Artist Paolo Rivera recounts an amusing story of how he found himself on Google’s Street Viewstanding in front of Jim Hanley’s Universe. He adds some interesting tips on how he uses the service as an art reference:

Environment and architecture reference are the two most obvious benefits of Street View, but it’s also a great source for candid shots of people and vehicles, especially in a traffic-heavy city like New York. As you can probably see, Google makes every effort to blur out faces using an automated program, but there’s still enough information there to inspire personal clothing styles and body types.

While the panoramas are fairly up-to-date, I hope that Google will someday archive subsequent “passes” into a searchable database, allowing us to not only explore cities in space, but time as well. I can’t wait to look back (wearing shiny spandex, I’m sure) at how silly my clothing choices were in the first decade of the 21st century. I know they’ve already updated New York at least once because the current crop of photos is at a much higher resolution than the previous (making my job even easier).