Friday, January 30, 2009

Oh Deer! Google Street View Car Runs Into Bambi

Google sends cars around to take pictures of streets for the Street View service, and sometimes they take pictures that we would prefer not to see, but usually the car itself is not involved.In this case, sadly, the car was involved in an accident, and the accident involved a deer.

Surprisingly, the Street View car continued to take pictures, and unfortunately, Google posted those pictures to the Web.

The images were taken on Five Points Road in Rush, New York.

It took a while; who knows how long those images were there, but once the news got out about them, Google received several complaints and removed the images. As Google said:
Gathering the imagery for Street View requires quite a bit of driving; as such, we take safety very seriously. Unfortunately, accidents do happen -- as some people have noticed, one of our Street View cars hit a deer while driving on a rural road in upstate New York. Due to several user requests using the "Report a concern" tool, these images are no longer available in Street View.

The driver was understandably upset, and promptly stopped to alert the local police and the Street View team at Google. The deer was able to move and had left the area by the time the police arrived. The police explained to our driver that, sadly, this was not an uncommon occurrence in the region -- the New York State Department of Transportation estimates that 60,000-70,000 deer collisions happen per year in New York alone -- and no police report needed to be filed.
OK, the post says that the driver alerted the Street View team at Google. And yet, the images were still posted to the Web?

At any rate, the rest of the post takes time out to lecture, er, advise us on safe driving. At least, according to their post, the deer got up and walked away. I'm assuming they were telling the truth, but that deer doesn't look too healthy above.

Let's hope it wasn't badly injured.



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