You Can’t See My House From Here: And I’m okay with that

by Stephen Cobb on October 25, 2009

Having written several posts in the past about Google Street View, including one featuring the house in which I was born, I thought I would post a Street View picture of where I live now:

Cobb Hill on Google Street View

As you can see–or rather, not see–the Google Street View camera vehicle did not get very close. In fact, it drove along the state highway near us, but that was it. Street View does not extend to the county road on which our ‘official’ address is located. And I’m okay with that.

I remain ambiguous about Street View in light of it’s potential for abuse as a scouting tool by burglars and perverts. This has been widely discussed, particularly in the context of English cities where the narrowness of streets can put the Google camera very close to living room windows. But past discussions have focused on urban street views. Now Google is photographing rural roads, adding a new dimension to the potential for abuse.

It is no secret that farmers and ranchers don’t always store their tractors and trailers in barns. In fact, putting all the equipment away at the end of every day, or every time you left the homestead to go to town, well that would be hugely unproductive, not to mention being a major pain in the butt. It’s also common knowledge that some farms are located close to, sometimes bifurcated by, state and county highways, as seen here on Street View.

But common knowledge and specific knowledge are two different things; keeping them apart may keep some light-fingered city types from pillaging trusting country dwellers. Now Google Street View is bringing them together. Who knows who is surfing the hinterlands looking for easy targets?

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