Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Google Street View comes to Ottawa

Google Street View is now available in Ottawa. This is great!

Go to, search for "Ottawa, on" (you can specify the street/address/intersection, too), and drag the little yellow character on the left to the street you want to view in street view. (Streets will glow blue when you click and hold him if they are visible on Google Street View).

From there, you can move the camera angle by clicking on the picture and dragging, you can follow streets by clicking the arrows along the lines running down the middle of the streets, and you can zoom in and out with the + - arrows at the top left.

This is a great addition to the arsenal of the armchair Ottawa photoblogger (as well as the armchair housebuyer and armchair city planner), along with:

- The City of Ottawa's eMap application, which has various overlays for topology, zoning, and historical aerial photos (back to 2002), plus these layers

- Microsoft Live Maps' bird's eye view, which gives you angled views from above from all four sides in two different zoom factors

- Google Maps' overhead aerial view

These photos are also good for seeing what used to be someplace, since they were all taken at some point in the past. It would be nice if Google eventually had a historical option, so that when they update their photos, you could see what it looked like in the previous version of the photos.

It looks like Google's Street View got Bank Street right as construction was starting between Somerset and Arlington, which makes for a good comparison when contrasting it against how the redeveloped Bank street is shaping up.

This is also the reason why Google's Street View isn't a replacement for blogs like this one: it only shows the most recent photos of the area, and can't track fast changes as well as passionate photobloggers. Furthermore, I can't be sure Google's view will always be around the way it is (and even though it is, it's copyrighted by Google), so taking my own photos is still the way to go.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the tip! I googled 'google street map ottawa' and your site came up first!
    BTW - You can catch me or J driving down our street in the blue honda.