Google Street Theater, Act II

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Filed under: Practical Jokes and Mischief

Naked man in boot on German Google Street View
by A.Phillips
Business Review Europe
November 24, 2010

Google Street View has been launched in Germany after a lot of skepticism and protest from the German population

The launch has been like no other with images appearing of a woman apparently giving birth on a pavement and a naked man in the boot of a car next to what appears to be a dead dog.

The bizarre images have been removed by Google, who has revealed that they are under investigation; however the pictures in question have already made their way onto social media sites and forums and have sparked a wave on controversy and speculation.

A photograph taken in the Berlin suburb of Wilmersdorf captures a woman lying in the street after apparently giving birth while a kneeling man cradles a newborn baby.

However, popular debate suggests that the scene captured by Google's street cars was almost certainly a prank.

A German reader wrote on the Gizmodo website: “There is a hospital across the street and they have no knowledge of a birth right in front of their door.”

No-one has yet claimed responsibility for the image, which Google has replaced with a new photograph of the street.

It is the latest in a series of bizarre events to be captured on Street View. Earlier this week, a naked man was spotted climbing into the boot of his car on the driveway of a house in Mannheim, south-west Germany.

One blogger wrote: "It seems to show a naked man getting out of the trunk of a car. A dog is lying in the driveway, either asleep or permanently with the angels. A broken umbrella seems to be lying near the dog.

What could all this mean?

My own view is that the greatest importance lies in what is in the yellow bottle near the car. Could it be cleaning fluid? Might something suspicious have been inside the trunk of the car? The intrigue here seems endless. Might he himself have been kidnapped and shoved in that trunk?

On the other hand, could this all have been staged by another German with a sense of the absurd?"

Google agreed to allow German citizens to request their properties be blurred before the service went live owing to a lot of resistance to Google Street View by German citizens.

According to Spiegel Online, 244,000 residents of cities such as Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Munich decided to opt out – although Google has revealed that this blurs just 3 percent of the total of Germany.

Google Street View has sparked a lot of controversy in the past with dead bodies being captured in Brazil and a the suspected body of a school girl being photographed in the UK.

Related link:

  • Google Street Theater