The Google Maps team has been traveling around the world in a wide variety of street view vehicles for well over ten years and enables us to virtually visit and discover every photographed location. For many people it’s a great practical vacation planning tool but for one British woman it’s the only way to discover other countries due to illness. And so she has been traveling virtually around the world for years, taking artistic photos of locations that are not only popular on Instagram.
You always come into contact with Google Maps Street View, because the street shots are deeply integrated into the map platform and are often used in the information areas of many places or in navigation. So that large parts of the globe can actually be covered, Google is not only on the road with the classic cars including camera construction, but has also used numerous other vehicles over the years. With it we can also discover places that we would normally not see.
It sounds strange, but the background of the story is rather serious: The British Jacqui Kenny suffers from agoraphobia – an increased form of claustrophobia – and therefore does not have the opportunity to travel the world herself. She can’t get on planes and trains, and even in the car it quickly gets too tight – and the big wide world is closed to her. The disease developed slowly and was finally diagnosed 10 years ago. In London she may not have the perfect place to live due to the crowds, but she only leaves the house anyway when absolutely necessary.
However, since Kenny still wants to discover the world, she discovered Google Map Street View a few years ago and uses the possibilities of the platform in an interesting way: Every day she searches for a new destination, travels it for hours and is looking for it worth seeing places and streets just waiting to be discovered. So actually she does exactly the same thing as any other physically present tourist. As soon as she discovers a beautiful place, she takes a picture and shares it with all her followers. Only in this case there are screenshots.
On her virtual trips around the world, the British girl focuses primarily on smaller places, deserted landscapes or desert cities – in other words, precisely on the places that would be very good for her psyche. She avoids big cities and is not to be found on her Instagram profile.
In the meantime, she has more than 114,000 followers on her Instagram account and earns something with a fan shop – because the most beautiful pictures can actually be bought and are not cheap. Especially when you consider that it’s actually just screenshots. She donates part of the proceeds to brain research. According to Google, it has “temporary permission” to use and sell these images.
The photographs have their own fascination, because they are just screenshots from Google Street View, without any further processing. You can see that in the photos neither in terms of quality nor in the entire scenery. But it could also be because she is concentrating on her niche in the desert cities, which simply look beautiful, are fascinating for tourists and the pictures are mostly taken with a camera backpack and not by car.
Just have a look at the Agoraphobic Traveler or go on a virtual trip with Street View on Google Maps.