Visiting the dead on Google Street View

Originally published at:


I didn’t read the article (I know!) but you can cycle through older image sets through the UI. Is that not a thing for other people?



Literally came here to say exactly that. I haven’t used it in a while so I hope the feature is still available.


I remember seeing my father’s car from street view when I looked not long after he died. Absolutely no idea what made me look in the first place.


This reminds me of some of the thoughts from Rebecca Solnit’s book River of Shadows. And thank you for the “cycle through older image sets” I had not known that.


wow. this almost seems believable. :neutral_face:

So, digital persistence of vision.


Answering machines can be the repository of loved ones voices. For some reason voices are harder to remember than faces; I guess we really are a visually oriented species. My brother has some super 8 film from the early 1960’s which has footage of my grandparents and mother, which we have yet to transfer into digital form.


Well, now I’m creeped out. I’ve seen the Google Street view car 4 out of the last five days.
Is my time drawing to an end?


Found old street views of church and adjacent parochial school I attended as a child when I lived in B’klyn. (!) Latest views show that the 160 year old church was completely displaced by luxury apartments and the little 120 year old schoolhouse converted to same.

I wonder if, many, many years from now, neighborhood residents there will be scratching their heads, wondering about the dedicated street corner associated with that church and school and why it was named Rev. Alfred F. Sepe Cr.


Google’s picture of my yard shows my now-deceased dog taking a dump.

No regrets as it’s a fitting memorial to one of his favorite pastimes.


who remembers the early learning on google maps with perspectives of high rise going this way and that…


There are ghosts in the machine.

“… a man is not dead while his name is still spoken”, GNU Terry Pratchett.


I never knew what that symbol meant.
I assumed it was “click this icon if you agree for us to sell your personal information to …”

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I think agreeing to data harvesting is implicit in using the platform. :smiley:

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It won’t take many many years. Maybe 2 or 3?

Denver is undergoing massive scrape/rebuilds. Entire blocks are getting taken down. it is an astounding transformation, both stylistically (goodbye brick homes) and financially (goodbye affordability).

The hospital I work for up and moved out of Denver a few years ago. Two years later I met someone who had moved into a home 2 blocks from where the hospital was - which is now a construction zone with 12 story buildings in progress. He had NO idea there was once a hospital there. None at all. He had bought a home in a neighborhood and learned absolutely nothing about the history, people, neighbors. I was astounded at his ignorance. I have since learned that his level of interest in history and context is par for the influx of people to Denver and I should not have been surprised at all.


I truly hope that those who are seeking solace in these photos are taking screen grabs of them.

Yeah, maybe they can wayback and find the photos, but like the voicemail boxes that get shut down, it’s not smart to count on others to keep your memories safe.

It is interesting that these memories seem to be enhanced by the path we take to them. Would they be just as poignant by going to one’s photo album, or by having it as a wallpaper, as it is by going to Google Street View to find them?


I think Google Street view should have a Wayback Machine.

R. Crumb


yes, you can go back to old datasets… however, i just discovered that google selectively improves some frames with data taken earlier or later in the day. this article prompted me to go back to a series of streetview photos where my parents were following the google maps car in 2012. to my surprise several frames have been replaced with frames not containing their car, possibly because they favor frames with fewer “things” in them. the new frames appear to have been taken later the same day.

i should have screencapped those frames… now they are gone.