So. Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ll know that Google StreetView has now indexed Australia. At first I thought it was only the cities – I idly looked up my place (feeling vaguely uncomfortable), and some places I lived growing up, and had a peek at the Perth CBD.
Then I realised they’ve also photographed a fair whack of the countryside, too. And not just the easy parts. They didn’t stint on crossing the Nullarbor:
And quite a bit of the North is in there, though up in some areas of Queensland they had trouble keeping the red dirt off the lens.
As a kid fascinated by maps, I would spend time absorbed in the street directory. (This lay in constant tension with my tendency to carsickness.)
I was always drawn to the LIMIT OF MAPS. I would trace the edge of the LIMIT OF MAPS around, wondering what lay beyond, and why it wasn’t worth mapping, while this page was.
Google Streetview has suddenly taken this preoccupation to a whole new level.
Some of the end-of-line areas I found were logical terminators – car parks, bluffs. Other places, however, they seem to have stopped because they were driving deep into the sunset of nowhere, or because the road was getting muddily or sandily impassable, or perhaps because they were going close to Aboriginal land without a permit, or just … because.
Here’s a whip-through of some LIMIT OF MAPS spots that caught my eye around the country. (Links are not exact, but are a clue to the general area.) I’m kinda expecting myself to be the only person interested, but you never know – the internet is a very big place, and obscure kindred spirits arise unexpectedly.
Cascade, north of Coomalbidgup, out of Esperance
North of Neridup
Fitzgerald River National Park
East of Grass Patch
Out of Leinster
East of Wiluna
Out of Gascoyne Junction
Mullewa Carnarvon Road
Out of Marble Bar
Out of Exmouth
Mof Rd, Burrup Peninsula (anyone know what this “port security area” is?)
North of Broome
East of Derby
Out of Wyndham – I can see why the Googlemobile didn’t continue!
North of Kununurra – things are looking muddy.
Road to Papunya
Road to Yulara
Watarrka National Park
Out of Cooktown, Far North Queensland
Back O’ Bourke
Tasman National Park
And – Cape Bruny, near the southernmost tip of Tasmania.