Homeless in Vancouver: Google Maps Street View car in Fairview

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      The little car heads east towards Oak Street.
      Stanley Q. Woodvine

      I’ve never seen a Google Maps Street View car up close before, but I still recognized one when it zipped by me Wednesday morning on West Broadway Avenue. I was hoping for a second chance and a better look.

      Yesterday I got my chance in the lane between 12th and 13th Avenue.

      The Google Street View car traveled no faster or slower than any other car.

      The ad-wrap on the car branded it for what it was, but aside from the green doors, the design wasn’t very visible even a short distance a way.

      The car was a generic-looking Subaru Impreza bearing Ontario license plates. The license plate holders were monogrammed, “Subaru Brampton,” suggesting Google bought the car from a Subaru dealer in beautiful Brampton, Ontario, once known, according to Wikipedia, as “The Flower Town of Canada” but not lately.

      Of course, what distinguishes it as a Google Maps Street View car—even a block away—is the camera mast on the roof, topped with a vaguely soccer-ball-like arrangement of camera lenses.

      It turned on Oak Street and here it is at 13th Avenue and Spruce Street traveling west.
      Stanley Q. Woodvine

      piece in the Daily Mail perhaps explains why my Street View car idled at the intersection of 13th Avenue and Spruce Street for so long—it may have been waiting for me to get the fu*k out of the shot. Apparently the drivers are supposed to avoid getting people in the shot if possible.

      Which is funny given what they’ve captured over the years. 

      Click the images to enlarge them.

      Bye bye Google Maps Street View car.
      Stanley Q. Woodvine

      Stanley Q. Woodvine is a homeless resident of Vancouver who has worked in the past as an illustrator, graphic designer, and writer. 


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      May 2, 2014 at 1:00pm

      Awesome - hope they make it to Surrey - more street view madness here: http:\\www.google-street-view.com


      May 3, 2014 at 1:28pm

      Great article! I've seen these around too but never found myself on the street view after it was published. Maybe you will have better luck :)


      May 4, 2014 at 9:35pm

      I live in Thornhill, ON. just outside of Toronto. I've seen Google Streetview vehicles but here they use vans.


      May 5, 2014 at 2:23am

      I just passed a Google Streetview car yesterday actually! (Toronto)


      May 5, 2014 at 12:08pm

      I met someone who drives one of the Google cars. Mostly driven by men due to safety issues. Long days, 13 - 14 hours, or as long as it is light out. The cameras cost $250,000 and are impossible to steal with all the built-in GPS technology. Good job for loners with large libraries of music.


      May 7, 2014 at 3:52pm

      I wish to see Google cars passing by at SOUTH AFRICA