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The Strange Beauty of Finding Yourself in Google Street View

Catching a glimpse of your blurry-faced self on Street View: a major life event since 2007.

Since its launch in 2007, Google Street View has had to address major privacy concerns—grappling with government authorities in Germany, India, and Australia over privacy laws; lowering its cameras in Japan and Switzerland so as not to photograph over fences; and of course, blurring all faces and license plates by default, worldwide. But many who happen to land face to face with a Google Maps Camera Car (or Trike or snowmobile or gondola) don't go into hiding, and their big debut on the Street View stage is cause for celebration.

In 2009, when Street View launched in the UK, Roger Browning spotted himself in front of his building and wrote in The Guardian: "It feels as if I've won a lottery prize." From tweets to forum posts and even YouTube videos, the halls of the internet are filled with people telling the same story—and yet this doesn't seem to take away from the excitement of being one of the lucky many that are captured for prosperity by Google cameras.

Below, a look at some of the lottery winners from recent years and how they tell their tale across social media.

Reddit user Me_Rock announces to his fellow r/Motorcycles members: "Finally found myself on Google Street View!"

Data scientist Hilary Mason broke the fourth wall. Here's her tweet from the last day of 2014.

YouTube user TheFastStealth manages to stretch out the story of his find into a 2-minute YouTube video, even showing us the belt he was wearing when the shot was captured.

Author and cartoonist Drew asserts, "I’m pretty sure my life is all going to be downhill from here” after hitting the big time with a camera car selfie (see opening photo) and a Street View portrait of him running towards said car.


"I Found Myself on Google Maps”: FSL... by FOX_Sports_Interactive

Here is a Dailymotion video of a TV segment about an Instagram photo of screenshots of Google Maps. According to Fox Sports anchor Dan O'Toole, finding yourself on Street View is more exciting than being on TV every night.

On a concluding note, take it from Vine user Marzuwq Bholai: if you ever encounter the Google Maps Camera in your lifetime, strike a pose. 

Ever find yourself on Street View? How'd it go? Let us know about it in the comments below.

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