Saturday, April 21, 2012

Doing My Bit for Digital Hegemony

Recently I was mucking around with Google Maps, which is something I do from time to time, and lamenting the fact that we don't have Street View here in Salvador (yet). Then I discovered something that you, dear reader, may have known about for years.

If you drag the little yellow guy from the distance slider in Google Maps, you can kick down into Street View, this I knew. The other thing, that I was vaguely aware of, is that you can place him on geomapped photos to see what things look like from where the picture was taken. What I didn't know is that, given enough images, you can click your way around a virtual space, shifting from one photo to another, taken by different users, and get a pretty interesting idea of what a place looks like. The best example I've found to date is in the Largo do Pelourinho, one of the most photogenic spots in the city.

After I got all excited about that, I decided to try to put some of my own images into the great virtual construct that is being created of our planet via Google and some other miscellaneous players. One of these players is Panoramio, which provides the images used by Google Maps and Google Earth. Looking suspiciously similar to Flickr, which has its own geomapping service (sadly not linked to The Google), you submit your photos for review and, if they get approved, they get plunked into Google Earth, later making their way into Google Maps.

At least, that's the theory. I had the brilliant realization that since you can click around and flow from one image to another (and since the site is called 'Panoramio' fercryinoutloud), that it would be really cool to submit 360 degree shots from around the largo and eventually to other places that I venture out to from time to time. I haven't actually found a spot where this has been implemented - where someone else has done the same, successfully - if you know of one please let me know.

I went out and did about a dozen super-slow pirouettes with my camera, then dutifully submitted them and mapped them. To my surprise, most of them were reviewed and accepted within 24 hours. Unfortunately, however, I did not see my images on the maps either in Google or in Panoramico itself. That is, until today.

Okay, I'll admit it - I've been checking every day to see if any of the images got added to the maps. I did manage to put the brakes on the picture taking and mapping - I wanted to see some results before I invested any more time and energy. Now there are pictures of mine in Largo 2 de Julho although the selection seems to have been entirely random, and not nearly complete. If each of my pirouettes required about nine photos, they appear to have dropped in only one of each. Needless to say, I can't see if my 360 degree panoramic theory will work. Hopefully more images will be added in time.

In case you're curious, I do have ulterior motives: I got into the whole thing in the first place because I wanted my customers to have some help finding my hidden shop, and then I realized I could map in all my graffiti!

Maybe I'll post a progress report if a) there is progress and b) I can maintain my interest.

Oh Glazed Reader, I do have other news, my son turned seven and I've taken on another big graffiti project, requiring ladders, on about 70 yards of retaining wall. I am also nearing the 10 mile landmark for my runs, which will be exciting. I may write about these things, and others, at another time.

Then again, maybe I won't.

5 comments:

Brasilicana said...

I saw one of your big pieces the other day while going down Av. Contorno!

markuza said...

Nice! That one's almost a year old now. The new one's by the Dique.

fabio said...

I tried to see Salvador on Google Street View and couldn't. What I find strange is that I live in a tiny town in the state of Rio and that Street View car has been here a few times. I've seen it twice.

markuza said...

Wish I could say I'm surprised... Bahia gets the short end of the stick once again. Maybe they're afraid the google car will be carjacked...

fabio said...

Hahahahahahaha...