Shack at the End of the Road

On May 11, 2010 · 3 Comments

I strolled vicariously through Street View images leading to the northernmost coverage area of Canada, all the way to the town of Inuvik in the Northwest Territories. I pushed further north and further north at the tap of a trackpad until I could move no further on my laptop. I arrived right here at the end of the road:

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Several things amazed me. I considered the home. Obviously someone lived here but how could they possibly survive the long, harsh winters in these extremely northern climes in such a ramshackle structure? It looked like it might collapse within itself or simply blow away in a strong wind. It must have an inherent inner strength that isn’t readily apparent from the outside. There seems to be an oil tank and a satellite dish attached to the side to keep an occupant warm and entertain him through endless deep winter nights.

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I wondered about the remoteness and how the Google Street View cars could have ever found themselves here. That’s right, cars (plural). This seems to be a preferred method when Street View visits extremely remote locations. I suppose this must be a safety measure.

What must the occupant of the shack at the end of the road have thought when he saw two oddly configured cars outfit with towering cameras circling around his front yard in the wilderness?

I felt even more perplexed when I noticed that Street View had an embedded photograph tagged to the location. This happens frequently in their coverage maps for popular tourist destinations but rarely in those locations where few bother to travel. It linked to an image on Panoramio, and indeed it is exactly the same house. The image is titled simply, "shack at the end of the road" which I gladly appropriated for the title of my post.

I’ll take a moment to extend this to one final level of weirdness. That Panoramio post includes a comment which purports to identify the man who lives here. I stopped there — the guy deserves some privacy. He’s practically a celebrity now at least in geo-oddity circles. After all, he’s the man who lives at the northernmost extreme of Street View coverage in all of Canada, the guy who resides in the shack at the end of the road.

Thousands of viewers probably use Google Maps to take a peek at his residence every month. I wonder if he considers that confounding. Did he move there for privacy only to discover that he’s now achieved exactly the opposite, at least until the map extends to some spot even further north?

I found it amazing that this lonesome spot, this middle of nowhere plot, left behind such an extensive digital trail.

Is anyplace truly remote anymore?

On May 11, 2010 · 3 Comments

3 Responses to “Shack at the End of the Road”

  1. Will says:

    How about the oh so interesting yellow “hovercraft” parked a little to the left of the shed? Odd place indeed.

  2. Matthias says:

    This guy’s got it right. Forgetting the salt when you do your groceries might be a little annoying, but I definitely want to live some place like that. Away from the crowd and the madness.
    He even got a cool name for this place!

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