Questionable search engine encounter

As I was ambling down Foster Street on Aug. 8, I spied a newfangled Google Maps car filming the area with a 360 de­gree lens.

While the gadgety car snapped my photo, I tried shooting in return, to frame the bug in my camera. But alas, my drawback was too slow, even though I’m recently returned from decades in the Wild West.

Being captured so unexpectedly, I glanced where I had stood moments before in the hopes that I had not presumed too slovenly a posture to be marked on my permanent State College record.

The dynamic doodlebug pressed forward. It filmed a woman carefully pushing a baby in a perambulator. Then, in front of the curious baby, I sensed another stir and became excited for a young couple, as their freshly-surveyed teacup poodle will be soon featured on a new map.

The all-seeing car then wound through other avenues, leaving me behind.

I wanted to question the driver, being curious about his job with its weird ways.

I imagine the driver stops for lunch. He would know good diners from his maps.

He probably has a list of snappy answers ready for inquiring minds:

Can Google illuminate maps for blind people?

What type of protection does the vehicle have?

How many kilometers does he cover in a normal day?

In what types of settlements does he encounter the friendliest folks?

How much of everything does Google vacuum up?

Does it sniff information from every nearby device for later use in a valuable database?

How do our munificent mapping overlords purport to measure the quality of a good college town?

Besides simple streets, what other dead ends will the futuristic data-collecting car help us and our curious babies avoid as we further evolve and mature?

Jim Banholzer

Centre Hall

COMMENTS