Using cars, backpacks, and even sheep, the team behind Google Street View has trekked more than 10 million miles to document everything from the peaks of Machu Picchu to the International Space Station. Now, Chris Ip of Engadget writes, a new York exhibition is showing how one travel photographer has used the tool to capture stunning images of the planet without leaving her London home.
Jacqui Kenny is agoraphobic, meaning she has anxiety and panic attacks about being in unfamiliar places. But that hasn't stopped her from virtually exploring, logging long hours clicking through places on Earth. As Siyi Chen of Quartz reports, with just a screenshot tool and a lot of patience, Kenny has collected more than 27,000 images. Her Instagram account, titled the Agoraphobic Traveller, showcases more than 200 of those images, from a camel appearing to fall down in the desert of the United Arab Emirates, to a street wandering away into snow-capped mountains in Mongolia.
According to Ip, her challenge is finding stunning visual elements that make up for the usually bland quality of Google Street View images, whether it's captivating shadows, intriguing buildings or eye-catching colors.
In an exhibit, which opened last month at a pop-up gallery in New York, visitors can get a new perspective on Kenny's photos. Using virtual reality goggles, people can explore the Street View scenes she's captured while listening to descriptions about how she chose to edit and frame her images. The exhibit runs through October 15, and Kenny is reportedly selling some of her prints to raise money for World Mental Health Day tomorrow, October 10.
According to Ip, after overcoming her fear of flying to travel to New York for the first time in a decade for the exhibit, Kenny now hopes to visit some of the locations she's spent so many hours exploring online. Because of her work on Google Street View, she feels like those places will be almost familiar to her.