This flew quietly under my radar. While I was searching for a location in Portland on Google Street View I suddenly ended up clicking onto a sidewalk rather than in a street.

Google Maps

Google Maps Street View has let us see what locations around the world look like for years now with the photos they've taken from cameras mounted on the roof of cars. In Portland, views were added using photos taken in 2018 from sidewalks, parks and squares. Here's one of Monument Square with three friends all looking at their phones.

Google Maps

And another taken in Lobsterman Park showing just how close these cameras get to people. They of course blur faces to protect identities, although you'd probably be able to figure out who these people are if they turned out to be one of your friends.

How's it done? It seems that Google has had a Street View Trike for 10 years now that uses the same technology that the cars use, but is pedaled by someone who must be REALLY physically fit with all that gear attached. Until now, I hadn't seen any of these views in Portland.

So if you're looking to kill some time or just want to look like you're busy at work, play around with Google Street View in some of the larger cities in Maine and see if you can find some off-street views taken by the Google Street View Trike.