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Show HN: Random Google Street View
93 points by kirchhoff on Nov 9, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 39 comments
I just redesigned an old (1 year) project and would appreciate any feedback.

The site has no real purpose other than allowing you to explore the large amount of imagery gathered by Google.

You can make it less random by choosing a country, or indeed any geographical area (cities etc.)



I saw the tiger and immediately wanted to send it to a friend. Assuming the front page changes, here's a UI recommendation: give me a permalink so I can save/share interesting ones.

Fun site!

Haha, after a few minutes of digging around I managed to find the link to the google maps.

Feature Idea: If you are able to take a screenshot of a specific view, I would put it as a jpg so when I share the url, it shows up as preview pic in the facebook story. I was totally sharing this story and linking to your site until I found there is no preview pic.

I generate screenshots of every featured view, to be used as a backup in case Google update their imagery.

Facebook should pickup the preview image if you use the permalink - first button in the 'share this view' panel.

Add an og:url meta tag that references the permalink, and people will be able to share the original page.

There is a permalink - just below the 'Go' button there's a panel with some sharing options. The first one generates a permalink.

I thought it might be difficult to find - will have to make it more clear, thanks.

Your old picture of skateboarders was better. I would assume that some new visitors visiting the site would be thrown off/confused by a tiger.

Josh: They have a "share this view" in the lower right, where you indeed get a permalink to the current view!

How about putting two random Street Views side by side and letting people pick the best view?

Good job on the site. I love it. I started noticing a feeling of wanderlust rising within me as I clicked around.

Is it just me or is Norway ridiculously beautiful?

It's not just you. I've spent a lot more time than I care to admit looking at the street view in Norway, especially around the fjords and way up north.

Is this somehow keyed off interesting views? The first one that showed up for me showed a tiger walking thru a parking lot.

ETA: I ask because darn near every view that shows up is "interesting" somehow.

The first view you see is fixed. It changes every day and is chosen from the views people submit (using the 'submit to gallery' button)

Really nice design on the website! Very polished and fun to use.

Related question: Are you going to be negatively affected by the Google maps usage fees next year? ( Reference: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3162352 )

Thanks. The design took almost forever, as one of those programmers-who-suck-at-design types.

Using Street View in this way doesn't seem to be on their fee list, so hopefully I will avoid that. Otherwise I will have a problem, serving about 20,000 panoramas per day!

You should be good, even at 22K per day. I didn't dig into your js, but there is a 25K per day threshold for using the Street View Image API.

http://code.google.com/apis/maps/faq.html#usagelimits (scroll down a bit further to the table)

Your project is one great example of why I think Google needs to reexamine the pricing of their maps API. With the threat of being charged more than adsense would payout, great sites like yours might not be created in the future.

Cool, I found the end of the earth. It's in Finland. http://www.mapcrunch.com/p/54.877919_-7.675938_202.36_20.83_...

Nice. May be provide some clues and make it a 'Guess the place' game..

Making this into a game was the first thing I thought. It could be as simple as having a game mode that puts a small country map in the corner; you click where you think the view is and receive a score based on how close you are. This could be surprisingly fun and addictive.

Yeah, I immediately checked the "hide location" box and tried to start guessing countries. Vegetation helps get it down to very wide bands, but I bet with some experience you could get it pretty specific.

Wow, just wow! This triggered the most severe case of Wanderlust I felt in quite a while. I'm happy that I'm headed for Amsterdam and the Quantified Self conference by the end of the month!

"Guess the country". Would make a cool game.

Really like this. Just checked the 'urban' and 'auto' boxes and took in a nice gallery of random places.

James Bridle's "Robot Flâneur" is technically similar: http://robotflaneur.com , http://booktwo.org/notebook/robot-flaneur

Nice! RSS feeds with the view of the day / gallery images would be great

Gallery now has an RSS feed.

Working on that right now!

Comments on saved ones might be nice. For example, on the one I started on, there appears to be a tiger in Colorado. I have an urge to comment and ask if that is in fact a tiger.

I did add comments to the gallery. The first view in the gallery is always the previous day's view of the day, so tomorrow you'll see the tiger in there.

Adding comments to the front page does makes sense, I just couldn't figure out a tidy way of doing it (no space).

Fantastic - makes me want to book a vacation to an exotic destination. Maybe you should add links to travel agencies that service these type of trips :-)

As a seasoned armchair holiday-maker, I love this. Maybe a 'you may also like...' function to widen horizons?

This is a really great idea, the gallery has some interesting stuff. Thanks for sharing!

awesome. i'm going to have some fun with this and my hmd-z1 (right click > 3d mode on) when it comes in!

it's really staggering the amount of work and data google is offering up here.

This is awesome. Suddenly I feel like traveling the world.

Would be nice to see where exactly is that place

Click the Google logo at the bottom left, it is a link to Google Maps at the location you see.

This is really cool - thanks for making this.

hey is there a way to make a screensaver and changing wallpaper for windows7 with these views? :) It will be fun

Love it! Great job!

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