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Google / Google Maps / Google Street View / Street View / Peru / Peru Travel / → All Tags
Another day, another advance for Google Maps. We wrapped up last week by telling you about how Street View had added another round of global zoos to their picture galleries, providing prospective travelers with the ability to scope out destinations filled with cute things without setting foot outside a living room.
The specific locationszoos, museums, shops, the inside of airplanesare so shiny that sometimes people forget just have impressive regular old Google Street View has become. News came out last week that the company had added Peru to the list of nations where computer users can digitally swoop in and take a look around. This brings the number of countries where Street View is available to fifty-one.
Google Street View / Street View / Google / Google Maps / Cute Travel / Zoo Travel / China / China Travel / → All Tags
The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding has been around for a quarter of a century, cares for roughly 30% of the world's panda bears, has facilitated some 125 panda births, and is in China. That last bit has posed a problem for casual and even regular travelers, because it turns out that planning and executing a trip to China is a bit of a thing.
Logically, then, Google just announced that it's adding the grounds to its ever-expanding list of zoos that are on Street View. Also on the list is our beloved San Diego Zoo, as well as a dozen other zoos across the world. There's actually a full list of zoos that have been added over at the Google Maps blog post about the Chengdu addition.
Florida Travel / Travel Technology / Google / Google Earth / Beach Travel / Google Maps / → All Tags
From the Grand Canyon to abandoned spots over in Japan, the Google Maps team has certainly been busy lately. At this rate the folks at Google are going to have the whole darn world mapped out with their Street View technology by the end of the year.
This week it’s Florida getting the special treatment, as once again the team is on the move to get a closer look at the area. Using Google’s Street View Trekker technology, a group from the state’s tourism board will start capturing a view of over 800 miles of shoreline and beaches.
If the vacation funds are running a little low this summer there’s always the option to just sit back and let Google show you a good time. We’re talking about their Street View capabilities, as it looks like the walkthrough options are coming to a few new spots.
Up first is Hawaii, as the fancy technology is making its way to the 50th state to capture and grab a first person look of all the islands have to offer. The Big Island will be the first of the chain to get the Street View treatment, as Google will be handing off some of their gadgets and technology to a local company to capture this and that from different trails and treks across the island. Expect a look at rainforests, some beaches, and maybe even a volcano, but we’re pretty sure that the umbrella drinks won’t be included in this view—too bad.
Google Maps / Europe Travel / Cycling / Bike Travel / Hamburg Travel / Liechtenstein Travel / → All Tags
Good news for all of you with tickets for summer travel to Europe. Google Maps has recently added the ability to get turn-by-turn directions for bicycling routes in six new countries: Ireland, France, Germany, Poland, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein.
As usual, the way to access the maps is by plotting your route and then selecting the little bicycle logo as your means of transport, versus directions for driving, public transport or walking. Cities in the USA first received the ability to display Google Maps bicycle directions way back in spring 2010, so it's about time some of the world's cycling capitals were able to join the fun.
Google Maps / Travel Tech / Google / Bad Ideas / → All Tags
Forbes has a nice little post about the new version of Google Maps that's getting rolled out. Apparently it has all kinds of neat features. There is a new interface that pops up information cards whenever you search for an address. On the card are options to save the location, get directions, see the Street View, and so on. There are options for comparing trip versionsshould you hop on a bus or driveand a smoother, more detailed map. Slick.
And then at the very bottom of the post there's a mention about how the new Google Maps version has new algorithms for directing users to restaurants and other facilities. Google will compile everything it knows about youyour clicks and preferences, and you social networks, and what you mention over emailto shape the personalize the information it shows you just like it does with search results.
Theoretically users will get to see more of what they prefer, and less of what they don't. Concludes Forbes: "very cool."
Tragedies / Terrorism / Boston Travel / BOS / Travel News / Google Maps / → All Tags
This afternoon, as the 26.2-mile Boston Marathon was under way with approximately 27,000 runners, two explosive devices detonated in the vicinity of the Finish Line, near the downtown Boston intersection of Boylston and Essex Streets. Initial reports state that the bombs were in trash cans within a block of each other (we've pinpointed the locations on a map below) and the explosions caused storefronts to explode as well as serious injuries for bystanders.
· 10pm: American Airlines is also offering a change waiver for flights to/from Boston. The Wall Street Journal tweets: "Officials found what they believe are 5 additional, undetonated explosive devices in Boston area."
· 8pm: One of the two confirmed dead is an 8-year-old boy.
· 7:15pm: The London Marathon is scheduled for this upcoming Sunday. Organizers are working with US authorities to review security and the potential for a copy-cat crime. The London Marathon is expected to have 37,000 runners. [Source: NBC News]
Japan Travel / Travel Technology / Google / Google Earth / Google Maps / Disaster Travel / → All Tags
You guys know that we have this weird love-hate relationship with Google Earth and Google Maps, which have basically become de facto travel technology because of all the insane places that Google has photographed. For a small taste of our ambivalence, see here and here for discussions regarding the phrase "now you can travel without ever leaving the comfort of your home." Has a douchier thing ever been said, anywhere? Travel shouldand in a very precise sense, just isabout leaving your home.
That said, there are a couple of places we don't see ourselves traveling to. If Google wants to photograph those and dump them into Earth or Maps, we'll happily indulge ourselves for a few hours (read: days). Cue this news that Google Street View has just added shots of Namie, a city that used to house 21,000 residents but is right in the center of the Japanese nuclear zone created by the earthquake plus tsunami two years ago that destroyed the Fukushima plant.
Google Maps / Travel Technology / Winter Travel / Active Travel / Android / iOS / Skiing / Ski Travel / → All Tags
In case you missed it we’re in the middle of the winter, and pretty much everyone has been hit with the snow—especially those in the northeast. It’s definitely time to take a break from the shoveling and plowing, and make your way onto the slopes. Skiing down the mountain is way better than playing with the snow in your driveway, and now Google is even here to help you find your way.
Adding to their mapping empire, Google just recently revealed that they’ve got the scoop on a whole bunch of ski resorts. Their latest addition boosts their offerings by another 38, as they add to their collection of ski resorts and mountains across the United States and Canada. Different lines indicate lifts, trails, difficulty, and even the path to the best hot toddy by the fire. Okay—maybe not that last part, but we wouldn’t be surprised if that was buried in there somewhere.
We've long been worried about how the futuristic technology being built into Google Maps and Google Earth was pushing people to unironically say douchey things like 'now you can travel without leaving your house!' The problem isn't just that people are saying those things, though that's a problem too. It's that when you look at the direction technology is heading, those people might not be totally wrong.
Just to be clear, as travel junkies who like travel junkiism, we're not totally comfortable with the situation. But of course, we don't get a vote.
Travel Tech / Apple / Maps / Google Maps / Apple Maps / iPhone / iPad / Technology / Videos / → All Tags
Another day, another slew of inaccuracies discovered in iOS 6 Maps. The app, which comes new with the software update on iPads and iPhones but deletes Google Maps, is so crazy bad that it's become the butt of late night comedian monologue jokes, even spawning a particularly hilarious mocking Tumblr.
And it's not just getting driving directions wrong or putting a park where there's actually a parking lot. iOS 6 Maps has managed to make the world appear to be melting in 3D view, reverted some cities to their occupied names from World War II and, well...they're just generally confused about Australia (examples here & here).
Last week, social photo-sharing network Instagram released Version 3 of their crazy popular app, rife with new features and improved functionality. One such addition is the "Photo Map," which automates populates a Google Map with the images you have taken and geo-tagged. This means that, last week, your Instagram newsfeed liked look like a listing of who's adding how many photo to where on their map.
Instantly the traveler bragging and jealousy began. "Who in my network has the most diverse Photo Map?" "Who has the least?" Poor newcomers to Instagram probably felt more than a little miffed to view their maps, sans all the fun locations they'd hit earlier in the year and shared prior to becoming wrapped up in the addictive app.