If you are a Google maps user you may have noticed that Google finally took me up on my idea to make multiple generations of its street views visible. (It’s scary to think if I say stuff loud enough in my head Google can hear me.) On Wednesday April 23, 2014, the new feature debuted sometime between 11 am CDT and 8 pm CDT.
I remember Street View becoming available for Biloxi in December 2007. The initial low resolution cameras (used by Goolge from April 2007 – September 2010) produced photos that were OK but left a lot to be desired, though without a doubt those images certainly gave a clear enough idea of anything that was visible from a public thoroughfare. In April 2008, Google began using new high resolution cameras which produced much better images. Google street view cameras have returned to Biloxi several times over the years but in 2013 new images began to be uploaded. We slowly lost the great record the 2007 images had provided us with. Well, gentle reader, you now can flip back and forth between views! This can be used to both break and bring joy to your heart. Images like the fiery destruction of the Redding Building and Spanish Trail books are disheartening. Conversely, structures like the Charnley House & Guest cottage can be seen in their Katrina-damaged state in 2008, while in the 2013 view they are freshly restored.
Jackson is the Mississippi place that I’ve found to have the most periods of street views. The old Capitol has nine different street views, several of which show the building prior to its most recent restoration.
The King Edward Hotel has a few different shots between 2007 and 2013. Its hard to remember how bad the structure actually looked prior to its 2009 restoration.
Loss of view-shed, nature, and sprawl development can also be seen, like the sprawl development in D’Iberville.
Google says currently they are driving in the following Mississippi counties: Clarke, DeSoto, Forrest, Hinds, Holmes, Jasper, Jones, Lauderdale, Lee, Madison, Newton, Panola, Quitman, Tallahatchie, Union, Wilkinson, and Yazoo.
More information from Google about its Street View program can be found here.
I think this feature will help us better understand what we are losing and be able to highlight preservation victories even more. What will you time travel to see in Mississippi? If you’ve used this feature have you seen any surprises, pleasant or other wise? Do you live afar piece from Mississippi but pine away for a certain postage stamp of native soil you can only visit with Google Street View? Speak up! Please share!