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Tuesday, September 26 2017

The power of Google Street View

Technology

I recently started watching AMC's new series Rubicon. It's a great show, a political conspiracy mystery that draws inspiration from movies such as All the President's Men, Three Days of the Condor, and The Parallax View. One of the things I like about the show is that it (so far) avoids (obvious) exposition, which forces the viewer to figure out what's going on, much like one of my favorite films, Primer.

Specifically, the setting of the show is never explicitly mentioned - but it's clear from context that it's on the east coast, and not Washington, DC. I was thinking, maybe Boston? Well, a couple of nights ago I decided to do some research. With help from Google, it became clear the setting was New York, thanks to the "Putnam station" reference. Doing some more digging, with Google maps, I found a couple of streets mentioned; Front St and South St, both in lower Manhattan. Thanks to Street View, I was able to quickly narrow down possible locations for the "American Policy Institute" office building, and found the address: 40 Fletcher St.

Besides being pleased that I was able to find the building that plays API on TV, I was struck by how powerful Google Street View is. If the right right visual references are there, you should be able to identify where a video was taken using Street View alone. Cool.

posted by Loki on Wed, 11 Aug 2010 14:53:35 -0500