Google Street View car busted by traffic cop

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A traffic cop pulls over one of Google Maps' Street View hybrds, clearly alarmed by the suspicious looking, five-foot tall, tripod-mounted camera attached to the top. That's got to be some kind of violation.

This makes me wonder: what happens to the poor Google Street View driver who accidentally drives by an embassy or government building? Does he get the detention and the deep-root?

Google Maps Car Busted [dspain's Flickr via Treehugger]

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14 Comments

  1. So what happens when they load that days picture, will we get to see the cop pulling the prius over or will we get a blank spot?

    did they give the address?

  2. “Sir, its the a multi-laser super blaster pod mounted on top of your vehicle? I’m gonna have to ask you to come down town for some questioning…”

  3. If you click on the original Flickr album, you’ll find that this incident actually happened at the Presidio in San Francisco.

    Probably at this location:
    http://maps.google.com/maps?q=presidio+san+francisco&ie=UTF8&ll=37.801027,-122.45739&spn=0.003221,0.009742&t=h&z=17

    The Presidio *used* to be a military base, but is now part of the National Parks Service. So…its not the highest national security risk…but it *is* government property. George Lucas also has a project there…and what greater national security is there than the safety of our beloved sci-fi legends.

  4. I saw a camera-car drive by my house some time ago. It was a big panel truck, so the cameras were just mounted on the roof, not sticking up on a monopod like that.

    , will we get to see the cop pulling the prius over or will we get a blank spot?

    I assume the cameras are controlled by a computer which is hooked to a GPS to only snap photos while the vehicle is moving and to record the coordinates of each photo.

    Otherwise, if a camera van gets stuck in traffic, you’d waste a lot of storage.

    Oh, if someone at the DMV can run a california plate starting with “6CX” for a red toyota, we could ask the driver if he got tagged for speeding, or “operating a roof-mounted, terrorist-scare-me device”.

  5. I’ll be darned. My house is on Google Maps Street View. Looks like it was last fall because the front lawn is burned out, there’s a pile of yard waste and the tree across the street that was clobbered by a van in the last blizzard is still there.
    Unfortunately it’s useless because they got the house number wrong. Oh, well.

  6. **I assume the cameras are controlled by a computer which is hooked to a GPS to only snap photos while the vehicle is moving and to record the coordinates of each photo.**

    right, but there should be one picture from the place where the car came to a rest that shows the cop with their lights on, pulling up beyond.

    I imagine they will drive that street again, and spare us all that pleasure.

  7. **If you click on the original Flickr album, you’ll find that this incident actually happened at the Presidio in San Francisco.**

    Exactly that location, excellent find.

  8. Ah, when I was a street view driver I got pulled over or approached by police a few times. They just wanted to know what I was doing. Usually, I’d just say, “Google Street View” and they’d say, “Oh, cool!” and that was it. If they didn’t, I gave them a grand tour of the innards and then they’d shuffle off. It never happened to me, but Google gave us full lists of supervisors and lawyers to call if cops ever got serious about stopping us from photographing publicly viewable areas.

  9. It’s crazy to me how popular this particular picture was. 3x as many views as the rest of my pictures (about 3,000) combined for the 3 years I’ve had flickr. To get a better sense of where it was, you can see the Golden Gate Bridge in the background of this one:
    http://flickr.com/photos/damianspain/2584017773/

    And if you click on the “map” link on any of the pictures you can see exactly where it happened.

  10. This is #8 again. Re: how much I got paid and why did I quit: It was a temp job, not a real long-term job. It paid really well for what it was — roughly $30k to sit and drive all day and listen to a lot of books on tape. There were no benefits, though, and it was all-day-every-day (split with a partner, so it was all-day-every-other-day unless you needed to work it out different). While eight hours isn’t bad, 13 to 14 hours in the car is a bit much and we were driving when the sun was up until it went down and driving to our starting point before it was up and back home after it was down. But, all that aside, there are two reasons anyone quit it: either you finished your area and didn’t want to be reassigned to a new area or you got a real full-time job with better pay and bennies. I was in the later, but not by much. I was out of a job in a few weeks anyway if I didn’t quit when I did.

    I should also add that the car and gear in that photo is much fancier than what we used.

  11. Re: #12, that’s funny. What’s better is if that if you go “forward” you go back in time and can watch the whole pursuit. And if you back up you can see a non-lights-flashing follow by the cop after the detainment.

  12. To the #8 and #11 posting person…

    If you’re still out there how does one apply for this job? Personally I’m into off-the-wall employment opportunities like that. Wouldn’t mind doing that for a little while at least. Any info you might have would be great. Thanks!

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