Monday, June 3, 2013

Google Charles View

Google Street View first launched in Ottawa in October 2009, using photos taken in the spring of that year.

In summer of 2012, they came back to take more photos, and these started to go live this past winter. This time around they used branded cars so you knew they were Google Street view. I saw them a few times myself, like here on Wellington Street in late April 2012:

When you view that location in Street View, it does say that the imagery is from April 2012, but clearly from a different day since the weather and traffic are both different.

However, there were some other spots where I saw (and hastily photographed) the Google Street View car where the corresponding images also captured me. Here's the Google Street View car on Gladstone Avenue at Bell Street:

And here's the corresponding photo of me in Street View, a few seconds before I noticed the Google car was there:

Here's another sighting, on Kent Street around Gloucester and Laurier on a mid-April morning in 2012. I had chased it for a couple blocks, tying to get close enough to photograph it. The only two photos I did manage to get are pretty blurry:

I had to get to work, though, and it caught a photo of me peeling off at the Laurier Segregated Bike Lane:

But by chasing it for a couple blocks, I had inadvertently managed to get my picture taken a number times by Google Street View.

It gets better: because I was chasing the Street View car but never quite catching up to it, when you click on the arrow in the above Street View shot to move the view south, I'm still in the same part of the frame for a number of shots until here:

Fun ;)

While we're on the topic of maps, check out the City's new GeoOttawa Maps. These replace the less-user-friendly eMaps, and have a number of new features, including:
  • Click "I want to..." at the top and then "View the historical air photos" to see aerials of Ottawa as far back as 1958! (Some of which were used by the URBSite author for this recent post)
  • Click on a property to bring up a property report, including a link to the zoning for the site
  • Click the little yellow street view icon on the left above the zoom bar and then click a spot on the map to go straight to that location in Google Street View (although it takes you to a limited-feature version of Google Street View hosted by the City)


  1. Great post.. I especially like the understatement in the phrase "less-user-friendly eMaps" :)

  2. I recently discovered the Geo map page, it's fabulous! Certain years are missing from certain sections, but perhaps they'll add to it over time.