Also, that street itself was really neat. --lilac girl

Speaking of which, does anyone know anything about the red brick building three clicks to the west of where the page starts you? There appear to be marble grave/tomb markers in the windows. I've never seen anything like that. Does anyone have any ideas?
posted by Bugg at 8:46 AM on November 11, 2008

I Love it. But I always seem to get lost as I do in real life.

This is Art.

NY Magazine should put it high on their little Approval Matrix (if you know what I am talking about)
posted by celerystick at 9:06 AM on November 11, 2008

Bugg, you mean this house?
posted by octothorpe at 9:09 AM on November 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

Yes. Thanks octothorpe!
posted by Bugg at 9:10 AM on November 11, 2008

What a great idea. I loved the Chinese house behind the smashed up car at 408.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 9:25 AM on November 11, 2008

Kid Charlemagne: I saw someone lose their Oakleys rather spectacularly once blocking with their head like that. I was surprised the things went back together.

He also incurred goat-leather rugburn on the end of his nose from a similar failure to block once. Not the sharpest student in my instructor's class.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 9:38 AM on November 11, 2008

I've been thinking quite a lot about street view lately, and after having used it to virtually explore some neighborhoods in towns I'll probably never actually visit, I'm wondering how long it will be before someone sets up annotated virtual tours of famous locations in it.

Now that I say it, I realize how obvious the idea is and realize that it's probably already been done.
posted by quin at 2:40 PM on November 11, 2008

There's a nice article in the Pittsburgh paper about it today -
That gives a little more detail, in case anyone is interested...
posted by librarianamy at 4:45 AM on November 12, 2008

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