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Google Replaces Streetview Car with Camel to Map Abu Dhabi Desert Oasis

October 9, 2014 at 8:53 PM | by | Comments (0)

A few weeks ago Google posted a very slick interactive slideshow highlighting the new Google Maps of the pyramids in Egypt. You start at the top of the presentation here, and then you just begin scrolling down. The next slide is a regular Google Maps page that you can navigate, and then each next page is a series of clickable history lessons. You can lose hours, and we've embedded a video at the bottom to give you a sense of what's afoot.

That got us thinking though: getting to the pyramids is easy enough once you're in Egypt, but if Google is really going to start putting locations in middle of the desert on Street View, how exactly is that going to happen? Those GPS mapping machines are not small. We know how they do paved streets, and we've seen how they do rivers, and walkways inside zoos, and everything in between. But all of those are places either inherently accessible - like rivers - or designed to be that way. Deserts are more or less the opposite.

It turns out that they're going to use camels. Because of course they are.

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Google's New 'Smarty Pins' Tests Your Geography Trivia Knowledge

July 23, 2014 at 10:44 AM | by | Comments (0)

It’s the middle of the week, so why not step away from that spreadsheet and take a little break with a new game from the folks over at Google Maps. They call it Smarty Pins, and it is a little bit of geography travel with a tech twist.

Instead of you searching for locations on the map the game gives you clues based on events, places, or fictional storylines—then you just go ahead and drop a pin on the location you think fits the clue.

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20,000 Images Combine for a Google Street View Tour of the World's Largest Cruise Ship

July 15, 2014 at 12:50 PM | by | Comments (0)

Google Street View is on the move again, and this time they’re heading somewhere that lacks any roads—the water.

The camera and photo arm of the search giant just finished checking out one of the ships over at Royal Caribbean, as Allure of the Seas smiled and posed for well over 20,000 images of all its goings-on.

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So Google Put All the World Cup Stadiums on Street View...

June 12, 2014 at 5:59 PM | by | Comments (0)

We have a long-standing policy against implying or suggesting or hinting - let alone declaring - that gee-whiz Google Maps and Google Earth technology can allow people "travel without ever leaving home." That phrase needs to be driven out of the lexicon, then captured as it tries to flee, then cast into the sea in a chained iron box protected by witchcraft and pirate curses.

That said, this thing that Google did where they put a bunch of the FIFA World Cup 2014 stadiums on Street View is actually pretty cool. It's not "just like being there." It's not even the "next best things to being there." But it's still pretty cool.

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Expedia Sees a Trip to Paris as the Answer to Life's Problems

Where: Paris, France
June 10, 2014 at 3:55 PM | by | Comments (0)

A few years ago Google published an ad about finding love in Paris, which ended with a guy...well, finding love in Paris. The purpose of the spot was to highlight all of the different things you can find by using the search engine (information, flights, locations) and it was widely acknowledged as a successful bit of advertising that left everybody with a nice, pleasant feeling.

This new video that just came out from Expedia Mexico is the opposite of that. We're not saying that it doesn't work—it definitely makes us want to travel to France, as France-themed travel advertising ought to do—but it's not exactly designed to generate warm fuzzies. Crushing regret is closer to what this commercial seems to be aiming for.

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Google Glass Gets a Bunch of New Travel Apps, But Does Anyone Care?

May 15, 2014 at 5:46 PM | by | Comments (0)

About a year ago we explained why Google Glass - the augmented reality craze beloved by the kinds of people who stride through airports with Bluetooth pieces in their ears - will never become a must-have travel accessory. Without belaboring the details, there are a few places e'd like to have a head-mounted camera but aren't allowed (museums, casinos, etc) and lots of places where we're allowed but don't need one (most everywhere else).

Then a couple months ago we learned that Glass had invaded airport lounges, and that Virgin Atlantic was beaming information right into its staffers' eyes. We noted that there was kind of gee-whiz factor to the whole thing, but we still didn't see why it was necessarily better than just using Google. But now the Mountain View company has added some of the travel world's top apps to Glass, aaaaaaaaand... we still have no idea why this crap needs to shoved in our face rather than having the information live on a phone.

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Why the US Department of State is Taking Travel Tips to Google Plus

Where: Brazil
May 6, 2014 at 12:24 PM | by | Comments (0)

Wow—Google+ may actually be useful for something! Tomorrow (Wednesday, May 7) at 3:30pm EST, the US Department of State will host a Google+ Hangout on the topic of World Cup Travel to Brazil. As you're likely aware, the World Cup soccer championships begin June 12 and last an entire month, drawing millions of international fans to one country.

Brazil is the host for 2014, and already over 150,000 Americans hold tickets to the games. For most this will be a first visit to Brazil, and perhaps even South America in general, and news headlines from these destinations haven't always inspired confidence. With this in mind, the Department of State is calling upon experts to quell fears and appropriately prep travelers for the energetic adventure to come:

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Virtual Time Travel is Now Possible Thanks to Google Street View

April 30, 2014 at 8:02 AM | by | Comments (0)

Great Scott! Okay—so we might not be able to go back in time in the near future, but Google Maps is doing their best to show off the next best thing. They’ve added a nifty little feature to their mapping software, and that means your day at the office will be filled with this excellent distraction and time waster.

At this point you’re probably pretty darn familiar with Google Street View, and now it’s being taken to the next level. When you virtually walk through a neighborhood be sure to check for the availability of a little clock icon in the upper left part of the screen. Obviously Google has a whole bunch of image data from when they started doing things, and you’ll be able to take a look back in time as far as the Google archives can handle it.

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Oh Geez, Google Glass is Already Going Into Airport Lounges

February 18, 2014 at 2:02 PM | by | Comments (0)

The next time you are pre-departure wining and dining at Virgin Atlantic's Upper Class Lounge in Heathrow, keep an eye out for staff sporting Google Glass. Since we know that there's nothing fashionable as yet about Google Glass other than its rarity, Virgin Atlantic is dispatching the fresh tech for its functionality.

For the next six weeks, the airline will be providing a seamless customer service experience with the help of Glass. Lounge staff will have the ability to give passengers flight information, weather at their destination, and even translate foreign languages on the go. Of course all that can come from a simple Google Search, but Glass has the cool aspect to it. Eventually, Google Glass would even be able to inform staff of a returning guest's dining preferences or favorite drinks, providing a personalized experience.

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Is Google Giving America a Bad Rap Abroad?

November 11, 2013 at 9:43 AM | by | Comments (0)

There's no question that Google has done incredible work when it comes mapping our world. We can literally log on and take a virtual journey through the streets of places we've never physically been, which is not only a saving grace when it comes to directions and logistics, but it allows potential travelers to get some inspiration to go along with a preview of their destination. In that sense, we have to tip our cap to Google and its infamous "street view" project.

But that being said, it should come as no surprise that Google's actions, both in the U.S. and in other countries, have been highly scrutinized and criticized. Turns out, Google has been collecting much more than intersections and street signs - it's also collecting personal data via open Wifi connections, including emails, passwords, web histories, etc.

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Google Maps Goes to Gatwick Airport in Its Most Ambitious European Project Yet

November 8, 2013 at 5:40 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's been only a couple of years since Google Maps made the leap into airports, mapping the inside of - depending on what kind of a day we're having - either our favorite or absolutely least favorite places in the world. Since then the Mountain View kids have not only expanded their airport offerings, but have even gone inside actual airplanes 'waiting' on the tarmac. What's left to do?

Do more and go bigger, obviously. TechCrunch reports that Gatwick Airport has become the newest location to receive Google's 360 degree panoramic Street View treatment. The UK airport - the second busiest in the country - is now apparently open to virtual touring. It only required stitching together 2,000 overlapping photos, matching the results to the airport's actual layout, and uploading everything. Piece of cake.

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Iceland in All Its Glory is New to Google Street View

October 15, 2013 at 12:08 PM | by | Comments (0)

Yes, another post about about Google Street View adding another picturesque part of the world to its ever-increasing inventory of picturesque parts of the world. These are coming at the pace of once a month now: in August it was Peru and then last month it was Swaziland We'll stop posting them when they stop being neat. So not for a while, no.

This month it's Iceland. According to the News Of Iceland, Google spent the summer mapping out areas in and around Reykjavík, and got around to activating the service inside the country in the last few days. The creatively-named news outlet even has a map showing all the roads where you can zoom in and have a look around. Or you can just follow the instructions below, if you want to look around yourself.

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