When Street View Comes to Small Towns

Colby Cosh’s reaction to the discovery that his home town — Bon Accord, Alberta: population 1,534 — is now in Google Street View:

[W]hat I felt was more like roller-coaster horror/panic. My memories of Bon Accord are pretty much all in faded Super-8 and grainy black-and-white NTSC (we didn’t have a colour television set until 1978), with plenty of Walker Evans/Diane Arbus/David Lynch grace notes. The name of the place puts me in mind of innocence and freedom — but also of mean dogs, dead cats, sketchy neighbours, retarded teenagers, agricultural odours, rotting upholstery in abandoned automobiles.
To imagine a perverted technical intruder circulating throughout those streets is a rape of the id. All the more so, indeed, because the camera reveals a considerably more friendly, bourgeois place, one that I could no longer navigate on a three-speed with my eyes shut. Basic topographies that defined my world have changed immeasurably; hills flattened, ditches filled in, vistas of my dream life annihilated. Is nothing sacred to you, Google? Will you leave nothing untouched, unexamined, uninterrogated?

Previously: Hey, I Can See My House.