Friday, November 18, 2011

satellites and camera cars

Cartography might once have been understood as the documentation of an unchanging earth, whose coasts and continents needed only to be discovered and charted a single time. Now, cartography seems more like an act of constant surveillance of a world in a constant and unending act of transformation. The Google street view photos of the neighborhood around tin box have been updated to show the site as it was back in April, when rough plumbing was going in under the slab. The satellite view is unchanged since July, when Google showed the site as had been since excavation in March:

The disparity between the satellite and street views is interesting, since both present themselves as objective truth: the camera wouldn't lie, would it? Yet two images of the same location show different sites. What's striking is the constant process of updating these images.

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