22 January 2010

Google Street View Captures Toppling Cyclist in Copenhagen



Google launched their Street View service in Denmark a couple of days ago and there was one photo they enjoyed so much that they leaked it to the press in conjunction with the launch.

The Street View van caught a cyclist taking a tumble outside of Vestergade 12 in the centre of the city. Shockingly, he wasn't wearing protective gear on his hands or arms. :-)

"It's actually a funny story", explained the head of Google's Danish office, Peter Friis to DR News.

"He was riding along when he spotted the Street View car and he wanted to take a photo with his mobile phone and that's when he toppled over."

He explained that the man on the bicycle is a friend of one of the employees at Google Denmark and that he called his friend afterwards to tell him he was in the photo.

"The man himself thinks it's a funny photo", said Peter Friis.

According to Friis it's pure coincedence that the episode was captured on camera. He stresses that the photo wasn't added in order to create hype about the new service.

"The van only drove down that street once and the camera mounted on the van took the photo. Our vans have driven 32,057 km through Denmark so it's not strange that certain sequences are caught on camera."

Update: The man in question was interviewed on the national news tonight. 15 minutes of fame and all that.

17 comments:

Mark said...

Seems like Google Street View in Denmark should be using cameras mounted on bicycles. At least for the photos shot in Copenhagen.

'Xander said...

I can't wait for a virtual copenhagen google street view movie on youtube.. i'll be doing a virtual test ride through copenhagen tonight.

i was caught on film by the google car also here in toronto. Fortunately i was walking and not doing a face plant into the cement.

Klaus Mohn said...

It's weird that the car supposedly only went through this street once, but the Mercedes next to the fallen cyclist is nowhere to be seen in the pictures before and after... instead it's the same cobalt blue Suzuki or something...

townmouse said...

@Mark - they used cameras here in the UK but only for some 'off road' sites like Stonehenge. Nice job, I would have thought

stuart said...

That shot is end of the sequence on Kattesundet, which is why it doesn't match the sequence on Vestergade.

Klaus Mohn said...

oh, ok. maybe they *could* have used a Vestergade shot instead then. Then again maybe they didn't have one. aaaaanyway.

talkie_tim said...

Heh. The same thing happened here in Bristol, on Stokes Croft.
That many million photos, with people distracted by the odd looking car, you'd expect them to catch a few accidents, right?

Kim said...

You'd think in Denmark they would have used the Google Trike.

However, why you need to wear a helmet wearing riding a trike is beyond me, just plain silly.

Kim said...

Oh and @townmouse the Google Trike was also used in Singapore.

wee folding bike said...

The Google trike has a wide track and a lot of mass between the rear wheels.

A reasonably fast trike like my Longstaff is narrower (70cm) and has a higher centre of mass placed further forward. It's easy to roll it over if you don't pay attention to what you are doing.

Green Idea Factory said...

@Kim -- Some related info regarding helmets: using Google Telepathy, anyone can determine if someone is even thinking about not wearing one, and then use Google Lawyer to claim civil damages against that person, even if there is no relationship between the two parties, and also even if they have simply perceived the offense using Google Street View.

Of course, years ago the Field Operations Manager for Street View had to consult with the attorneys for Google (not to be confused with Google Lawyer, of course) and was told that all employees have to wear helmets whilst cycling on company business. (They didn't actually say "whilst" because they are "Americans" -- I use this to segue into a comment on your Blog... in the entry about tram track training in Edinburgh it seems that the Danger is Cycling and Cycling is Danger Committee got their hands on the people in those photos, which resulted in not just helmets but those darn reflect-o-vests.)

LGV said...

my brother was took by the google van in picture when he smoke...something in his garden in France !

Anonymous said...

@Green Idea Factory LOL Certain not to be named instructors only wore the "protective" items under protest, note the helmet hanging from the handle bars, that is where it stayed all day...

pcwilson72 said...

The person fell in front of Vestergade 10. I work in the building to the right. We were joking in the office that it was one of our 650 American students studying abroad though DIS, since they are constantly forgetting to look out for bikes and cars when crossing between our classroom buildings.

stuart said...

@Klaus Mohn: just saying that it could be like it is as the result of the normal automated process (e.g. the run down Kattesundet happened later and the system just automatically overwrote the earlier Vestergade photo from the same spot).

Amsterdamize said...

@Kim regarding wearing helmet on a trike, I was puzzled as well when I saw the news item about the Google SV bike capturing the Dutch tourist attractions.

Jacob said...

I've seen a camera car in Aarhus, not sure if it was from Google . My instinct told me to hide :-)