Mountain View, California’s Shoreline Park has a strange, post-industrial feel to it, and not just because it was built on San Francisco’s garbage. Situated next to the man-made salt flats of the South Bay, it boasts not only a large concert venue, Shoreline Amphitheatre, but a golf course, a restaurant, and what appears to be a cement factory. Not to mention decaying rail bridges and canals, and a lot of wildlife.
The whole area is about to get even more dissonant. Google and NASA have inked a deal where Google will build a new Googleplex-style offic complex on 42.2 acres of unimproved land belonging to NASA. It is the latest in a string of technology and business deals between the company and the government agency, including flight access at NASA’s Moffitt Field for Google’s executives’ planes, and Google software that helps scientists to easily publish planetary and world-map data on the web.
The deal is symbolic of Silicon Valley’s historical mix of public and private organizations working together — physically. In the map above, the area slated for development is in purple. Already, the multi-hued Googleplex sits not far away on the landward western side while NASA facilities and the huge aerodromes of Moffett Field loom to the south. Some of Google’s many offices in the area sit diagonal to this new space, near the middle of the map. And, the new facilities won’t just be for Google, but for NASA employees, according to the announcement.
Shoreline, although it seems to be dominated by Google employees taking jogging or biking breaks from work, is a public park. I go there sometimes to run off the stress of blogging — not to spy on Google, I swear. But now I’ll have to bring a camera with me, so I can try to land exclusive photos of a spaceship with the Google logo on it.