Street View

April 2, 2011

I was looking up my mother’s house on Google Maps to try to figure out the neighbors’ address so I could write them a letter to inform them of her death. I was using Street View to figure out the right house.

And then, something I did not expect.

In the Street View of my mother’s house, her car is in the driveway.

As far as Google is concerned, her car is still there, and therefore she is still there, and therefore she is still alive.

She lived in that house for 17 years, but already there is no physical trace that she was ever there. The house has been sold and renovated, and everything of hers/ours has been donated or discarded.

I wonder how long it will take until the map realizes that she is gone.


7 Responses to “Street View”

  1. Kristin Says:

    Wow, I never thought of that. I guess we leave a digital record everywhere.

  2. strongblonde Says:

    OMG! I wonder how long it’s been that photo and if it will ever be update!

    …now i’m going to look up my old house 🙂

  3. a Says:

    It’s tough to trip over those unexpected reminders. Personally, I hope it stays there forever.

    On a similar note, did you hear about the guy who was convinced that the earthquake/tsunami in Japan was bring dramatized because Google Earth showed that everything was just fine?

  4. Wow… What a thing to think about…

  5. I heard you once say that Google never forgets.

    I suppose, regarding your mother, Google is in good (and plentiful) company.


  6. Jjiraffe Says:

    Strange, and somehow comforting? That there are digital imprints of us after we pass. I’m so sorry to hear about your mother.

  7. Ernessa Says:


    I’m just now catching up on all my Google Reader stuff, and I just wanted to stop by to say how sorry I was to hear about your mother’s passing. The Google Street View notion is deep. I remember thinking something similar when having to tell people that my mother had passed up to five years after her death. It amazed me that for them, she was still alive until the moment I told them she was not. I’m no longer asked this question by those that knew her, but it gave me some solace that she was alive in some sense for others.

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