Wednesday, June 12, 2019

A Random Stroll on Street View

If you've always wanted to be a flâneur but don't like the thought of leaving home then you might like the Street View Random Walker. This new application allows you to take a random walk around Japan using Google Maps Street View.

Once you open the Street View Random Walker you are dropped at a random location in Street View. You can then just sit back and watch as the application takes you on a random stroll around the streets of Japan using the Google Maps Street View API. The starting point for your random Street View stroll isn't entirely random. Every time I've used the Street View Random Walker my walk has started somewhere in Japan and most often somewhere in Tokyo.

After the application starts at a random location (within Japan) it will move forward down the street until it arrives at a road junction. When the Random Walker reaches a junction it takes a random turn from the available options. The application does this by getting the number of links available -
- and then choosing at random a direction between these links. The links are shown by the arrows on the Street View panorama. These arrows show the available directions which you can move in Street View. By calling the number of links available the application can determine how many directions it can move and it can then choose randomly between them.

If taking a random virtual walk on Google Maps Street View sounds like too much hard work then you could try Map Crunch instead. Press 'Go' on Map Crunch and you can view a random Street View image from Google's Street View coverage around the globe.

The Street View which you are shown could be from anywhere in the world where Google has captured Street View imagery. Map Crunch also allows you to select to view only random Street View images from your choice of continent or country. If the random element of Map Crunch doesn't appeal then you might prefer the Map Crunch Gallery, which shows only every selected View of the Day.

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