Amazingly, we were able to cover all the places she'd lived in a one-day outing. It wouldn't be so easy for me, the wanderer of the family, to do the same. Since childhood, I've lived in Portland, London, San Francisco and Tucson. No single day outing for me!
Instead, I decided to take a virtual road trip via Google maps street view. First, I needed a list of all the places I've lived, so I pulled out my handy personal timeline and turned to the completed "house and home" page. When I originally filled out the timeline, I had researched as many of the exact addresses as I could, sometimes digging out old letters to find house numbers, so the list was already fairly complete.
I started in London, the one address where I had the street name, but not the house number. Luckily it was a pretty short lane and I found the house quickly, simply by starting at one end and moving forward down the lane by clicking the map arrows. I could look around 360-degrees to get my bearings—just like walking down the street in reality.
It turned out to be so easy, I went ahead and visited all the places I'd lived and even a few places I'd worked. I took photos of each place and and stored them in my "personal history" computer file so I can use them later to illustrate stories I plan to write. It was as easy as—actually, easier and cheaper than—standing in front of the house and clicking a picture with my camera.
Why not take your own Google-style road trip? Here's how to capture street view photos for yourself:
- Once the house shows up onscreen, maneuver around to find the best angle, then press shift-command-3 to take a screen shot. (At least this is how it's done on a Mac, use this link to see how it's done on a PC.)
- Open the screen shot file and chose File - Take Screen Shot - From Selection, then move your cursor to frame the exact photo you want.
- Name and save the file as a .JPG.