Thursday, March 08, 2018

Google Dog View, Cat View & Sheep View

Hachikō was an Akita dog who lived near the city of Ōdate in Japan. He belonged to Hidesaburō Ueno, who would commute daily to work by train. At the end of every workday Hachikō would walk to Shibuya Station to wait for his master's return.

In May 1925 Ueno suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, while at work and died. Ueno never returned to Shibuya station again. However Hachikō did. Each afternoon, exactly at the time when Ueno's train was due to return, Hachikō sat outside the station waiting for Ueno's return. He came and sat outside the station every day waiting for his master for the next nine years, nine months and fifteen days.

You can now walk around outside Shibuya station on Google Maps and view the scene from a dog's point of view. Here you can gaze upon the statue of Hachikō outside the station. To capture this scene a small camera was attached to the collar of an Akita dog. The result is a distinct dog's point of view of the station, seen through two little pointy ears.

If you want you can also take a walk up into the mountains using dog view, visit Roken Shrine and wander around Akita Dog Hall.

Of course this isn't the first time that animals have been used to capture Street View imagery in Japan. In fact Street View was invented by cats.

In Hiroshima cats now have their very own version of Street View. Cat Street View is an impressive virtual tour of Onomichi, providing an unrivaled cat's eye view of the city. The tour takes in many of the cat-about-town's favorite shops and restaurants in the city. It also shows the locations of some of Onomichi's most loved cats.

The format of the tour will be familiar to any non-cat type entity who has ever used Google's Street View. It consists of a series of connected panoramic photos of the city. The big difference however is that the panoramic photos in Cat Street View are all taken from a cat's perspective. And it's all the better for it.

Before Google captured Street View imagery in the Faroe Islands the islanders got fed-up of waiting. They therefore took things into their own hands and invented Google Sheep View.

While the Faroe Islands didn't have Google Street View it did have sheep. A lot of sheep. The logical step therefore was to deck out the islands' sheep with 360 degree panoramic cameras and set them loose. You can find links to the Sheep View imagery of the Faroe Islands on the Sheep View Map. Just click on the sheep markers on the map and you will be taken to the Sheep View imagery directly on Google Maps.
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