Today is a day for reflection. Twelve years ago, the world changed in an instant when a cabal of terrorists murdered thousands of Americans, and destroyed the World Trade Center towers. In the decade since that fateful Tuesday, we’ve seen both the good and the bad sides of what humans are capable of accomplishing – two devastating wars and an invasive surveillance state, on one hand; on the other, a blossoming of technical innovations. Smartphones, tablets, apps, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other parts of a flourishing Web with features that would make the 2001 us drop our jaws.
Among these Web innovations is Google Street View, which remains an impressive endeavor six years after its launch – a reminder that the 21st century is still amazing, in spite of all the other insanity that’s going on around us. Which is why it seems appropriate to take a minute and use Street View to explore the 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero from wherever in the world you are.
Google added the 9/11 Memorial to Street View back in May. Thanks to the company’s nifty backpack panoramic camera system, you can check out both the North and South pools of the Memorial, where you can browse the names of the victims who died in the September 11 attacks on New York City.
And if you look up, you can see the new 1 World Trade Center (which is now nearing completion – the Street View images are outdated at this point), which for this New Yorker stands as a symbol of where we’ve been and where we’re headed.
Image courtesy Google Street View