Sergey Brin wanted to name the view "Satellite" in Google Maps "Bird Mode"



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Over the weekend, Google Maps co-creator Bret Taylor shared a fun story about the product's early days. the Twitter feed tells how Sergey Brin wanted to name what today is called the "Satellite", "Bird Mode" cartographic view.

What easily became the hallmark of the first version of Google Maps – the ability to see real images from anywhere in the world – was not available at launch. It was instead introduced later in 2005 and one of the (lighter) issues to resolve before publication focused on its name.

"Satellite" was the name preferred by many, with the exception of product engineers. For them, "aerial photography" was a more accurate description, since most of the images of the view were captured by aircraft flying at an altitude between 800 and 1,500 feet above ground. Unfortunately, it was too long to hold on a button and most end users understood "Satellite".

As a result, the Maps team took part in the pre-launch product review meeting – with leaders such as Larry Page and Sergey Brin – with an unnamed feature. Given the hatred of the co-founders for traditional meetings, the couple often concocts various experiences.

This particular meeting of Cards had a countdown where all decisions were final once they reached zero. Among the names discussed were "Airplane View", "Superman" and "I feel imagined". At the last second before the sound of the ring, Brin launched "Bird Fashion". correct, but not particularly catchy.

Although this was to be the definitive name of the feature, even the engineers who liked "Aerial Photography" admitted that "Bird Mode" was "stupid and horrible" and could be detrimental to "great" functionality. At the end of the day, the Google Maps team opted for "Satellite" after a "pocket veto" and the co-founder never understood it.

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