Friday, May 10, 2013

Cracked or What?

What you see above purports to be a Google Street View© cat. In its photomapping of the world's towns and cities Google Street View has picked up many strange phenomena but it appears this cat is not one of them.

This is the osriginal photo and it comes from Ottowa, Canada. But never mind, we're never short of true examples nearer home.

This is a Google Street View of Hawkins Street, Dublin, from Burgh Quay. The tall building in the centre of the picture, on the site of the old Theatre Royal, is the headquarters of the Government Department of Health.

The Minister for Health, Dr. James Reilly TD, has been afflicted with all sorts of problems since he took office. He has been accused of rowing back on various pre-election promises and, most recently, his Minister of State resigned, citing difficulties with the way the Minister was running the show, and particularly the role played by old style lobbying in influencing the location of health centres. There is also the implication that Reilly's gruff style fell far short of the collegial model needed for the smooth running of the ministerial team, not to mention the two party coalition Cabinet.

Some may feel that these disagreements are in large part down to a conflict of personalities and styles, but Google Street View reveals that there are more serious structural problems involved here. The very building itself is clearly in a state of unresolved internal conflict which threatens to tear it apart.

From an aesthetic point of view this would be no great harm as it is one of those 1960s type office bloxes that shot up all over Dublin at the first whiff of 20th Century economic progress. Some might simply put it down to The Curse of the Royal, a magnificent theatre which had been part of the city's lifeblood for yonks.

I first noticed this particular flaw in the building when researching my Dr. "Who" Reilly cartoon some weeks ago. The resulting cartoon is below.

[Note: (11/5/2013)  In the original of this post yesterday I took the cat to be genuine but was uneasy at not being able to see the patchlines. When I went to try and source it I discovered it had been tricked. I have amended the post accordingly. I also found that Google Street View had already (7/5/2013) acknowledged this on its fun page. ]

Update 13/9/2013

Just to add a positive note. A colleague has drawn my attention to the Google Street View Performance below. It comes from Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. You can click on the coordinates here, invoke the little Street View Man and drive past, or just enjoy the strip below.

Click image for larger version


Póló said...

I have to admit that I was originally taken in by the cat.

Patching Google Street View panoramas does lead to some funny results and I had been familiar with this phenomenon. It tends to get in the way when you are trying to nick photos from Streetview.

I was really pissed off with the disconnect in the Department of Health building when I was doing the cartoon but was too tired at that stage to poke around further so I just used it anyway as background to the Tardis (if you look closely).

However, now that I have come to appreciate its deeper symbolic meaning I am glad I did.

Full marks to the Belfast Telegraph for carrying the cat debunking item.

Nora said...

Has anyone noticed lately that when you go to Street View, you get the place or house you were looking for, but it's accompanied by a massive bend in the road, right in front of it? I have seen this phenomenon in places where the road is 100% straight in reality.

Póló said...

Doesn't seem to be happening to me.