Thursday, March 19, 2009

*Where's Wally?

Here's a weird thing. When I was plugging Genius on The One Show the other day (which, incidentally was lovely, fun and might mean I end up getting a loan of a high quality exercise bike - which in turn means I might actually get to do some training before the autumn tour) I didn't just appear on the sofa, I also made a short film for the show...

The theme of the film was inventions-that-are-supposed-to-make-our-lives-easier-but-don't... things like Voice Recognition and those Automatic Checkouts you get in supermarkets these days and so on.

So the day before the appearance I spent a lovely day with a lovely crew - Anna, Claire, Andy and Quin - racing around London to various locations and filming pieces to camera. We also did some vox pops on Carnaby Street (which must be one of the most vox-popped streets in the world) where two or three people told us they hated Sat Navs.

Which then led to us have an off-camera conversation about the merits of Satellite Navigation. In which Andy said that there were soon going to be Sat Nav systems that, instead of displaying a map view, showed you an actual photo of the street you're on from a car's point of view.

This in turn reminded me of an incident from many moons ago, which I then relayed to the team. I'd been walking down Bethnal Green Road when a strange car had passed me and caught my eye. It was a small buggy car with a huge nest of cameras on top of it. Curiosity made me gawp at it... then I saw the logo on the side of the car and realised it was photographing the street from every angle as part of Google's street view project. I remember thinking, "Oh no... now when they launch street view, I'm going to be there on Bethnal Green Road forever... and I'll be staring at the car with a look of curiousity so intense that people will think I've never seen a car before."

I've never mentioned it to anyone else before because it obviously isn't a huge moment in my life - indeed I'd forgotten all about it until the idea of a 3D photographic Sat Nav brought it back to mind - but it did make ideal, idle chit chat while we we're waiting to film the next piece.

Anyway... that was on Monday. I appeared on the show on the Tuesday and then yesterday before I went to bed, I noticed a tweet from a friend on Twitter telling me that the street view service had launched. I was too tired to look it up at the time but I made a mental note to look into it and to see if I really was there this morning.

Except that this morning I was up early and off to the BBC to appear on BBC Breakfast and then on to record thirteen different radio interviews to continue the promotion for the new series. (Did I mention that Genius starts tomorrow night... or Saturday, depending on where you live?)

So it wasn't until I got home this afternoon that I was able to check. And by crikey, I'm there. I'm not looking stupidly curious because - thankfully - they blur people's faces but because I knew where I was when I saw the car it only took me a couple of minutes to find myself and in spite of the blurred image I obviously know it's me.

If you go to maps.google.co.uk and search for 462 Bethnal Green Rd, Tower Hamlets, London E2, UK and then select 'Street view' it'll show you a view of the Shakespeare pub. I'm on the other side of the road so scroll round and you'll see me leaning against the wall of the Quicksilver Gaming Centre (boy, do I live in a classy part of the world!) It's probably not obvious to anyone else that it's me. But it is you know...

Here I am...
... and here's a close up. I'm not the man in the black t-shirt... I'm the one looking towards the camera.

EDIT: Adding this link - which takes you to the photo...



*For any North American readers that would be Where's Waldo?

45 comments:

kyle said...

En Francais, it's "Ou est Charlie?" http://is.gd/o3zj

Thom said...

Here's a link for you Dave, http://tinyurl.com/db7jfp takes people straight to the image of you in street view.

I found where I was on it but I had the blinds closed.

Anonymous said...

Is that the world's most hideous pink and yellow kipper tie, or do you have some other explanation?

Anonymous said...

I'm curious as to why you and bloke in the balck t-shirt are there for two clicks along the road, but either side of that you've disappeared

Keirdre said...

Haha, you would. Although that really doesn't look like you at all.

Jo Kendall said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jo Kendall said...

I'm very freaked out by this. Only last week I was peering at the roof of our car in a smudgy satellite picture of our street, now I can see through our bedroom window?!! Who took these photos? Is Google Maps run by aliens? Or the council (picture is concurrent with Monday morning recycling)? Fascinating, but also unnerving!

dwez said...

That's not the world's most hideous pink and yellow kipper tie, it's the world's biggest candy cane! (or a space station...)

Anonymous said...

Apparently, there's an actual Where's Wally 'Wally' somewhere in the 15 UK cities currently street-mapped. I wonder if there's a prize for finding him... (or at least there is according to BBC news)

EmlynB said...

Like, burlesque dancer sites, Google Sightseeing provides hours of fun. Thanks, Mr G.

Single Track said...

Is it just me or is the man in the black t-shirt some sort of matador, trying to entice Mr Gorman to run towards him (pink n yellow kipper tie'n'all!)in a Toreador stylee?

Nope? Just me then.

Clare said...

I'm just gutted that the picture of my flat has the grotty old curtains up. Thankfully I'm moving soon, so won't have to live with that embarrasment.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure it is you? Looks quite darks skinned. Post a new photo of you in the kipper tie as proof.

Dave Gorman said...

I wasn't wearing a gaudy pink kipper tie (although, I would)... it's a plastic drawstring pump bag from some shop or other that was slung across my shoulder...

Aunty Helpful Dictator said...

yeah yeah plastic bag... right yeah we believe you. Your secret love of pink and yellow ties is out... and now recorded forever

Jon Mark Deane said...

So, basically, on the day Google were photographing Bethnal green Road you had turned into a South Asian man?

steph_angel said...

That so cool... I've always thought how great it would be to get yourself on something like this :-)

Our dog is on Google Maps, peering out of our bedroom window!!!

Dave Nattriss said...

Sorry Dave but I just don't believe that's you - you don't have brown skin!

Anonymous said...

RE Kipper Tie - It gets better - Chortle have you down as "the man in pink" on their weekly trivia file!

Keeno said...

haha that's hilarious!! i was wrackign my brains trying to remember where I'd seen one of those cars to see if i was on it.. alas... no sign of me

that really is a mother trucker of a tie though

jeeeepers!!

Derby said...

Here's the actual Wally

Shalim said...

Hi Dave.

I've seen you down Bethnal Green Road in real life, but I have to join the group of people saying that this guy doesn't look anything like you!

taitle said...

the guy in the black shirt looks like he is going to put you [if it really is you!] in his shirt and kidnap you XD

Anonymous said...

The question is: where are you in the next photo along? I can't see you anywhere! Mysterious.

Anonymous said...

hello dave

just wanna say i loved your journey across america sticking it to 'the man'! do come to the tate and check out russian constructivism. i also think you're lovely but not sure why. eek! x

al hayball said...

Sorry Dave, just seen your new 'genius' programme tonight on tv.
I'm afraid if you think people are going to believe that the people on your show are genuine members of the great british public, then you are going to have to employ much better actors, to be convincing. The guy that kept blinking like fred skuttle was less than convincing AND the prog was so obviously scripted intergrating Catherine Tate. good for you though to get a prime time spot on the bbc. You've done well since travelling the world looking for people with the same name as yours.
Keep going and best of luck to you.

Phoenix said...

Just watched the first episode of Genius and haven't laughed so much in ages! In the course of half an hour, I went from tears rolling down my face, to choking, to fits of giggles! Great to see it on TV because otherwise we'd have missed out on Catherine Tate's expression to the cabbie's idea! Looking forward to next Friday :-)

Stardog said...

Found your blog through http://googlesightseeing.com

Watched Genius earlier today too. I agree with the other guy about them seeming like actors/comedians, but I thought the democratic bus guy was hilarious. The show has a lot of potential, but it will depend on the ideas/characters I guess.

Digital.Diablo said...

I don't even think it looks like you - the dark hair and the skin colour makes 'you' look of Asian origin. My fame will come when they get more Streetviews live - I was on the way to KFC when I was scanned by the Google Mothership.

Stevyn Colgan said...

Great first episode DG. It's transferred very well to TV. But can you please have Paul Daniels on to demonstrate his spiked steering wheel? And that's magic!

The British public are genius.

Look forward to the rest!

mat d said...

That's definately an asian bloke in a pink tie, is this somesort of meta joke?

Anonymous said...

it's clearly an Asian fella. I smell a p.r. stunt

notes from the back of the envelope said...

Anonymous - if that was a P.R stunt it would have been a pretty poor one.

Dave - I believe it is you, but if you did spend your time making up this blog entry for the P.R, you need to get out more. Love Genius by the way.

Anonymous said...

Idea is not that far fetched as a p.r. thing. It's had quite a lot of attention ( chortle,BBC etc) as first 'celebrity' on street view as street view is all over the news . And dave has a book, tv show and a tour on. Call a cynic but I'm sure that is not Dave.

Emma said...

Dave looks dark skinned because his brown hair has been blurred and smudged with his pink face, the light is low and there's not a lot of contrast in the photo. You mentalists.

I still can't see that that's a bag though. It definitely looks like a clown's tie.

Anonymous said...

"http://googlesightseeing.com/maps?p=&c=&t=h&hl=en&ll=51.527249,-0.057721&z=16&layer=c&cbll=51.527354,-0.057724&cbp=12,86.578024680559,,1,17.336530056463655
Next picture, nothing. Turn right but swivel around and you can see shirt bloke tottering off down the road and "Dave" appears to be the darker skinned chap. Soz... it doesn't look like you Dave :-( *slightly disappointed*

Anonymous said...

It's not him, no way.

Phil

Dave said...

Definitely not him. Hair blurring into skin doesn't explain the difference in skin colour because the white woman below the off-licence sign in the second pic (http://tinyurl.com/dksvuc) still looks white.

What gives, Dave? The intertubes grow restless!

Anonymous said...

Hey Dave - that's not you, that's me! And stop dissing my tie, yeah?

DEATH said...

That's it. We've had enough of your lies.

DAVE GORMAN MUST DIE.

Anonymous said...

Think he's probably a bit embarrased and hoping it'll all go away.

Alex said...

I can't believe that people are accusing Dave of making this up! 'Honest Dave' we call him round here.
Why would anybody make something like this up? I think it looks a bit like him - even down to the beard. Light can play funny tricks.
Loved Genius by the way - I laughed so much I nearly woke up my partner who was asleep on the sofa next to me (that's a compliment!)
God, I sound like a sycophant - but I'm not, just an admirer.

Smiler said...

If you were really looking for wally he is here. http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&ie=UTF8&layer=c&cbll=51.463944,-0.215446&panoid=aTUlkjN4ZDh_2sWaOxjDPg&cbp=12,100.68466007276348,,1,18.20000000000002&ll=51.46386,-0.215499&spn=0,359.987447&z=16 Sorry dont know which html tag to use to make it a link.

bookmole said...

Loved Genius - only just got round to watching it on iPlayer (and why does everything electronic these days have an 'i' in front of it?) and it blew me away. Loved the set, and the way the contestants / whatever you call ems, moved out. Is that the same Gemius trophy you had for the radio show?

And I join the growing ranks of those who think it looks nothing like you. I don't think you're lying to us though, just it is a bad photo.

Streetview doesn't actually cover my street - it stops half-way up, before it gets to my house. I feel cheated!

identikit said...

@bookmole, totally with you on Google being lazy. I've lived in 3 different places in London Docklands over the past 4 years and none are visible on streetview because Google couldn't be bothered to venture a little further down the road.