29 December 2016

Photographers Street View index

updated 29 December 2016

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


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Reviving Memories:

Click arrow above to view images
as slideshow.

We who live in prospering communities have heard of depopulation. Perhaps we have witnessed neighborhoods in decline. Maybe we've also known gentrification, as parts of our prospering cities change ethnic characteristics and families are forced out due to rising rents or land values.

Soon, of course, we will all become familiar with the phenomenon of climate-induced massive inland migration as rising seas inundate our coastal cities. That is depopulation on a grand scale!

What happens to people when communities "rust?" How does it happen that they gradually fade away, perhaps without any great event or fatal, dramatic crisis to mark their departure? In Brooksburg's case it could have been the simple rerouting of Route 56 (now the Ohio River Scenic Byway). Could it be that Brooksburg is recovering? We have no answers. But we offer these visual clues. 

Google Street View's "Window on Brooksburg"
Google cameras shadow a very special window in Brooksburg.
Mrs. Bruce may have looked through these panes.
Our "window on Brooksburg" is brought to us by Google Street View (2009 and 2013) and Mrs. J.M. Bruce, a 19th century resident of the area.

Excerpt from "Summer Time," an ad booklet published by Lydia E. Pinkham Company.
Brooksburg is not too far from Madison, Indiana, the  County Seat for Jefferson County, IN.  The 1900 census recorded a population of 149. At that time, Brooksburg had two churches (Baptist and Methodist), a Post Office, a weekly newspaper (the Brooksburg Sun), 3 general stores, a Knights of Pythias building (used as school classroom facility) and a creamery. - source: Liquisearch

By contrast, in 2017 the population is about 80. Two church buildings appear to be well maintained, one a Baptist congregation and the other unidentified, but probably the Methodist church.  Google Street View found no operating stores of any kind, no Post Office and no creamery. A number of foundation remains can be seen, one of which has been made into a basketball court & playground.

Below is a Google Earth view of Brooksburg with the routes Street View cameras took through the area marked in blue. The how and why of Street View coverage is a mystery to me. (Please comment below or email me if you can explain.)

American FactFinder and Roadside Thoughts provide census and other information for Brooksburg. Based on the Street View tour, I question some of the livability assessments made by AreaVibes below.

The "crime" rating seems to be particularly suspect, as none of the Brooksburg windows have bars on them, which would be expected in a community with an "F" crime rating.

The lack of public accommodations, local grocery and public transportation is reflected in the "F" given for "amenities." I suspect there is no municipal water, natural gas or sewer service. While the D+ for "education" results from the lack of any school in Brooksburg, nearby Madison IN has a good public school system, a community college branch and Hanover College. "Housing" appears to be inexpensive but unavailable. "Employment," of course, does not take into account those who may be operating home businesses (if any).

"Barely Livable?!" Not by a long stretch, AreaVibes! This beautiful community offers a combination of assets that could be very attractive for those working just 7 miles down the Ohio River Scenic Byway in Madison IN.

This is a small community. No government census can accurately grasp its spirit. Perhaps some of the Street View photos below, however, can provide a more adequate introduction.

Unless otherwise credited, all photos are derived from Google Street View, with links to each location provided in the caption.

The Fire Department and the two churches appear to be the most prominent
community functions in Brooksburg. (Google Earth)
Milton Township Volunteer Fire Department
Unidentified, probably Methodist Church
Brooksburg Baptist Church
At certain times of year
road signs
Most intersections have no need for crosswalks, stop signs or traffic lights.
The streets are generally one lane, paved to keep the dust down.
What a feature! All the streets are one way--your way!

The Brooksburg tobacco drying barn indicates agriculture may provide some income here.
Nature's decorations are reflected in this dooryard
A nicely landscaped garden
The volunteer colors of Virginia Creeper brighten this facade.
Some of the porches are very Victorian.

Porches have distinctive features.
Doors are welcoming.

The dog enumerator has something to do.
A family grave site in town is maintained by residents. 
Strong foundation walls mark the site of a long abandoned structure.
Somewhere around here, there may be a trace of this old schoolhouse:

(Hoosier Recollections)

By all appearances, this was once a general store, probably one
of the three recorded in the 1900 census.
For those who wish to contemplate all this,
a chair is thoughtfully provided.
Nearby, a barge heads upriver on the Ohio towards Brooksburg...
... and the spirit of Mrs. J.M. Bruce looks up from her work to bid us
farewell from the second floor of the general store.

19 December 2016

The Other Side of the Tracks

Google seeing you!
The Shining City on the Hill
Kansas City MO (Part II)

12th Street Viaduct, March 2015, overlooks the West Bottoms.
(all photos derived from Google Street View)
Leaving West Bottoms for higher ground, perhaps by way of the famous 12th Street Viaduct, we are soon in a position to look down on the site of the Union Depot (see part I) and its associated haunted landscapes.

Overlook at corner of W10th and Kirk Drive
(Google Street View, November 2016)
Heading in the other direction, towards the city center, the view is much different. The approach features the expected architectural flourish or two.

Archway,  March 2015
(click link for original Google Street View)

archway series, October 2016

elaborate grand entrance, November 2016

All of the above examples are things one finds in most urban centers. Reflections, however, are the outstanding unique feature of Kansas City architecture. These are not all carefully planned, as architects cannot predict the future any better than anybody else. Some, however, are calculated to feature or emphasize certain building details at certain times of year or day.

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, November 2016
Out of the shadows comes the light. The golden dome of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception throws some very special light on the cross in November.

For the casual observer, it can be hard to determine which visual delights are planned and which appear by chance. While the majority may pass by without notice, those of you who pause for a moment to observe your surroundings are in for a special treat. In some cases, you need not even take your eyes off the pavement to experience a unique perspective.

No windows? No problem! Borrow them from your neighbor.
Borrowed windows, October 2016
For those who do glance upward, however, Kansas City architects have created a special treat.

Canyons of creativity, November 2016
With Google Street View, you don't "have to be there" to experience visual sensation, you are there! 
Typical for an American metropolitan center, new buildings reflect their surroundings. Architects guide your eye to their creations, sometimes by showing you the works of others in a new light...or shadow, as with the example below.

Shadow play, October 2016
Curiosity at work! Click the link to see if you can find the buildings profiled here.
Kansas City architects are masters of their craft, as your approach to their creations will attest.

Hint of what is to come, November 2016
The old West 12th Street Viaduct takes you from West Bottoms' warehouses to this  grand entrance to downtown.
Stop here November 2016
Contemplation suggested. Remember? As a kid you eagerly ran to climb up flights of stairs.
As an adult you react differently. Your playmate stairs are now obstacles.
Time for reflection!
Angular feast, November 2016
Light is the focal point. Click the link to savor this one!
Mirrors not only reflect images, but they also throw light, redirecting it into spaces that might otherwise be featureless shadow.

Lightfall, November 2016
A waterfall of light descends this building, courtesy of its reflective neighbor.
The effect is pronounced with the low angle of the sun at this time of year.
There are times when so much is going on that it's hard to keep your mind focused on your daily tasks. When visiting Kansas City on a sunny day, be prepared for surprises. Visual distraction is guaranteed!

A light for everyone, November 2016
Pay attention! One of these is just for you!
As you explore Kansas City, you will no doubt find a favorite location or two. As far as light play goes, here's a favorite building of mine that does it all.

See me? October 2016
The architect did. (UMB Bank)

UMB headquarters October 2016
Surprise! October 2016
Are all of these images reflections?
Click the link & sneak around the block to find out!

Grand finale, October 2016
This last building does it all. Inspired by an earlier design by architect I.M. Pei, Abend Singleton Associates Inc. (lead architect Stephen Neil Abend) received an award for the design of this building. A mere glass box was not enough for this architect. The employer demanded more and the architect delivered nooks and crannies and glass and projections and colored glass and the surprise above. The architect's employer gets the last word (for the time being as I'm looking for more information about all these buildings):

YouTube ~3min.