Capital Region Google Streetview images updating

google streetview carIt seems like everyone's seen the Google Streetview car driving past sometime during the last few months. We recently emailed Google to find out when the images might started being updated online and got the "anywhere between a few months to a year" answer from a spokesperson.

Well, for parts of the Capital Region, the actual answer appears to be "right about now."

We checked a few theater marquees around the area to get a sense of when they were last recorded. It appears Proctors was captured in August (wrong, it's still the old one), and The Spectrum all the way back in June (also now online). In Troy, the old city hall is now partially demolished on Streetview. And there's a capture of the beginning of construction at the Albany NanoTech expansion. Also: the capture from the original Google crawl of the area that included one of the Editors is no longer online. It's too bad -- we were waving to the car.

A Google spokesperson says the old Streetview images aren't made available online. That's unfortunate -- it'd be fun to compare. You gotta think that will eventually make it online.

We had a handful of other questions for Google about how long it takes to crawl a metro area this size and stuff like that. Unfortunately, its spokespeople very politely said they couldn't answer most of the questions. And they wouldn't hook us up with the local drivers because "they work for us on a short-term basis. They're folks who are familiar with the local roads, but might not be familiar with Google's overarching project or mapping efforts." So it goes.

Here's a recent "Ask Me Anything" on Reddit with someone who says they were a Google Streetview driver.

(And if you were/are the local Streetview driver, we'd love to talk/email with you.)

photo via Google


That Proctors shot was from August a few years ago. Take a look around the whole streetview - State Street hasn't looked like that in several years. My guess is 2008.

Actually, I was wrong. Monty Python & the Holy Grail was at Proctors in 2007.

Are you sure the Proctors one is August of this year? The resolution of the pictures is nowhere near as detailed as the other updated pics.

If you want to track down a driver, one of them stops every morning at Bruegger's in Stuyvesant Plaza at about 7:30 every morning for coffee.

@Wendy, Go Phish: You're right. All the Proctors shows are blurring together in my mind.

It looks as though they went through Center Square on a Wednesday Morning last month; there aren't any cars parked on the odd side of Jay street and the brick facades were not yet on the new row houses next to the Knickerbocker.

StreetView isn't the only place you can find some temporal anomalies. I was looking at a satellite view of Yonkers yesterday (as we all do from time to time), and encountered what at first I took to be a seaplane executing a three-point turn in a marine basin. Then I decided it must have just been flying over that spot when the satellite pressed the shutter button. At least I hope that's what happened.

It appears I mowed the lawn that day - whew!

The StreetView for my apartment isn't that old. It has something on the lawn that showed up around the end of March, and the grass is still brown in some spots so it can't be much later than April.

Awesome. I've been looking forward towards getting those new hi-res photos. And my front porch flowers are looking good!

My house in Pine Hills appears to have been done in late May, early June. The plants in the hanging baskets are still alive!

The new high-res imagery is awesome! Definitely taken on a Wednesday morning... the alternate parking means a nice unobstructed view of my house ;)

The real question is, how often do the update the Google satellite images? Looking at Albany NanoTech, of course the newest expansion isn't there, but neither is the newest building (NanoFab East). In fact, is looks like they JUST started taking down the Facilties/Grounds building that used to be there. That makes it Spring 2007 at the latest. That seems crazy to me that they might update StreetView more often than satellite!

Our house must have been shot on a morning in May, the air conditioner is in the window and the lilac tree we got as a house warming gift is still sitting on the walkway. A Netflix envelope is sticking out of the mailbox waiting for the mail carrier to take it too.

New picture if from around April/May of this year.

Finally! A new street view for our office on River St. in Troy! The old view showed an abandoned hulk of a building, many customer's commented. Now our shiny new, restored Quandt's Brewery building has a nice place on Street View.

A similar car came down my street off New Scotland on Sunday morning. We all went out and waved like a bunch of doofuses and the driver stopped and had a friendly chat. He was getting street level images for Bing Maps, so that'll be a whole lot of new stuff to check out whenever it appears online.

Btw, on Bing Maps, if you haven't already, check out the view when you hit the Bird's Eye button at the top. It's photos taken by low-flying planes at about a 45 degree angle (oblique imagery is what the pros call it). You can look N,E,S and W and zoom in with your mouse wheel, and it's really rather neat.

Looks like my neighborhood was captured in early June: my garden is in and the leases had turned over at the end of the school year. Fortunately, they didn't catch me in my pajama pants walking the dog.

Oh, and based on parking, my block in Pine Hills was done on a Monday morning.

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