Since last October Google has been amassing images all over Argentina in order to violate everyone’s privacy and take another bold step towards world domination bring the “Paris of South America” into their Street View club. A prestigious group indeed. Argentina is now on par with the US, Europe, and Australia. Well at least as far as Google Street View coverage is concerned.
Now I must say, I pride myself on being a cynical asshole. It’s just how I am. And even I cannot believe how fun it is to wander the streets of Buenos Aires in Street View. No joke. I just spent 45 minutes poking around the Recoleta Cemetery, Caminito, the Japanese Gardens, and Plaza de Mayo –full of pigeons and protestors, just like real life! The fun doesn’t stop in the capital city, though. Tour the mile high streets of Salta, pretend you’re a backpacker in Tierra del Fuego, or see if the grapes are ready to get pressed yet in Mendoza. You come back yet? Fun, right?
Unfortunately, spoiled Yankees like myself take the extensive Google Street View coverage of our homeland for granted, but this really is something novel and exciting for Argentina. God knows they love to show off. And since nobody can deny the beauty this country has to offer, it’s about time they were able to do so.
I can’t help but feel like Google’s decision to expand their coverage of Argentina is in recognition of the country’s place not only in South America, but the world as well. Originally, they planned on only mapping Buenos Aires, Cordoba, and Rosario. But they must have realized all that it has to offer, because they quickly decided that that wasn’t enough.
You may be asking yourself: “What is Google Street View?” If so, I’d like to congratulate you on making this far. Like, who turned your computer on for you? Seriously, wake up buddy.
Google Street View is the best way to mindlessly wander the streets of the world without any of that unfavorable adventure, excitement, or (God forbid) human contact. The main idea of the project, which Google has been working on since 2007, is to provide (am I really explaining what Street View is to people who are reading this online?) a comprehensive collection of street level photography which, when smushed together, creates an experience not unlike hovering as a bodiless apparition through the glens and dales of almost all of North America, Europe, Australia, South America, and bits and pieces of everywhere else.
Clearly, Street View is most often used to try to find silly things captured by the Google Street View Car’s camera. But Google and their borderline too-smart employees have a few better ideas for the application of such a tool. They hope the experience proves to be valuable for people who are unable to visit all the far flung corners of the world, as well as act as an invaluable tool for teachers all over the world. Sucking up to teachers and hoping to inspire a hunger for knowledge in the globe’s younger generations. What a bunch of nerds.
Most of the images were captured by the internet giant’s bad ass downright silly custom company car which boasts a boom capped by a camera affixed to the roof of the car. It uses lasers, GPS, magnets (a la Jesse Pinkman, bitch!), and other magical forms of science to snap pics as it rolls down the street. But what about those places where you can’t drive? Don’t you worry your pretty little head, friend. Google’s got it covered. I give you, The Trekker:
Oh yeah. You wish you had one. Those brilliant folks over at Google figured this was the best way to photographically map areas off limits to cars, while all but guaranteeing whoever wears it will remain single forever. These Trekker packs are really incredible. They can be used to show millions of people parts of the world that most wouldn’t dare venture, like La Boca.
Seriously, they sent a guy wearing one of these things into the mecca of mochila theft. Normal people cling to their possessions like favorite childhood toys when exploring Caminito, but not those brainiacs at Google. We can only assume that at least two were stolen before they completely canvased the colorful street.
Argentina has it all. Both stunning landscapes, and a mind bogglingly large metropolis, people and cultures as diverse as the terrain, and a vibe that is entirely unique. It’s about time more people got a chance to visit (albeit virtually) this place.