An Amazing Amount Of Montana Can’t Be Seen On Google Street View
There's far more to this Street View situation than the logical statement of "well, there are tons of places in Montana that don't have streets". You know, huge chunks of wilderness and stuff. That certainly contributes to the lack of street view mapping, but it's not the whole story.
Other than a state like Nevada, Montana may have the least amount of Google Street Mapping in all of America. (I couldn't find that to be fact, but a simple glance of the country gives you that vibe.) Even North Dakota has it's famous grid-like roads that seem to cover far more of the state than Montana. Wide open spaces are one thing, but if there's a decent road available, the Google Street View car will likely venture in to take pictures.
Much of Montana DID get a significant Google Street View update in 2021 and 2022, at least for "major" streets and highways. Not every subdivision side street got a new yearbook picture, so don't be too disappointed if your house still appears as it did eight years ago.
What's interesting is that it appears that Google sort of 'gives up' on rural places...as if they've had enough and just want to move on. Take for instance almost any small, northern Montana town - you can Street View some of it, but often times they didn't bother to snap images of the Main Street. Why not? You're already there!?!?
What's very curious (and somewhat frustrating), is that it's difficult to get a decent picture on street view of the roads surrounding Fort Peck Lake - the fifth largest man-made lake/reservoir in the country. But you can almost creep right into the front yards of people who live in subdivisions along Canyon Ferry. It's not as if there aren't decent roads surrounding Fort Peck Lake - the images just aren't very good and you can barely see the reservoir.
No joke, you quite literally can see the street view from someone's driveway overlooking Canyon Ferry...complete with their lawn volleyball posts. Lovely view, but it's totally out of the way. A street? Yes. And a street that they've deemed good enough to image map.
What about the small towns that they DID drive through but barely bothered to image, such as Harlem, Montana? How weird is this - you're all the way north to the little town of Harlem, population 765, and you ONLY image around it? They didn't even bother to continue down 396. Why?
It's likely due to the large amount of American Indian reservations and Indigenous communities. You'll find various stages of tribal lands being "mapped" then "not being mapped", then just the boundaries being visible via Google Maps. Back in 2011, Obsidian Wings noted that "Google wipes its maps clean of Indian Reservations". (That was remedied, but you won't find much street mapping.)
NOTE: "Harlem is located just north of the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation between Havre and Malta. Fort Belknap Indian Reservation is home to the Gros Ventre and Assiniboine tribes."
Then of course, there are "end of the road" locations, such as when you're about to enter the Flathead National Forest. Below, you'll see the last image that they took a street view image before reaching Teton Pass Ski Resort just west of Choteau, Montana.
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