Exploring roads on google I’ve never actually been down.

The oddest thing just happened, although I’m not talking about what is going on in parliament. Long-term readers – if I have any – may remember me mentioning going up Giantswood lane in my powerchair when I lived with my parents in Congleton. It’s an old country lane backed onto by the housing estate where I grew up: I used to take my chair down it, trundling along it for hours trying to get to the Swettenham Arms. I haven’t been that way in well over a decade.

However, since I moved to London, a new bypass has been built around the north of my old home town. Not having been up there in two or three years (at least), I haven’t seen anything of it, and only know what my parents told me about it. Being quite a fan of Google streetview though, a few minutes ago I thought I’d see whether they had driven their famous camera-car along the new road: they hadn’t the last time I checked, but it was worth another look.

I think what I found was kind of uncanny, but worth noting. The new bypass is marked on the map, and came up blue when I selected streetview; so Google had obviously ‘done’ the new road. But when I selected the view from Giantswood Lane, it showed the lane as I remember it, with green, unspoiled fields on either side. It was only when I selected the view from the new road that I finally saw the bypass, with Giantswood Lane now running over it via a brand new bridge. Obviously Google have yet to send their car along the old road since it changed, so you can only see how it looked twelve years ago. It strikes me as strange to now be able to glimpse the same spot of land, divided by a decade and radically changed. It’s also strange to now explore roads on Google which I’ve never actually been down, yet which run under lanes I once knew quite well.

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