With a sizable portion of the world's population hunkered down at home, online activities have become the go-to for those looking to fill, often hours, of newfound free time. Thanks to the cooperation of several companies, anyone with an internet connection now has access to a trove of online educational (courses, workshops, tutorials) and recreational (documentaries, digital books, virtual tours) activities that can be enjoyed from home. Just a few years ago, Google Street View was a practical tool for virtually navigating the world's metropolitan and suburban centers. Today, thanks to technological improvements and user-driven data collection, Street View has become a way to glimpse inside some of the world's most iconic buildings.
Google Street View: The Latest Architecture and News
The Instagram account @streetview.portraits presents stunning images of people and architecture from Arizona to Kyrgyzstan. At first glance, it seems to be the work of a professional photographer gallivanting across the globe, but the owner of the account is actually Jacqui Kenny, a woman who suffers from agoraphobia and anxiety, capturing these beautiful images through Google Street View.
Through her alternative method of travel, Kenny discovered incredible scenes that displayed the magic of the ordinary: "I found a surprising and unique refuge in the creative possibilities of Google Street View. I began clicking through Google Maps to navigate to faraway countries like Mongolia, Senegal, and Chile. I found remote towns and dusty landscapes, vibrant architectural gems, and anonymous people, all frozen in time. I was intrigued by the strange and expansive parallel universe of Street View, and took screenshots to capture and preserve its hidden, magical realms."
The Google Cultural Institute have teamed up with New York City's iconic Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and completed in 1959, to open its doors through Street View. Additionally, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation has made over 120 artworks from its collection available for online viewing. "Using Street View technology, it will now be possible to tour the museum’s distinctive spiral ramps from anywhere online," the Foundation said.
Providing more public space for pedestrians is one of the main goals of urban renewal projects taking place in cities around the world.
By planting more trees, implementing more sidewalks and bike paths and establishing new seating areas, it is possible to design more welcoming places with less traffic congestion and that promote sustainable methods of transportation, such as walking or biking.
With the aim of publicizing urban renewal projects that have made cities more pedestrian friendly, Brazilian group Urb-I launched the “Before/After” project, which compiles before and after photos that show how cities have redistributed their public space.
The project is collaborative so that anyone can use Google Street View, or another similar tool, to raise awareness of the changes taking place in their cities.
Read on to see the transformed spaces.
Daydreaming about that round-the-world trip you've been planning for years? Covering over fifty countries and seven continents, Google Street View allows you to embark on the journey from the comfort of your own desk, no passport necessary.
Learn more and view our must-see destinations for a Street View "World Tour" after the break.
"We found images with trash in it, and took the trash out, and we noticed a 30 percent increase in perception of safety. It's surprising that something that easy had that large an effect." So Phil Salesses, one of the authors of a PLOS ONE paper studying the perception of safety, class and uniqueness in city streets tells The Atlantic Cities. By comparing images from Google Street View of Boston and New York in the US and Linz and Salzburg in Austria, and photoshopping out individual elements (such as trash or graffiti) to fine tune the results, Salesses and his collaborators have gathered quantitative evidence to answer an often subjective question: what makes citizens feel safe? Learn more about Salesses' research at The Atlantic Cities and read the paper here.