Google Street View is available through Google Maps and Google Earth and provides panoramic views along many streets in the world. It was started in 2007 in the United States and has since expanded to include a large number of countries. Some countries have objected to this form of data gathering and have not allowed Google to take the imagery. Available Street View imagery available is shown as blue lines on Google Maps once the so-called pegman has been activated. Images are most often taken by car but a variety of other modes of transport have been used. Once captured, the images are subsequently stitched together. In some areas, Street View images are augmented by privately-done photospheres.
Giant statue of Buddha in Todaiji temple located in Nara. Upfront is a donation box for the temple. The temple complex dates to the 700’s C.E. and it draws in tons of tourists. It also serves as the headquarters for Kegon Buddhism.
Hachiko memorial statue in Tokyo. Hachiko is a famous story about a dog who waited for his master at the subway station every day. One day his master died and Hachiko continued to wait for his master for over nine years. Today the statue is a popular meeting spot for people in Tokyo as it is right next to Shibuya train station.
Dotonbori is a river that goes through Osaka. Along the river there is a lot of signs and shops that light up during the night. The runner sign is a symbol of pride for Osaka. Also this street view was taken on a boat.
This route takes us from Hachiko memorial statue, above Shibuya station and through the famous Shibuya crossing to a popular multi-level department store Shibuya 109. Shibuya crossing is one of the busiest places in Tokyo and our route winds through narrow roads, underground stations, and busy surface roads.
This route takes you through Osaka’s Dontonbori district along the riverfront, from the famous neon Gilco sign of a runner, then south through the crowded streets to the Ukiyo-E museum or Japanese wood block prints.
This route takes you from mid-town Tokyo (Roppongi) to Tokyo tower via surface roads. There is a long stretch of road in which Tokyo Tower is in clear view.
Moore's documentary is politically polarizing. Conservative columnists, such as Armon White, are sharply critical of the movie. Putting aside politics, what can the movie show us about the value of travel in understanding our own country.
Armon White does have a point, when he says that just because something works for another country doesn’t mean that it will work here. Also, context is important when it comes to how implementation of these ideas works. However, I believe that Armon White had his blinders on and takes the whole documentary as a direct attack on conservatives. Putting politics aside just like the story of the Toad in a Well, this movie does a good job of taking us Americans out of our natural environment and showing us that there are alternatives. Travel shows us what we take for granted, or just accept as fact of life in the place you live. Michael Moor’s documentary shows us that there are alternatives to what we have been doing here in America when it comes to prisons, drug laws, and gun control. We don’t have to settle for how things are, we can see what has worked for other countries and try to learn something.
Submitted by Ryan Clarke on [date].