What Happens When You Mash Up Instagram and Google Street View?

Google's Street View has become the canonical view of many places on Earth. Anyone with an Internet connection, anywhere in the world, can dial up a visual for billions of addresses. The Street View is a genre with universalizing tendencies. Every street becomes like every other street. 


But what Google delivers in breadth, it loses in depth. The nature of the car camera technology means that all we see are exteriors passed by. Faces are blurred. We don't really see people living their lives, so much as the backdrop against which they do so.

Which is what makes The Beat, a new project from the Rutgers Social Media Information Lab, so interesting. It mashes up geolocated, hashtagged Instagram photos with the Google Street View locations from which they were posed. In doing so, it provides the human foreground for these locations. 

hugging.jpg

People focus on the most interesting things, on food, on each other, on the sky. Google Street View does not. The other thing we get with Instagram is time: events, sunsets, Thanksgiving dinners, parades.

eventsronald.jpg

Here are a few of my favorites. Though, like with the Instagram mashup This Is Now, The Beat is best experienced yourself, letting the juxtapositions float by.

snakeshoulder.jpg

kidswimming.jpg

sunset.jpg

Presented by

Life as an Obama Impersonator

"When you think you're the president, you just act like you are above everybody else."

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

VIdeo

Life as an Obama Impersonator

"When you think you're the president, you just act like you are above everybody else."

Video

Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman

You don't have to tell her how big she is. You don't need to touch her belly.

Video

Maine's Underground Street Art

"Graffiti is the farthest thing from anarchy."

Video

The Joy of Running in a Beautiful Place

A love letter to California's Marin Headlands

Video

'I Didn't Even Know What I Was Going Through'

A 17-year-old describes his struggles with depression.

More in Technology

Just In