Archive for the InPossible Category

Streetview visual cue

Posted in InPossible, Projects on April 12, 2009 by re: turn on

Google Street View is already proving itself useful as a visual cue for more than just real estate websites and map-illiterates who need a picture of where they’re going to find it. Russell Davies points out that the Street View of the neighborhood he grew up in conjured more than just childhood memories, but a desire he calls “Collective Remembering” to share those memories with others connected to the neighborhood.

He also shared what I think must be the first exercise in Street View social networking. STREET WITH A VIEW was instigated by artists Robin Hewlett and Ben Kinsley in May 2008. They staged a series of shenanigans involving residents of Pittsburgh’s Northside and invited the Google Inc. Street View team to capture it. I’ll let you discover what they got up to for yourself, half the fun is finding as many weird goings-on as you can, then check the above link to see how many you found. (Hint – look high)

Such a delightfully interactive goof, while exploring Sampsonia Street it occurred to me that staging a Google Street View shoot would make a fantastic branding exercise. McDonalds could stage some sort of drama between its mascots outside a popular outlet, like Hamburglar holding Grimace hostage with only Ronald McDonald able to save him.

McDonalds could turn this into an interactive game, with kids invited to solve a mystery or find a missing object. “Collective Remembering” could enhance a brand and its recognition.

Inviting Google to do a Street View shoot is a potential complication, if it were for marketing purposes they might be reluctant or want a piece of the pie. The word “monetization” is thrown around a lot these days…

However, they may be amenable to a more altruistic or communal exercise. Local festivals could arrange the invitation to coincide with a street party or parade. Tourism boards could stage hilarious or enticing Street Views to encourage visitors. I might be persuaded to holiday in Alaska if I saw the streets were lined with bikini models.