Tour de France via Street View — And a suggestion to the Google Maps Team

Tour de France

Google has created a street-view map of each stage of the Tour de France (which some Americans my be surprised to learn is still held each year, despite Lance Armstrong’s retirement). I continue to marvel at the powerful ways in which stories can be told with Google Maps.

When I see a project like this, it reminds me of the awe I felt when seeing a demo of the first such street-level “hyper media” I can recall, the Aspen Movie Map, a project that celebrates its 30th anniversary this fall. I recall seeing it on a laserdisc sometime in the late 80s. It was, in essence, a “street view” map of Aspen, Colorado. An early project of the MIT media lab, it was criticized at the time by Sen. William Proxmire who awarded it a “golden fleece” for the the way in which it was an example of how government research funds were wasted. Far from being a “waste of funds,” not only did that project lay the conceptual groundwork for such things as Google maps street-view, it also provided the foundation that has led to technology that today saves the lives of American soldiers.

Out of curiosity, I clicked over to Aspen on Google Maps and discovered they haven’t yet created a street view of the town. It would be nice of them to create by this fall (to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the start of the project) an update of the Aspen Map Project to honor its role in providing a glimpse into what Google maps street view has become.

Image via Wikipedia

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