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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Google Street View Easter Egg

Google recently hinted at a new Easter Egg part of Google Maps Street View. And it has surfaced now – it’s called Street With a View. From the project description:

On May 3rd 2008, artists Robin Hewlett and Ben Kinsley invited the Google Inc. Street View team and residents of Pittsburgh’s Northside to collaborate on a series of tableaux along Sampsonia Way. Neighbors, and other participants from around the city, staged scenes ranging from a parade and a marathon, to a garage band practice, a seventeenth century sword fight, a heroic rescue and much more...

Street View technicians captured 360-degree photographs of the street with the scenes in action and integrated the images into the Street View mapping platform.

You can view the street on Google Maps or see a couple of photos at the Google Sightseeing blog.

Another, older sort-of Easter Egg in Street View is the Google employees posing near-by their headquarters in Mountain View, California.

Yet another surprise in Google Maps is that when you search for niniane, you’ll end up in Mountain View as well, the info blurb reading “Niniane Kicks Ass!”. Google employee Niniane Wang explains the background on her website:

In the year 2000, three Caltech friends and I embarked on a weekend road trip in eastern Washington state. We stopped at a little diner – scrambled eggs, apple pie, your standard rural American diner.

On the wall hung a whiteboard with the daily specials. The bottom of the whiteboard was covered by a drawing of an orange crescent half-emerging from blue waves. Dan Egnor, programmer extraordinaire, said the crescent is the moon. I maintained that it was a shark.

“Why on earth would they draw a shark?” asked Dan. “In orange?”

“I’ll bet you,” I said.

We agreed on the terms: the loser would place the winner’s name into their next shipping software. If Dan won, his name would have been hidden into Flight Simulator 2002. If I won, my name would be in Dan’s next search engine creation.

We called over the waitress. “What is that on the bottom of the whiteboard?”

“It’s the ocean.”

“No, the thing coming out of the waves.”

“Oh, a shark.”

Dan went on to create Google Local Search, and 5 years later: here I am.

Join the ongoing discussion.

[Thanks Google Sightseeing and Jake Peterson!]


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