The Google Earth Eye In The Sky

If you are a young reader of this column you can go off and pluck your nose hair or chase Pokemon – you already know all about what I am going to discuss.

The rest of us can gather around and plan how to disguise our activities from secret spies. Not that we will succeed, you understand, but it is nice to dream. This thought is brought to you by my activity today in researching my history on the net.

It wasn’t a case of looking up my criminal record ( in my case the most criminal one I have was put out by The Carpenters…) or my academic career. I have forgotten most of my misdemeanors and I suspect the authorities have too. I promise to put the Statue Of Liberty back…

No, it was the curiosity I had about an old house I lived in during 1959. I used the Google Earth program to go back to the old city and then easily traced the neighbour hood and street we lived on. It must be a pretty slow town since the Cold War ended – nothing has changed since then. I could still trace my route to school and to my friend’s houses and the old place we lived in is exactly the same – save for a couple of newish cars parked in the driveway.

This, combined with the chance sighting of an advertisement on the net for the company who built the house in the late 1950’s, has enabled me to draw up plans for a 1:18th model. It is weird enough to do this in any case, but doubly so to be able to do it by measuring the image on the computer and to note the colour of the structure. I am not going to make exactly the same house – that creeps me out. But I will do one from the same builder.

I do feel a little weird looking so intently at someone else’s place half the world and 60 years away. I can even see the address on the letter box…and I can recall the exact layout of the inside of the house. It’s like very old stalking…

So. Go out into the back yard of your place right now. Is it a fit sight for the rest of the world? Is it time to get rid of the still and the old car on the blocks? Should you give up sunbathing in the nude?

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