I played with TerraServer when it came out a while ago, and remember finding my neighborhood in LA pretty easily. After seeing Ev locate his childhood home, I tried to do the same. About three minutes later, I found the street I grew up on. Crazy.
I can’t believe I found it that quickly, I’d never seen the city from above, but navigating by landmarks is a lot easier than I thought. First I found Cal State Fullerton on the 16 mile out photo, and from there I could see the nearby park I grew up next to, with its lake in the middle. Next to the park was my junior high school, complete with the track I used to finish dead last on in the mile event (I was a distance runner, not a sprinter). On the other side of the park is the golf course my dad used to occasionally work at on the weekends. Across the street was the quirky condo complex that had far too much green space, and in it was the street I grew up on, right near where the community tennis courts were. 2320 Teton Circle, oh how I miss thee.
I doubt the creators of TerraServer ever thought a bunch of old photographs on a server could trigger waves of memories from users, but it certainly does. I’ll also agree with Ev that it’s kind of wacky to know my pre-web, childhood memories are on a webserver somewhere.