Google Maps Street View Captures My Late Mom

Sep 28, 2013 11:01 AM  By

google-maps-150Back in the summer of 2011, cars with Google cameras were driving slowly through my community, capturing images for its Google Maps Street View. It’s obvious Google’s goal was simply to let a user know not just how to get to a specific address, but what they would find when they got to the specific address.

So if you are a merchant with bricks-and-mortar locations, you’re probably a fan of Google Maps Street View. It’s something that’s only going to help your SoLoMo strategy, and not even cost you a dime.

On the other hand, I have friends who are creeped out by the Google Maps Street View’s Big-Brother effect. They feel their rights and privacy are violated by Google’s intrusiveness. My point of view is different –  why worry about Big Brother watching you if you aren’t doing anything immoral or illegal?

Which brings me back to Google canvassing my street back in 2011.

As it turns out, when it passed my house that Summer day, the Google camera car captured a priceless moment that tells a nice family story.

On this particular day, my father-in-law, my aunt and my mother were going to the casino. Which one, I do not know – it was either Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun or Empire City. But I remember going to work before Google’s camera rolled by.

This was not something out of the ordinary, either. I’m one of the rare people whose parents and in-laws actually get along and enjoy each other’s company. And for that’ I’m blessed.

Here’s what Google Maps Street View captured.

Left to right, there’s my Aunt Helen, getting into the back seat of my father-in-law’s car. And that’s my father-in-law, getting ready to help my mother into the front seat of his car. My mother is making her way out of my house.

And if you look closely at the front door, there’s my wife, and it appears she’s dressed for work. Which means my mother-in-law is not pictured, but stayed behind to babysit my son, William.

Let it be known that everyone’s faces have been blurred by Google, as has license plates, the numbers on my mailbox and the numbers on my house.

My mother’s health went downhill shortly after that trip to the casino, and it may very well have been her last trip to play the slots. My mother passed away in May at the age of 83.

So not only does this Google Maps Street View capture a rather ordinary gathering of my and my wife’s families, it helps my mother stay alive on the Internet. Kind of like she’s a part of Google now, and is watching over me and my family.



  • Tal Manofim

    Tal from Israel. I’m sorry to hear for your mother bit it’s funny Google chapter the right moment…sometimes they so good things allso…
    Hope they won’t renew the maps someday.ypu can watch mommy from any pc in the world

    Ha. all people on earth…ypu make me cry swear…

  • Isa

    What a beautiful memory.

    A similar thing happened with my mum, though she’s thankfully still alive. The other week I was demonstrating the wonders of Google Maps street view, and she demanded to see her house on there. Imagine our surprise when, after typing in her address, we saw her standing at the front gate of her house, dressed in her full motorbike gear with her bike in the driveway! Priceless!

  • Guest

    This is a great story Tim! What a sweet and unexpected memory to have!

  • Kraig Smith

    Great story, Tim! Thanks for sharing.

  • Scott Harold Cohn

    Tim – Thanks for sharing this!