Drones are making it easier to share a bird’s eye view of the world around us, but we might be looking at things from the wrong perspective. Created as a tourism promotion by Hiroshima prefecture in Japan, the Cat Street View map reminds us that there are different points of views to explore, specifically those of our benevolent feline overlords.
The map centers on a shopping district in Onomichi City, which is known for its large population of friendly street cats and destinations such as Neko no Hosomichi (Cat Alley) and a museum dedicated entirely to maneki-neko, the lucky cat figurines with a beckoning paw.
Currently available only in Japanese, Cat Street View Map helpfully points out the most interesting attractions with meotags, which virtual visitors can click for biogra-fur-ical information.
More than just a marketing gimmick, Cat Street View is an example of how developments in technology have gradually helped us better understand the perspective of our cat masters. Web cams, collar cams, and action cameras like the GoPro allow cats to peacefully spread their munificent catma.
The map is also an interesting counterpoint to the rapid ascent of the drone market. Drone companies raised $172 million in the first five months of 2015, more than the previous three years combined, but Hiroshima Cat Street View is a signal to venture capitalists that instead of just focusing on bird’s eye views, they should also keep their ears close to the ground — about nine-and-a-half inches off the ground, to be precise.
Hiroshima prefecture told the Wall Street Journal that its map was created with people who had worked on Google Street View, using some of the same equipment. Hiroshima prefecture contacted TechCrunch to say that the project was put together independently of Google Street View. Hopefully this will become the first in a series, with additional features including a guide to the nicest potted plants in town for fancy pooping time; the warehouses of upscale boutiques with the best cardboard boxes; and residences of celebrity cats with the most intriguing-smelling butts.