A Street With a View

Sometimes, I think I’ve become almost too reliant on Google Maps to help me find my way. Last weekend, I was out with a friend trying to get to Mount Vernon to see the holiday decorations at George Washington’s home. We plugged the place name into my friend’s iPhone and started driving, and it wasn’t until we pulled up to the Pirates Cove Waterpark (closed for the season) that we realized we’d been Googleduped (a phrase I’m coining here, for lack of better options).

So I was tickled when I came across the Street with a View project, a collection of folks in Pittsburgh who teamed up with the Google Maps Street Team to present a more interesting glimpse into the lives of some city residents who live, work, and play along one alleyway. Spearheaded by two art school grads of Carnegie Mellon University, Ben Kinsley and Robin Hewlett, and taking a page from the Improv Everywhere gang, the group staged a marathon, a parade, a mad-scientists laboratory, and a sword fight all along the route. The Google Maps crew captured their antics as they drove down the street, and the results can now be found on the actual Street View of Sampsonia Way.

I think it’s brilliant, and a fun way to inject some personality into the Google Maps experience. If there had been an actual pirate waiting for me at Pirates Cove, I would not have been nearly as upset at being Googleduped.

Have you been Googleduped? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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