Today I spent sometime on Google Street View navigating the world virtually and visiting some of my favourite places in Africa. I was actually inspired by Reif Larsen’s article “How to See the World When You’re Stuck at Home” in which he explained, among other things, how he used Street View to virtually recreate the cancelled trip he and his family were supposed to make to South Carolina.
According to Larsen, Google Street View is “an endless fountain for little details. You can traipse down almost any street in the world, unbothered by snow or rain or gloom of night, completely safe, eating your Cheetos, and if you grow weary of your traipsing you can teleport to a completely new place on a new continent.” For Larsen, Google Street View “has an uncanny way of making the familiar unfamiliar.”
Few days ago, Google released this video titled “Explore from Home with Street View” showing how one can overcome the physical boundaries enforced by the current quarantines and lockdowns and virtually travel to anywhere in the world. I thought this could be a great idea for teachers to use with students in their remote education. They can, for instance, organize guided virtual tours using Street View, and take their students on virtual trips to visit historical places and explore cultural symbols around the world. The process is simple and easy. As is shown in the video below, you simply drag the ‘pegman’ and drop it on any place on the map to view it. Try it out and share with us your feedback.