Man Finds Photo of Father on Google Street View Who Died 7 Years Ago, Heartbreaking Tweet Goes Viral
The tweet has gone viral on the microblogging platform, garnering more than 6.9 lakh likes. (Photo: Twitter)
Google Earth is a great way to learn more about our cities from a street-eye view. People often spend hours revisiting cities from their past, places they’ve been or want to go, and simply using the marvellous technology to travel from the comforts of their home. But for one man in Japan, his leisurely scrolling through Google Earth opened up a portal to the past and flooded him with emotions.
Twitter user @TeacherUFO was surprised and shocked to see his father on images from Google Earth. While this may not be a big deal for many, for him it was a whirlwind of emotions as he was seeing his father after seven years as he has passed away.
He shared the picture on Twitter and explained the whole situation. He was simply using Google Earth out of boredom, as many have been during the pandemic. He decided to revisit his parents’ home.
“I have nothing to do in Corona, so when I went to see my parents' house on Google Earth, I saw my father who died 7 years ago,” he wrote in Japanese. There is a thread of images in which he shows his father as captured by the Google Earth cameras. He says his father must have been waiting for his mother just outside the house. He can be seen standing by the side of the road. He goes on to say how his father was a quiet man but very kind. At the end of the caption, he requested Google to not update these images for this location on their algorithm so that his father could always be there on the digital space, if not with him in real life.
The emotional post has over 691,000 likes and over 100,000 retweets.
コロナでやる事ないからGoogleEarthで実家見に行ったら7年前に死んだ親父が写ってた。その先に人が居たから見に行ったら母ちゃんだった。一服しながら奥さんの帰りを待ってたんだな。無口だけど優しい親父だった。このままこの場所の写真更新しないで欲しいな。 pic.twitter.com/PXxBICAxmz— タムチンキ (@TeacherUfo) January 4, 2021
Replies poured in for sympathy and well-wishes to the man.
Someone replied to his post that he should not worry about the software being updated. “Even if it is updated, you can see the past images. On a PC, next to the word Street View in the upper left, You can select past images by clicking the clock mark.”
Another user responded how he was able to see his dog who had passed away thanks to Google Earth.
私も一昨年老衰で亡くなってしまった犬が家で写りこんでいて見る度にまた会えたみたいで嬉しくなります。この写真のまま変わらなければいいなぁ pic.twitter.com/S53hOQTNW7— ぽこた (@shiumeko) January 5, 2021
This isn’t the first time the app has helped people revisit the past. A 19-year-old girl Luisa Hoenle was revisiting her grandparents’ home on Google street view. There she spotted her grandfather, who had passed away in 2016 due to cancer, watering his plants and looking happy.
In fact, when she shared her story on Reddit on r/lastimages, she discovered that many people have used the service to spot their dead loved ones. Like a man in Oregon who spotted his dead grandmother sitting on the porch, reading the paper.
Google street view cameras are flown by drones or driven in cars while aerial images are taken with satellites and aircraft. The captured images from the street and consolidated onto the software. These people must have been around at the exact time the camera was around them.