Funny story: last week, I fell down a flight of stairs. I was carrying a plate of French fries and ketchup, and by the end of my little tumble I was completely covered in both. Other than ruining a great shirt with ketchup stains, I survived unharmed — that is, save for one tiny cracked rib. Now, this wouldn’t have been such a big deal, but last week was also when I saw the picture of the woman who fell on Google Maps’ Street View, which just so happens to be the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. Ever. Unfortunately, having a cracked rib makes laughing a completely miserable experience, so what should have been the best moment in my life became, well, miserable. Still, even after crying in both pain and laughter for several minutes, I maintain that embarrassing moments caught on Street View are amazingly funny. There’s only one problem — Google is running out of streets. Yes, they have photographed almost all of the big streets in the world! For the conspiracy theorists out there, this is probably terrifying for a completely different reason, but for those of us who live for funny Google Street View images, this is deeply upsetting. Luckily, Google is working as quickly as possible to make sure we are never short in our supply of Brazilian women falling on their faces or German men crawling out of car trunks (true story) — they are now expanding Google Street View to cover more remote areas of the earth. Aside from providing us with the potential for more entertainment, this new initiative has also given us something almost as great — jobs.
As it turns out, Google is hiring recent college graduates to bike around various parts of the world that aren’t automobile-accessible and take photographs for Street View. In fact, there are currently two young men biking around France, taking les photos of historical sites and presumably drinking a lot of wine and having a great time. For someone who loves biking, travel and photography, this is probably the best job you could ever imagine.
Of course, a sense of adventure isn’t the only qualification for this opportunity. You will also need to have some sort of a background in engineering or computer science in order to properly operate the fancy equipment, and experience with photography wouldn’t hurt. In addition, you need to be a good bike rider. I’m sure this isn’t a big deal for most of you, but those of us who had three bike accidents in their freshman year alone may not be best suited for this job (yes, I’m talking about myself).
As long as you can stay upright on a bicycle, this job has very few drawbacks. The biggest one — literally — is that you will ride a giant, oversized tricycle that holds a lot of heavy photography and GPS equipment. Second, given the awesomeness of the job, it’s a pretty competitive application process, although the Internet was somewhat unclear on the details of exactly how to go about applying. And last but not least, you have to wear a Google shirt the whole time (probably not the same exact one, but still).
It should also be noted that this is a short-term job. You might have the opportunity to transition into a more permanent position at Google afterwards, but it’s not a career in and of itself. In my opinion, though, this is a good thing. Very few of us know what we want to do with our lives, so why not try something fun for a little bit and then see what we want to do after that? There will never be a better time in our lives to just travel around the world taking pictures and enjoying life, and the fact that this is an actual job, however temporary, is almost too good to be true.
Basically, if I were at all qualified, I would be totally into this job. But I’m not, so I’m going to encourage all of you to consider it when making your post-graduation plans. And if you do end up taking pictures for Google Street View, please try to catch some funny or embarrassing moments on camera. It would make me so incredibly happy.
Think Amanda’s clumsiness is cute? Make her fall for you! Woo her at aach “at” stanford “dot” edu.