The Google Maps "satellite" view was almost called "bird mode"

On Twitter, Bret Taylor recalls a meeting at Google which almost resulted in satellite maps being termed "Bird mode." [via Jason Kottke]

There was a geeky holy war on the Maps team. When Lars checked in the code to switch between maps and imagery, he called it "Satellite." We were quickly informed that a significant % of the images were taken from airplanes — "Aerial Photography." Our name was factually incorrect. Being the product pragmatist I am, I thought, who cares? "Aerial Photography" doesn't fit on a button, and every person in our usability study got what "Satellite" meant. Unfortunately, to the Keyhole GIS engineers, we were basically destroying humanity with our lies.

Speaking of which, the term for engineers thinking they're experts in everything1 is apparently "engineer's syndrome."

1. And thereby the bitter knowitall hogwash they choked internet discussion with for decades until their model of the human mind was baked into emergent channels of mass communication and everything collapsed under the weight of the resulting bullshit and gave the world over to fascism and ruin.