Pranksters (?) hood a Google Street View cam with a plastic bag

David sez, "Someone put a plastic bag over the camera cluster on one of Google's Street View cars, and the resulting imagery seems to have made it right through to Google Maps."

Of course, maybe the bag just blew over the cameras.

We can be quite sure this is a plastic bag too, because it actually says “plastic bag” on it. Unfortunately we’re not familiar enough with Alaskan plastic bags to tell you exactly what shop it’s from.

The saboteurs must have been extremely quick on their feet of course, as the bag appeared without any warning while the car was travelling at speed along College Road.

Link (Thanks, David!)


  1. Don’t tell me this is another form of advertising now!! (had the logo been clear)

  2. In the North Dallas area (on the StreetView of northbound Midway Rd [north of Trinity Mills Rd]), the mapping of Midway takes a detour and drives around the local McDonalds restaurant.

    Obviously in the rush to map the areas, no one is doublechecking the quality.

  3. Ummm….the bag could have blown onto the camera without any help from pranksters.

  4. haha… I didn’t know they streetview mapped anywhere in Alaska yet. I wonder if this means they might get around to finally getting the roads to match up to the satellite photos around my home town.

    I’ll have to pester my friends that go to UAF… see if they know anything about it. I really wouldn’t put it past those college kids, there’s not a whole lot to do up in F-banks. Plus, it looks a little to securely placed around the camera too.

    After looking at it, it doesn’t really just “magically” appear while the car was going along at full speed. It first appears on 4th which is some side road behind a strip mall sort of complex. I bet some kids slipped it on while the driver stopped to get some food, but it also makes me wonder what sort of shady things are going on out side of that mall.

  5. @ #5 and #8 – To quote the 4th line at the top of the intro: “Of course, maybe the bag just blew over the cameras”.

  6. Probably blew on top of the car by the wind.

    You’d notice if somebody ran up to your car and put something on top of it. For one, Fairbanks isn’t exactly brimming with people, and the speed limits on College Road are pretty high.

    Of course, I’m more interested as to why on earth Google were even in Fairbanks to begin with. Some of the locations they photographed there were downright bizarre (read: extremely isolated).

    Sounds to me like the street-view photo car got hopelessly lost, and took a 3,000 mile detour!

  7. the artist here is clearly commenting on the state of our post-industrial world. google, the apparently benevolent yet omnipresent herald of our future, may come to the relatively pristine and wild state of alaska. but with google comes malevolent and omnipresent products of that society–plastic bags, a symbol of our own hubris–which will choke our wily inventions and destroy us with mindless simplicity.

    how was that? did anyone buy that?

  8. Here’s a good way to pull this off. It takes two people. Alice is walking along the street and flags down the google camera car and asks for directions. She also strikes up a conversation with the driver about the google street view gig. (You know, what’s it like, do you just drive around? Is the pay good? &c.)

    Meanwhile, Bob sneaks up on the car and secures the hood to the cameras.

  9. I think the bag was accidently left on the camera by the driver of the car. I know someone who drives a streetviewer (lucky guy) and I’ve seen him put bags like this on to protect the camera from rain. Just forgot to take it off.

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