I’ve had spontaneous moments where I feel prolonged homesickness or a potent bout of nostalgia that I can’t shake. The feeling is oddly nice, but also anxious and ruminating. Unlike a gastrointestinal rumination this one is beyond the body and in need of a therapy administered through the mind. A lucky light bulb light and showed me a path. One digital but with spiritual potential. It was Google Street View.
I could cruise around my old neighborhood, feeling reminiscent whilst seeing the most recent developments (as recent as the last Google camera van pass-by). It settled my mind as I drove around town thinking of the moments had there as I noted and accepted the new building, remodel, road, etc. And I didn’t have to do much but sit in front of my computer and click.
There could be deeper uses for this armchair traveler tool. Imagine what can be done for physically disabled adventurers, agoraphobics, those worried of terrorists, busy family folk, let alone the curious not able or willing to spend on ludicrous journeys and anyone else wanting to see the world (by road) but otherwise unable. It’s a poor substitute for real exploration, but for those with desire but no options to explore it offers some fun.
If you spend time you can actually find things only you and the van camera saw. You can view in detail places you know or drive off to unknowns. A cool way of relaxing at home and viewing new lands. Plus if you will it, it’s a neat geography lesson and tool. You could attached notes and make google map routes with it.
Here is a link that exemplifies my point: http://www.bbc.com/news/video_and_audio/headlines/41487857/how-an-agoraphobic-woman-travels-the-world-using-google-streetview