Wonders of Street View: Neal Agarwal's website brings together surreal sights from around the world
Virginia-based coder Neal Agarwal has collated some of the oddest pictures from around the world taken by Google in his new website Wonders of Street View.
The world, it seems, is universally weird. At least that's according to the many strange and wonderful pictures on Wonders of Street View. The website, which is the brainchild of the same creative coder behind other online gems such as ocean scroller The Deep Sea and cosmos visualiser The Size of Space, brings together odd snaps from around the globe which have all been taken by Google Street View vans.
These images include a flock of people dressed as pigeons standing around in a sinister fashion, a car apparently driving up a wall, a building which bears a resemblance to a startled owl, the world's largest teapot, and someone sitting by the roadside wearing a horse mask next to a plastic flamingo – as you do.
Like Neal's other websites, Wonders of Street View is mercifully straightforward to use (take note of other sites, there are no sidebar adds to be found here). Once you land on the page, an image is presented to you in all its glory, complete with links to share with your friends, its location on the map, and those all-important 'like' buttons. And when you want to see another image, you only have to press the big button labelled 'random'.
Speaking of his thought process behind the site, Neal tells Creative Boom: "I've always loved browsing Street View and dropping in on random places; there's so much you can learn by just clicking around. I wanted to make a StumbleUpon-like experience for Street View, where it felt like you were exploring the weird and wonderful parts of the world."
Well, it looks like it's mission accomplished. Even as far as the exploring element is concerned, Neal has nailed it, as users can interact with the locations just like they would do on an ordinary Street View map. So if you want to track down these locations in real life, finding your way there is easier.
As for how the images were brought together, Neal reveals that he relies on input from enthusiastic visitors to the site. "I curated the initial set of street views, but now I'm also adding all the views people are sending me." So if there's a particular image you think needs to be included, simply click the little information button on the bottom-right-hand corner of the site and whizz it over.
There are plenty of images to enjoy on the site – we particularly like those sinister pigeons: who are they, and how did they choreograph it? But Neal's favourite is comparatively down to earth. "I really love these monkeys taking a bath in Japan and this grave for Internet Explorer. I also love buildings that look like objects, the best one I've seen is the Basket Building."
We're getting wanderlust just looking at these photos, but has Neal been inspired to jet off and pay a visit to any of the weird and wonderful sights snapped by Google Street View? "Not yet! But now I really want to visit the National Mustard Museum in Wisconsin."