Anorak News | Converations With A Google Street Cams Spook

Converations With A Google Street Cams Spook

by | 8th, August 2008

GOOGLE is watching you. Oh, brave new world:

  • Google has a centre in Milton Keynes where this operation was based in. The drivers just showed up for “a driving job” (his words) and didn’t know it was for Google until the arrived to pick up the cars.
  • The drivers were given training to use the computers inside the car. It’s not hard: it’s a large-ish touch screen (I guessed about 17in or maybe a 19in when I saw it) with a record and a pause button.
  • The screen is to the left of the driver in the passenger seat with a large server at the back in the trunk. The back seats of the car were removed – it was just a big space. The connections into the server were just power and ethernet. The ethernet seemed to be going up to the camera but I’m not sure if it ran to something else.
  • The camera is rain sensitive. It collapses in a very funky way and has to be covered. The drivers are under strict instructions to do so.
  • This particular driver was very sensitive to the privacy issues. He was having a personal conflict about the whole thing and was stopped by (his words) “10 people” that very day. Why? Because only recently had the BBC published an article about Google Streetview starting with Google’s plans to launch a mapping tool in the UK could be referred to the Information Commissioner”. No wonder the driver didn’t want to be in the photo!
  • The car’s camera. The hexagon Octagon at the top is I think is the camera set itself (so 6 8 cameras in total). The yellow box seems to be the communication/processing circuitry; the yellow box is on the back side of the car and so the white box thing at the right hand side of the image points towards the right of the car. This white box thing seems to swivel up and down but this is just a wild guess.

Now some photos of the car with notes:

Google StreetView car, front viewThe car from the front.
Google StreetView camera


Posted: 8th, August 2008 | In: Reviews Comment (1) | TrackBack | Permalink