Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Google Gets Revenge for Grandma

Google Gets Revenge for Grandma

As you well know Grandma got run over by a reindeer, coming from our house one Christmas eve. Some people say they don't believe in Grandma... but me and Google, we believe. So much that Google, in their vast power was able to track down that Jolly ol' fat fuck and hunt him down.

Only, he's pretty hard to catch. The search went on for almost a year. So far the only taste of revenge that Google was able to find of him was of his animals as you can see in the following crime scene.. Ah, the lovely scenic views of the open road..

View Larger Map

What's that? There is none? That's simply because Santa is really good at covering up his tracks. But in this new age of data collecting, the information is out there, you just have to look for it. The next couple of screens have now been removed, but that's only because they show the proof...


Yup. Google, in its attempt to map the world has run down an innocent animal.. Doh! A dear... a road kill deal..
Gathering the imagery for Street View requires quite a bit of driving; as such, we take safety very seriously. Unfortunately, accidents do happen -- as some people have noticed, one of our Street View cars hit a deer while driving on a rural road in upstate New York. Due to several user requests using the "Report a concern" tool, these images are no longer available in Street View.

The driver was understandably upset, and promptly stopped to alert the local police and the Street View team at Google. The deer was able to move and had left the area by the time the police arrived. The police explained to our driver that, sadly, this was not an uncommon occurrence in the region -- the New York State Department of Transportation estimates that 60,000-70,000 deer collisions happen per year in New York alone -- and no police report needed to be filed.

Because this is on our minds, we want to take the opportunity to share some reminders on how to avoid an accident and what to do should you find yourself in such a situation. Robert Sinclair from AAA New York suggests the following tips for drivers:
  • Pay extra attention during pre-dawn and dusk hours.
  • Slow down. If a deer runs in front of your vehicle, driving at or below the speed limit reduces the likelihood of serious injury to yourself and your passengers.
  • Buckle up. Your odds of walking away from a collision with a deer improve dramatically if you and all your passengers are wearing seat belts.
  • Use your high beams (when no oncoming cars are present) and watch for the reflection of deer eyes and silhouettes on the shoulders of roads.
If you won't be able to avoid colliding with a deer:
  • Don't swerve. Few drivers die or are seriously injured in direct collisions with deer. The greater risk is from veering into oncoming traffic, a tree, or off the road.
  • Brake until the last fraction of a second before impact, then let off your brakes. This will cause the front of your car to rise, increasing the odds that the struck deer will pass underneath your car, rather than be lifted into your windshield.
  • If you do strike a deer, do not try to touch it or move it yourself. Despite your kind intentions, an injured deer might panic and harm you. Contact police or other authorities for assistance.
We're sad that this accident occurred and we consider ourselves fortunate that our driver was not injured.
Hmmm, I think one way to be safer on the road will be to actually drive and not take a 360 picture of the road. This isn't the first time Google's big brother eye has caught some strange things. In all truths, this story is almost a year old. The real key here is context.

But I do find it funny that we are seeing the real nitty gritty here. Deers get killed all the time. When I lived in Florida and had to drive from Orlando to the Space Coast, there was long stretches of road that deer would jump out at you from in the middle of the night on a daily basis. You saw road kill all the time, hell people in South Carolina make classical food out of road kill.

I guess the lesson here is that Google shows us a world that we live in. One where road kill is a common thing. Some people who aren't used to it and are more comfortable on a slow 405 don't really know how to deal with it, but it's the truth. I just wonder what the next thing Google image will show us by accident.

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