"Adam, can you come to Abe Lincoln's 199th Birthday Party?"
"I didn't realize he was still celebrating that. But, of course. What's the address?"
They tell me, and I search for it on Google Maps. Well...lookeehere. My town now has Google's 3D "Street View" feature. Hm. I better take a gander around town to see if anything cool was happening the day back in the summer when they recorded it. (Google "Street View": http://books.google.com/help/maps/streetview/)
And then, I see it. A beautiful, hand-crafted*, 18-year young, Japanese automobile with a dash of rust painted around the wheel wells. -My gray, 1990 Toyota Camry. (*Not hand-crafted.) My car was kissed by a Google camera and made immortal. Finally, my lucky break.
Taking pictures of publicly visible areas is obviously legal, but when discussing this new service with my collegiate colleagues, they brought up some... er, interesting questions. "What if," they began as all great discussions do, "the camera captured an identifiable image of a minor? Broadcasters can't broadcast that without parental consent - can Google?" And if the conversation had ended there, I would have been proud of my intellectual fellows. But they didn't stop.
"What if we streaked behind the Google truck? Would Google still use the footage? If so, and Google was proven to acquire some sort of profit from using our images, could we seek royalties from it? We should totally find out what the license plate of that truck is."
Great. Ten years from now, to find directions to Abe Lincoln's 209th B-Day party, we'll have to sift through identifiable pictures of minors aghast at the streakers madly dashing after the Google truck. Don't say I didn't warn you.
For 15 Google Street Views that another blogger found interesting, click here: http://mashable.com/2007/05/31/top-15-google-street-view-sightings/