There are illustrators who can do creative map drawing of an area from a favorable vantage point. Usually, a scene is captured as it looks from above. Back in 2005, when the Google team were brainstorming on the name of a feature, everyone was suggesting names like aerial or satellite views because a significant amount of images that are shown on Google Map’s Satellite View are captured using aerial photography.
When big and popular companies introduce something to the market, it becomes a standard. For example, Google Maps has called its popular feature as Satellite View, which would be considered silly if one of the employees has not actually coded it secretly in this way. Bret Taylor, co-creator of Google Map revealed the story of the map’s origin through Twitter.
Based on the Twitter thread, there was a back story to Google Maps’ Satellite View. Super bosses Larry Page and Sergey Brin held an executive review so that certain decisions can be made within the duration of the countdown clock. Because everyone was under pressure, they suggested different names from aerial to satellite including Bird Mode which was suggested by Brin when the buzzer buzzed. The meeting was over and a decision has been made.
Everything was left in the hands of the coders including Taylor who had the opportunity to save humanity with a little lie. An internal veto was decided and the Satellite View feature was launched. In fact, it was not the correct name although a significant amount of the images were captured using aerial photography. Many are comfortable with the name Satellite View but Bird Mode would have been cool.
Bret Taylor left Google in 2007 but the reason was not the name Satellite View. He joined venture capital firm Benchmark Capital and created FriendFeed together with Jim Norris.
A lot of creativity and hard work is invested by illustrators to create map drawing of a certain area. In the past, illustrators have to climb trees or mountains in the vicinity to gain an artistic perspective of a scene. Today, the illustrators do not have to climb to higher places to provide depth to their unique map illustrations.