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Quickly grab a Street View image of your location

I've gotten into the habit of using DayOne and Rego to keep track of places that I'd like to remember. I've also found that having a snapshot of the location is both useful and appealing. (Particularly if you share the location with someone using Rego's nifty sharing feature.)

However, it's not always convenient to take a photo of the outside of a location. Breaking away from your friends to go stand in the busy street and take a photo, like a tourist, is sometimes both logistically and socially impossible. And many times you'll get a hurried, dark, or crappy photo anyway. Trust me, I speak from experience.

To solve this problem, I wrote a web app that utilizes Google Map's massive collection of Street View photos. I call it Get Street View Image.

Visit that URL on your iPhone and you'll see four Street View photos of your current location. One for each compass heading: North, South, East, and West. To advance a view by 45-degrees, tap it, giving you a total of 8 views to choose from. The web app uses the most accurate location measurement available, and each image has the widest field-of-view that Google permits, to facilitate getting a good shot even when Street View or your location data is a little less than spot-on.

Touch and hold the photo you like best, then choose Save Image from the pop-up menu that appears. The photo is saved to your Camera Roll where you can use it your favorite app, send it using iMessage or Mail, post it on Facebook, stash it in Evernote, tweet it, or,…well, you get the idea.

Additionally, the web app displays your current coordinates and full URLs for each of the photos. They're put in text fields so they're easy to copy. Just tap the field, then tap Select All and Copy. These are handy if you don't need a picture, but just a link or longitude/latitude.

Once a photo is in your Camera Roll, you can crop it to further improve the image. Some apps might do this for you, since many use the oh-so-hip square format. The image below is one that I grabbed while dining at a local gourmet hot dog place, The Haute & The Dog.

IMG 3888

And here's how I put it to use in Rego.

It would be great if location-based apps supported this sort of thing themselves (I've suggested it to the folks at Rego) but until they do, I hope you find this web app as useful.


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