23 May 2017

Photographers Street View index

updated 23 May 2017

a Google "9 eyes" camera
by Kowloonese at en.wikipedia
Welcome! The images you see in this collection are derived from Google Street View using Google's "Picasa" photo editing. The site has been developed to feature locations of interest to the author/photographer and you.

Google explains their Street View project, including ways you can become involved on their page, "Understand Street View." This page shows illustrations of the various ways their cameras are mounted on all sorts of contraptions (not just cars). You may be "wowed" by their publishing process here, too. Hats off to Google for starting a revolution in how we see our world and share it with each other!

Google's 9 eyes Street View self-portrait, Sept 2015
What did the photographer miss?

Acknowledgement to Street View and the Street View URL will be provided for each photo, which will allow you to visit the location, too--and create your own interpretations.

An angle, an older Street View tour of the area or a change in tone might suggest a unique view for you to snip. Move that mouse! Venture down that lonely alley or country byway. Look around. Street View isn't just a directional aid. It's an explorer's tool. Have a wonderful trip!

Shadows on Summer Street
page 50, The Earl J. Arnold Advertising Card Collection
Google Street View, Sept 2014

(most likely location of the Double Thread Sewing Company offices, Boston MA)
This blog originated unexpectedly as a by-product of the Earl J. Arnold Advertising Card Collection. The author found himself enjoying Google Street View entirely too much, snipping here and there contemporary photos of locations of largely northeastern American businesses in the 19th century. When the indexing of the Arnold collection is complete (don't hold your breath) the author intends to return here to develop this blog further.

As of 2016 an increasing number of photographers are modifying, organizing and incorporating Google Street View images in their works of art. Although experience in photography is helpful, anybody with patience can clip the 9 eyes' images. Time Magazine's 2012 article "Street View and Beyond: Google's Influence on Photography" gives a good overview of the state of the art at that time.

Meanwhile, to see what I'm up to currently, join the over 645,309 folks who have viewed my posts page!

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Photographers Street View


The author of this blog has attempted to correctly apply terms and conditions to Content. These pages and associated images are being made available exclusively for use in non-commercial and non-profit study, scholarship, research, or teaching . Researchers are responsible for using these materials in accordance with Title 17 of the United States Code and any other applicable statutes. All trademarks, service marks, trade names, trade dress, product names and logos appearing on this blog are the property of their respective owners.. In the event that any Content infringes your rights or Content is not properly identified or acknowledged please email me. Thanks! 

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--if you comment here--

22 May 2017


It's Wanamakers!

... or it was.

We start sometime after the beginning, after John Wanamaker began to issue advertising trade cards to publicize his business. Curiosity propels us to investigate....

"John Wanamaker & Co.
For Boys Clothing
822 Chestnut St."
Based on articles in Wikipedia, the 822 Chestnut St. Philadelphia PA address carved into the ice above was probably one of several Wanamaker's locations before the business consolidated at a new location in 1910.

Wanamaker's in 1876. This may have once been a railroad depot.
By James D. McCabe (Book), engraver unknown [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Meanwhile, near if not on the site where Wanamaker's began, another famous (for awhile) business started up.

In 1902, the first "Horn & Hardart" automated cafeteria opened near
the 822 Chestnut St. Wanamaker's location advertised by
the trade card above.
To those accustomed to mall stores with sprawling aisles on a single floor, the multi-story department store seems old-fashioned and just a little inconvenient. Going all the way up to the 9th floor of a store for the children's department would be thought a major inconvenience today. In fact, most 21st century shoppers make online virtual world purchases without ever seeing or experiencing the ambience of any real world store as a destination.

In the late 19th century, grand entrances of competing merchants beckoned customers to visit for unique buying experiences. Wanamaker's was both unique and innovative. It was the first store in Philadelphia to be electrified. It was the place where the price tag was invented. It was and thankfully still is the location of the world's largest organ.

Thanks to Google Street View and YouTube, it's easy to share with you the unique atmosphere of this extraordinary facility.

Wanamaker windows reflect Philadelphia City Hall as the Google Street View
cameras pass by below in May 2014.

Google Street View cameras pause for a pedestrian
outside the Wanamaker Building's grand entrance
in October 2016.
Friends of the Wanamaker Organ
video from YouTube



On 3 June 2017, at 11AM Eastern Daylight Savings Time, Wanamaker Organ Day festivities will be simulcast worldwide over WRTI-FM via wrti.org 

(In the meantime you can enjoy either WRTI's classical broadcasting stream or their jazz broadcasting stream.)

From YouTube:

"Uploaded on Nov 1, 2010
http://www.operaphila.org -- On Saturday, October 30, 2010, the Opera Company of Philadelphia brought together over 650 choristers from 28 participating organizations to perform one of the Knight Foundation's "Random Acts of Culture" at Macy's in Center City Philadelphia. Accompanied by the Wanamaker Organ - the world's largest pipe organ - the OCP Chorus and throngs of singers from the community infiltrated the store as shoppers, and burst into a pop-up rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's "Messiah" at 12 noon, to the delight of surprised shoppers. This event is one of 1,000 "Random Acts of Culture" to be funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation over the next three years. The initiative transports the classical arts out of the concert halls and opera houses and into our communities to enrich our everyday lives. To learn more about this program and view more events, visit http://www.randomactsofculture.org. The Opera Company thanks Macy's and the Friends of the Wanamaker Organ (http://www.wanamakerorgan.com) for their partnership, as well as Organ Music Director Peter Conte and Fred Haas, accompanists; OCP Chorus Master Elizabeth Braden, conductor; and Sound Engineer James R. Stemke. For a complete list of participating choirs and more information, visit http://www.operaphila.org/RAC. This event was planned to coincide with the first day of National Opera Week.

"For clues about upcoming Random Acts of Culture, find us on Facebook http://www.operaphila.org/facebook or follow us on Twitter http://www.operaphila.org/twitter " -- quotes from YouTube listing

16 February 2017

A Journey Down Market Street

Newark, New Jersey:
a journey down Market Street

Where does one start? At the beginning, of course...unless you are confronted with the past and the present simultaneously.

Google Street View presents you with its most recently photographed material first most of the time. As you follow Street View, however, it does not always stay in the present. It can flip from present to any of its previous images without warning as you click the arrows leading you forward.

On the Google Earth map below, the beginning of this Newark series is marked by the red circle and the second point of interest is marked by the large blue arrow. Google Street View cameras went down Market Street for the first time in August of 2007, returning three times in 2012 and again in both 2015 and 2016.

Newark residents don't seem to be sure what to do with their stock of 19th and early 20th century buildings. Restoration efforts along Market Street are spotty and large areas of newer structures predominate, alternating with those usual vestiges of incomplete urban renewal programs, vacant lots and parking plazas.

At the start of our journey, we view renovation on the cheap, version #1, cover it up. Below, the vinyl siding has been partially removed (probably storm damage), revealing the former architecture.

Partially peeled off by weather, maybe, this exterior finish probably does little to keep water out.
Water leakage problems seem particularly acute around the chimney.
This renovation is poorly designed to preserve the underlying structure & looks tacky.
(Google Street View, August 2015)
As in other cities, "Urban renewal" programs have led to the demolition of many older structures. Expressways and street widening have carved up many of the older neighborhoods, and stretches of vacant land, strange islands of low density population in the midst of a densely populated area, seem to be more the happenstance of poverty, riots and political chicanery than the results of any long-term planning.

When I first came upon the next notable structure, its image kept coming and going according to the year Google Street View cameras passed by. The image that first caught my attention is below:

(Google Street View, Jan 2012)

Above is the Google Street View of a substantial hospital building in July 2012. I was struck by the modern, substantial structure and thought how proud the community must have been to have such a facility.

However, as I clicked to continue down Market Street, the building suddenly vanished, replaced by new construction. Now you see it, now you don't. Very odd for what must have been a medical center of distinction at one time, I thought.

In the New York City/ New Jersey metropolitan area, however, this is not a unique story. Cash attracts thieves, and in this region, there's lots of cash clustered in the top income brackets and not much at all for the rest of us. So temptation abounds.

Using a succession of Google Street views from different years, the visual tale is told:

Street View, June 2012, showing main entrance to older portion of Hospital.
Swinging around the block, this June 2012 view of the Hospital is from S 11th St. near the corner of 9th Ave. (Google Street View)

Occupying two city blocks bounded by Gould Ave. (unlabeled), S 11th St., 9th Ave. and West Market St., this older Google Earth view shows the Hospital complex, complete with its own parking garage (lower right) before major demolition of the site began.

So what happened to bring about this radical change? In 1967, residents rioted. Homes in the neighborhood were burned and sniper fire was directed at the facility. After that trauma, the head of the hospital made off with its assets, stealing not only profits, but doing incalculable harm to the community, eliminating almost a thousand jobs and depriving residents of convenient access to local health care.

"The Forgotten History of New Jersey" blog elaborates on the history of the hospital, noting that nasty local politicians had as much to do with its demise as the felonious President of the institution itself. The blog author states:
The United Hospital story is laced with corruption and political bullying, so its not a suprise Mr. Divencenzo wanted the buildings gone. These buildings are just more examples of Essex County's blatant and systematic disregard for the historic properties they have been entrusted with. Soon, Essex County will stop obbliterating their history. But that will only be because there is none left to save.
Click the link above for the sordid details. Hopefully the technical training facility that replaced the hospital will be a success and bring some prosperity back to the surrounding area.

Just around the corner from the old hospital/new training center stands this a fairly well-preserved example of an old Newark row house illustrating renovation on the cheap version #2 paint it:

(Google Street View, corner Dickerson & Market St., Aug 2016)
Although each homeowner has done unique renovations, none of them has known quite what to do with the small window on the right-hand side of the 2nd floor. The barred windows and doors indicate the owners do not consider their neighborhood entirely safe. This area was the scene of riots with sniper fire in 1967, so they have good reasons for such barricades.
Another Google Street View disconnect disappears a building at the corner of S. 7th Street and Market:

(to be continued....)