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Does Google Streetview "flatten" the hills?

DanielCoffeyDanielCoffey Posts: 142
edited March 2017 in Commuting chat
I was wondering if there was some sort of optical illusion going on with Google Streetview that gives slopes a more gentle appearance than they actually are "on the bike" so to speak?

Since I am moving to a rural location later this year, I had looked around the local B-roads for the routes I would take to the local town and nearby farm shops. I had prowled likely roads in Streetview and thought to myself that they looked pretty tame. Rough, full of potholes you could lose a small sheep in, yes, but essentially nothing more than "rolling". Nothing that an unfit city slob couldn't tackle after a few weeks to get back into a bit of shape... or so I thought.

I was there in a hire car this week checking on the progress of our new property and visited one of the farms to check their shop and found myself stunned at the hilliness of the route. I was having to engine brake down the hills since they were windy and change to a low gear to approach blind summits safely and it got me thinking... it didn't look anything like this in Streetview!

Is it because the Google cars have the camera on that tall pole? Is it because the camera is on a gimbal? Is it because the shots looking ahead are "averaged" and therefore look flatter?

What do you think?

Posts

  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,148
    I was wondering if there was some sort of optical illusion going on with Google Streetview that gives slopes a more gentle appearance than they actually are "on the bike" so to speak?

    Since I am moving to a rural location later this year, I had looked around the local B-roads for the routes I would take to the local town and nearby farm shops. I had prowled likely roads in Streetview and thought to myself that they looked pretty tame. Rough, full of potholes you could lose a small sheep in, yes, but essentially nothing more than "rolling". Nothing that an unfit city slob couldn't tackle after a few weeks to get back into a bit of shape... or so I thought.

    I was there in a hire car this week checking on the progress of our new property and visited one of the farms to check their shop and found myself stunned at the hilliness of the route. I was having to engine brake down the hills since they were windy and change to a low gear to approach blind summits safely and it got me thinking... it didn't look anything like this in Streetview!

    Is it because the Google cars have the camera on that tall pole? Is it because the camera is on a gimbal? Is it because the shots looking ahead are "averaged" and therefore look flatter?

    What do you think?

    It's taken with a wide angle TBH and does yes flatten hills somewhat.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Hills are even steeper on a bike.

    I remember the tour of Britain on tv climbing the horsehoe pass. Looked flat as a pancake. A bit different when you're on your bike on it!

    Anyway hills are fun. Enjoy.
  • ben-----ben----- Posts: 573
    Surely it's because there's an absence of awareness of the angle of view? When you're there, with all your senses, you have a sense of what's flat/horizontal, therefore a sense of what deviates from that. But that horizontal awareness is missing when looking on GSV. So if you're looking uphill in GSV you're not so aware of that.
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