Monkey business

Since launching in 2007, Google Street View cars have covered millions of miles of road in dozens of countries. Like an all-seeing eye, the nine-lens Street View camera system seems omniscient, spying everything from deceased relatives to the Large Hadron Collider. Montreal artist Jon Rafman spends hours trolling the petabytes of data gathered by Street View cameras to find interesting, odd, and sometimes puzzling snapshots as part of his series The Nine Eyes of Google Street View. Here's a sample of his selections.

The Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano Prefecture, Japan, is a 20-minute walk from the nearest road, but Google Street View visited the site for its famous Japanese macaques. The monkeys bathe in the outdoor hot springs and tolerate visitors getting up close. The snow monkeys, as they're known, are the northernmost non-human primate group in the world.

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Photo by: courtesy Jon Rafman and Zach Feuer Gallery / Caption by:

Masked men

This snapshot from Nacozari De Garcia in northern Mexico is not something you'd probably want to see while driving anywhere.
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Photo by: courtesy Jon Rafman and Zach Feuer Gallery / Caption by:

Whoa there

A horse isn't too eager to give way on this country road in the Outer Hebrides off Scotland.
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Photo by: courtesy Jon Rafman and Zach Feuer Gallery / Caption by:

Shopping?

Children carry speakers past an old building in this Street View image from Kosice, the largest city in eastern Slovakia.
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Photo by: courtesy Jon Rafman and Zach Feuer Gallery / Caption by:

Sea to sky

The sky is the same color as the sea at Ewa Beach on Oahu, Hawaii, and people seem to float in midair.
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Photo by: courtesy Jon Rafman and Zach Feuer Gallery / Caption by:

Awa street dance

Japanese celebrate the summer Awa Odori street dance in Ryogoku Honcho, Tokushima City. Part of the Obon festival of the dead, Awa Odori is the largest dance event of its kind in Japan, attracting over 1 million tourists to the island of Shikoku. Similar dance-parades are held in Tokyo and other cities.
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Photo by: courtesy Jon Rafman and Zach Feuer Gallery / Caption by:

Where there's smoke

Alarmed by smoke, people dash out of a house in this chance snapshot. The sign on the left indicates a realtor based in southern Ontario, Canada.
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Photo by: courtesy Jon Rafman and Zach Feuer Gallery / Caption by:

Paved with good intentions

It's the end of the road at this sign, with a vast desert stretching beyond it.
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Photo by: courtesy Jon Rafman and Zach Feuer Gallery / Caption by:

Thumbs down

The Google Street View produces a variety of reactions, but it doesn't seem so popular judging by the people in this image from Rennes in Brittany, France.
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Photo by: courtesy Jon Rafman and Zach Feuer Gallery / Caption by:

ATV riders

ATV riders show off along Monzenmachi-dori street in Nagoya, Japan. Known for its Buddhist altar shops, the street leads to Osu Kannon temple, which was originally built in the 17th century.
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Photo by: courtesy Jon Rafman and Zach Feuer Gallery / Caption by:

Colorado tiger

Why was there a tiger on the loose at 3081 Valmont Road in Boulder, Colorado? Well, there wasn't, really. Apparently the beast was fiberglass prop to attract potential shoppers. It's no longer in the current Street View image of the location.
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Photo by: courtesy Jon Rafman and Zach Feuer Gallery / Caption by:

Northern lights

The sky glows green with electrical activity above this snowy road in Finnmark, northeastern Norway.
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Photo by: courtesy Jon Rafman and Zach Feuer Gallery / Caption by:

Take five

It's break time for this worker dressed up like Ultraman at Fuji-Q Highland, an amusement park at the foothills of Mout Fuji in Japan's Yamanashi Prefecture, southwest of Tokyo.
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Photo by: courtesy Jon Rafman and Zach Feuer Gallery / Caption by:

Rue des Poissoniers

No one seems to notice this white-clad person on the Rue des Poissoniers in Paris. Part of the 18th arrondissement neighborhood, the street has been known for its outdoor Muslim prayers.
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Photo by: courtesy Jon Rafman and Zach Feuer Gallery / Caption by:

Gucci baby

A baby is all alone in this shopping area in Taipei, Taiwan.

While Google Street View cameras capture all without comment, "The human gaze sees meaning, sees poetry in the images, sees beauty, and is forced to take a moral stance when they see a person dying on the side of the road or a prostitute working on the streets in the outskirts of Madrid," says artist Jon Rafman.

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Photo by: courtesy Jon Rafman and Zach Feuer Gallery / Caption by:
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