Inventions Wanted: Pinterest and Street View Mashup

What if there was a way to organize everyone’s photographs into a database we could all share and use in ways we never imagined?

Google Maps Street View is a 3D database of photos organized by location.  What if we used the street locations to pin copies of our photographs?  What if we made Street View 4D, so not only could we walk up and down virtual streets, we could walk up and down them in the past?

Here’s a March 2011 Street View photo of a house my family moved into in 1958, and left just after JFK was killed in November, 1963.

Lake Forest House

And here’s a picture of me, Patty, my sister Becky, and Jodie taken Christmas 1958.


As you can see, they have remodeled the house so that it doesn’t look the same (note the faucet in both photos).


Here’s another picture with my sister and Patty older, along with my neighbor Michael Kevin Ralph who lived in the house with the awnings. 

How many people have lived in that house in the last 50 years?  What if we all pinned our photographs to that house in Street View?  I have no photographs of the inside of that house, but I’d love to look inside it.  Maybe Michael Kevin Ralph’s mother took some photos when were there.  I have a photo of a birthday party at Patty’s house down the street. 

I could use Street View to walk up and down S.W. 37th Street, Hollywood, Florida and see old friends.  I often think of that old Lake Forest neighborhood.  I could follow the way we walked to school and see photographs that were taken in long forgotten classrooms, or to the 7-Eleven or Kwik-Chek were we bicycled to get Cokes and RC Colas.

Not only would this let us return to past locations, but if we find photos pinned to old locations we might find old friends to reconnect with.  I wonder if Patty or Michael Kevin ever visits this street on Street View?

What if I wanted to go to New York City in the 1930s.  There must have been millions of photographs taken along its streets.  What if I wanted to visit where my father grew up in downtown Miami in the 1920s and 1930s.  How many photographs were taken in those years that could be pinned in this database?

If enough photographs were tagged to Street View eventually we’d have Street View maps of the past.  We could even walk into homes if we had the photos.  If we had enough photographs we could stitch them together in virtual reality simulations.

Not only could we leave photographs, but we could notes and annotate locations with our memories.

Can you imagine what we could all do with such an invention?

Hey, Google, are you listening?

JWH – 6/14/12

2 thoughts on “Inventions Wanted: Pinterest and Street View Mashup”

  1. I could really see that in a science fiction story, Jim. And who knows? Maybe we’re there already.

    Certainly, the old photos my parents had are mostly unidentifiable to us kids. And in another generation, no one will have a clue about them. But there’s never enough time for everything, and I suppose there’s not enough interest, either.

    1. About 10-12 years ago I wrote a story based on this idea, but it was well before Street View and Pinterest. It was about a girl hacker who wrote a program that allowed everyone to submit their photos to a database and it would create virtual worlds. I wrote the story for a MFA Creative Writing class and then never did anything with it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

A Deep Look by Dave Hook

Thoughts, ramblings and ruminations


A story a day keeps the boredom away: SF and Fantasy story reviews


Pluralism and Individuation in a World of Becoming

the sinister science

sf & critical theory join forces to destroy the present

Short Story Magic Tricks

breaking down why great fiction is great

Xeno Swarm

Multiple Estrangements in Philosophy and Science Fiction

fiction review

(mostly) short reviews of (mostly) short fiction

A Just Recompense

I'm Writing and I Can't Shut Up

Universes of the Mind

A celebration of stories that, while they may have been invented, are still true

Iconic Photos

Famous, Infamous and Iconic Photos

Make Lists, Not War

The Meta-Lists Website

From Earth to the Stars

The Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine Author & Editor Blog

SFF Reviews

Short Reviews of Short SFF

Featured Futures

classic science fiction and more

Sable Aradia, Priestess & Witch

Witchcraft, Magick, Paganism & Metaphysical Matters

Pulp and old Magazines

Pulp and old Magazines

Matthew Wright

Science, writing, reason and stuff

My Colourful Life

Because Life is Colourful

The Astounding Analog Companion

The official Analog Science Fiction and Fact blog.

What's Nonfiction?

Where is your nonfiction section please.

Avid Reader

Books, Reading Notes, Life

a rambling collective

Short Fiction by Nicola Humphreys

The Real SciBlog

Articles about riveting topics in science

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

The Subway Test

Joe Pitkin's stories, queries, and quibbles regarding the human, the inhuman, the humanesque.

SuchFriends Blog

'...and say my glory was I had such friends.' --- WB Yeats

Neither Kings nor Americans

Reading the American tradition from an anarchist perspective


Speculations on the Future: Science, Technology and Society

I can't believe it!

Problems of today, Ideas for tomorrow


Peter Webscott's travel and photography blog

The Wonderful World of Cinema

Where classic films are very much alive! It's Wonderful!

The Case for Global Film

Films from everywhere and every era

A Sky of Books and Movies

Books & movies, art and thoughts.

Emily Munro

Spinning Tales in the Big Apple


hold a mirror up to life.....are there layers you can see?

Being 2 different people.

Be yourself, but don't let them know.

Caroline Street Blog


%d bloggers like this: