Using Google Street View to explore your hometown like we did when we were kids

I grew up on the far west side of Oahu in a town called Makakilo, a place even some of my high school friends didn’t know about. And while I spent some time in San Francisco, most of my childhood was isolated here, from preschool in the former Barber’s Point Naval Air Station to attending high school downtown.

Remember the days without computers? Remember when your evenings weren’t spent refreshing Facebook or Twitter (or even Myspace)? As kids, we would spend our ample free time exploring our hometown, discovering new swing sets hidden in residential complexes or finding grand panoramas of Honolulu from our mountaintop perspective.

With Google Street View (somehow now available for my hometown), I’m able to explore Makakilo like I did when I was a kid. Perhaps, even more so. There are areas I had never bothered visiting. And through technology, I’m able to explore my hometown even further, all while refreshing my Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Here are some Google Street View shots of Makakilo and Kapolei:

Mauka Lani Elementary School, a public school I attended for several years.

Makakilo Community Park, where I failed constantly at monkey bars.

The local theatre in Kapolei, where I stood in line for hours for Star Wars: Episode I (sob).

Uahanai Street, where I went down two hills (on a mountain) on a skateboard and fell on my face, requiring a trip to the ER and an emergency root canal.

The end of Makakilo Drive, where you can get the best view of Honolulu from Kapolei to Diamond Head and everything in between.