I’m constantly turning to Google Maps’ Street View when I hear about a restaurant or something I want to check out in New Orleans. And every time, I’m reminded that Google hasn’t updated their Street View imagery of the city since I lived there in 2008. Street View is an amazing thing that Google does, but once they’ve photographed a city, they take on a responsibility to ensure it’s an accurate representation of the place. New Orleans is
one of the country’s fastest changing cities the country’s fastest growing city, but if someone considering a visit (or a move) there looks at Street View, they would get a terrible idea of its condition seven years after Katrina. I fear that their images are so old they’re now actively hurting the city, and no street view would be better than the inaccurate picture they’re currently painting. I wondered if anyone shared my frustration, and lo and behold I found an excellent blog dedicated to the subject: Update Google Street View in New Orleans! Take some time to browse the examples they’ve photographed — the difference between Google’s 2007 depiction of the city and today’s reality is stark, to say the least.
In 2008, the Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana wrote the post on the Google Blog that announced Street View was coming to New Orleans:
I recently had the opportunity to visit the Googleplex and I expressed my interest in seeing Street View come to Louisiana, so I’m excited to see the launch of Street View imagery for Greater New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Shreveport. This remarkable tool allows us to share with the world life as we see it, here on the ground in my home state.
The author of that post was Mitch Landrieu, who’s since been elected mayor of New Orleans. Five years later, the only thing remarkable about Street View there is how inaccurate it is. Street View cars were seen around the city over a year ago — how out of date will those pictures be before they ever make it online?