Google Maps Satellite View was once nearly called ‘Bird Mode’

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When big MNCs introduce something, it turns into a standard. For example, Google Maps calling its prominent feature as Satellite View, which might have been even crazier if one of the representatives had not secretly coded it this way.

Google Maps co-creator Bret Taylor took to his official Twitter handle to expose the ‘silly Google Maps origin story’. The Twitter thread consists of the back story of the mapping service’s famous Satellite View feature.

Back in 2005 when the Google Maps squad was deliberating on the name for what we today recognize as the Satellite View, super bosses Sergey Brin and Larry Page planned to hold an executive review when specific decisions were made within the span of a huge countdown clock.

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Under the buzzer’s pressure, everyone was throwing names including ‘satellite’ and  ‘aerial’. Just when Brin proposed ‘Bird Mode’, the buzzer buzzed. The outcome had been made, no questions asked. The meeting was over.

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Now, it was in the controls of the coders, including Taylor, who could have kept humanity with a little lie. So they chose to do an internal veto and launched the feature as ‘Satellite View’, even if it meant an absolutely incorrect name as a substantial amount of images illustrated in this mode are actually taken through aerial photography.