Monday, November 12, 2012

How Does ShowMyStreet Work?

Well that's a great question because it's astounding how fast the website of images really is.  But for one thing, Showmystreet Is Not A Database of Addresses... It's a website that acts as a front end for Google Maps and one of its many features.  (From what I can tell)

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Over on the site, if you crank it up, it comes up as a blank page with a window to start typing yours (or any) address you can think up.  As you type, it amazingly starts parsing what it thinks you're going to ask and starts showing locations.  And it's lightning fast, compared to other ways of getting to this imagery via Google Maps.

Once you get done typing the address you should be looking at what the website brings up.

Before you freak out...
This is not a database of everyone's addresses kept somewhere secret.  This is not anyone tracking you, specifically.  ShowMyStreet is a front end that, if I had to guess, is heavily cached output from Google's Street View mode.

It doesn't have all of the overhead of the Google Maps function and only accesses the images associated with addresses.

What Is Street View Mode?
Street View mode is when you are looking on Google maps, and you take that little green man and drag him to a location on the map and the map suddenly shows you images of buildings at that address.


This data has been collected by Google via an army of cars and other platforms that drive around with odd looking cameras mounted on their roofs and they snap imagery of everywhere they drive.  And it seems they do drive everywhere! (image via wikipedia)

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The data seems heavily cached via a cloud service because as you type, other places come up first.  You can almost do a virtual random tour of various locations as you type.  Instantly.

The domain has been around for 1 year and 11 months from today (11/12/12) and is an interesting online web "tool."

There seems to be very little official information about the site but several references on the web declare it's a Google tool for their Street View mode of their maps.  Plus what I find interesting is that even though the page is blank except for the address input window, there's a bunch of Google Ad API's running in the background.  That and Google, I don't think, would allow anyone else to use all their imagery so freely.  (But that's just a guess)

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As far as privacy goes, though many may feel like this is a "big brother" syndrome, all that Google (showmystreet) does is show what anyone driving by your place might see.  (At least it's not up-to-date, last minute imagery.  That might border on something wrong!)

If you're paranoid (And I don't mean that in a bad way), don't go there.  But if you're curious or looking to have fun, go on by, thump in some numbers or addresses and see it in action.

http://showmystreet.com/

3 comments:

  1. How does one correct showmystreet.com? I put in my work address and it came up with the wrong business associated with it.

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  2. When I put in my home address, it shows the house across the street. I can pivot it and see mine, trash cans out and everything!

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  3. If the sites are not database why do the same photo from last week come up today when input a certain address?It is the same photo because it just happen to have a young lady out front.Same everytime i put the address in

    ReplyDelete

Hi - sorry for the confirmation but I need to weed out the noise from the well intended comments. Thanks for leaving a note... - Bruce