The world’s favourite search engine has launched its Street View gizmo in the UK to a mixture of rapturous applause from many and “Google’s done what?” from lots of others. There are now live street scenes from 25 UK cities loaded onto Google’s maps giving you a bird’s eye view – or should that be burglar’s eye view? – of the street where you live (as long as you live in one of the 25 cities, obviously). So far Google has not see fit to include Lichfield in this brave new world of mapping. This is no great surprise so there is no need for the “Google snubs historic city” headlines just yet. The company is planning to roll Street View out to other major towns and cities in the coming months, so I’m sure Lichfield is somewhere on the to-do list. But today’s launch did get me thinking about how this technology provides a warts and all snapshot to the rest of the world. Linking to Sammy J’s post earlier this week about preserving Lichfield’s identity, I can’t help wondering if the city would be better off putting up the barricades when the Google car comes driving through. Or, better still, can we ask them to invent a Street View that goes back in time? We could then capture Lichfield in all its pomp and glory back in the good old days before terms like “urban regeneration” and “flagship retail development” became popular. All we need to do is decide which year represents Lichfield’s golden era. Oh, and get Google to invest their billions of profits on a time machine.