For the "streetview" feature of Google Maps, the search engine's agents tour around city neighborhoods in a discreet van. Sometimes they catch more than just identifiable landmarks. Here, on a notorious drug trafficking corner on the South Side of Chicago, Google shows what looks very much like a transaction between a black man in long shorts and a baseball cap, and a sedan, numberplate clearly visible. And, because the map-makers take panoramic photographs as they drive around, one can see the exchange from at least half a dozen angles, as the van approaches, and then looks back. Amazing. This scene has been floating around the web the last few days, but we've pulled together nine shots from different angles, or close-ups, from Google's map site. Enlarged versions are after the jump. (Incidentally, movie-makers have developed thrillers around clues buried in soundtracks (Blow Out) or videotape (Black Rain, for example). I'm waiting for the first mystery in which the clues are sprinkled across Google Maps, Flickr and all the other web sites on which we inadvertently appear.)

Try it yourself: here's an interactive map.Click to view
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