Tag: Google MapsView All Tags
Google Maps / Google Earth / Travel Photography / Australia Travel / Great Barrier Reef / → All Tags
These "what will they think of next" posts about Google Maps are getting more and more frequentand more and more easy. We did a quick roundup at the end of last year, in the context of Google's airport maps. Since then they've added a bunch of useful featurescataloged hereand they've even begun inserting timestamps to Street View images. Helpful!
But there's an entire other part of Google Maps and Google Earth, which is the part where the images are just neat. There's enough material out there for entire galleries of wholly unintentional beautiful, weird, and even elegant photos (at least unintentional from Google's point of view; some of them were staged; hilariously). Not content with leaving things to chance, though, Google engineers have stepped up and mapped one of the world's most gorgeous areas.
There are a lot of people doing a lot of direct technological innovation with Google Maps. As a matter of strict "what are they adding to the service," Google engineers have recently loaded on maps of airports and even maps of malls and maps of the London Underground.
People who don't work for Google are also innovating with the application, including adding it as a built-in feature in new travel apps apps.
Then there's this other group of peoplefor the sake of convenience, let's call them hipsterswho are finding uses for Google Maps that are a little more artsy. 9-Eyes.com is a collection of weird, wonderful, strange, and occasionally NSFW images. The site is a project of Montreal artist Jon Rafman (Flickr; Twitter; Facebook; see the kind of comprehensive coverage you get here at Jaunted?). There are other projects linked from his main page, including this one titled "Kool-Aid Man in Second Life." It's exactly what it sounds like.
We never have enough time or space to get to all the Google Travel news that we'd like. A few weeks ago we talked about their new airport maps, and a little before that we did an introduction to their burgeoning flight search service. Unfortunately Google Flight Search got dragged down by how the airline industry does business, and it has remained unimpressive.
On the other side of the success spectrum, though, developers and programmers expanded Google Earth to include gamesa move that involved airlines and has implications for social mediaand an MIT student playing around with Google Maps made a de facto travel itinerary checker.
But this post isn't about any of those stories. This post is about deep, abiding, biting, bitter jealousy.
Google Maps / Google / Technology / Travel Tech / Airport News / Airports / → All Tags
Having more or less mapped the world's roadwaysup to and including getting the security hyper-conscious Israelis to let their guards downthe Google Maps kids have taken to sending their cars and tricycles to increasingly esoteric destinations.
They've mapped bike routes and jungle trails, which are natural extensions of roadway mapping, but they've also extended their maps into our beloved San Diego Zoo and the insides of Japanese businessesneither of which are particularly intuitive additions.
One area into which Google had yet to expand was the inside of airports. The oversight was particularly notable because, in sharp contrast, Microsoft's Bing search engine had added airport maps a few months ago. Bing's maps launched with support for 42 national airports, and included locations for restaurants, ATMs, ticket counters, restrooms, and so on. The implementation was not only pretty slick, but it was something that Google Maps just didn't have. So guess what Google just announced as the newest feature for Google Maps.
Google Maps / Google / Street View / Technology / Nature Travel / Green Travel / Brazil Travel / Travel News / → All Tags
Often the news stories about Google Maps Street Viewthe Mountain View technology that allows you to virtually walk up and down roads, alleyways, and even zooshave controversial political upshots. There are perennial privacy issues, including ones that have brought Google into conflicts with European governments. In an age of terrorism there are also genuine security risks, and it took until this week for Israel to greenlight Street View despite the Israelis' numerous safety concerns (although we did kind of tell you they'd end up deciding that way). In any case, mapping the world has turned out to be a more problematic goal than Google might have imagined.
The newest Street View project shouldn't turn out that way. Instead, Google seems to have found a project that just about anyone can get behind.
Google Maps / Google / Google Earth / Japan Travel / Technology / Maps / Tokyo Restaurants / → All Tags
Google continues to make progress on their project of enabling you to see the world without ever leaving your house (sadly, not totally a joke). The company is adding more and more information to Google Maps, this time encouraging Japanese businesses to upload panoramic images of their stores to Google's Business Photos database, which is hooked into Google Places, which of course is embedded in Google Maps. The Japanese focus is part of a broader roll out, with Business Photos accepting images from US, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.
The upshot is that, metaphorically but not really, you'll soon be able to navigate your way "inside" restaurants and shops digitally on Google Maps. Just like with other photos in the application, users will be able to pan, tilt, and zoom the 3D panoramic images of business. CNN's hyperlocal Asia travel site CNNGo, showing an admirable awareness of cultural sensibilities, mused that the feature will especially appeal to their "more shy" Japanese readers. We imagine that users elsewhere will find plenty of other uses, above and beyond the wow factor.
If you've ever walked down some Chicago streets and looked up to find yourself at the intersection of "Hugh Hefner Way" and "King Sargon Drive," you'll know about the Second City's obsession with commemorative street names. Over 1,000 brown street signs are scattered throughout the city, oftentimes placed directly above the official green signs that give the streets the names you see printed on maps. Nonetheless, the honorary street names can be a big deal for celebrities and yesterday, Oprah Winfrey finally got hers.
So where exactly is "Oprah Winfrey Way?" It's not a big streetin fact, it's only the one block of North Carpenter Street in front of Harpo Productions on the near west side. We're pretty sure the city gave Hef a larger chunk of pavement than that.
Google Maps / Terrorism / Political Travel / Pakistan Travel / Death / Osama Bin Laden / Military Travel / → All Tags
Last night, when President Barack Obama announced the killing of terrorist al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, history was made at the same time as a town in Pakistan lost its innocence. Abbottabad was named by Barack as the place in which bin Laden had made his mansion hideout home. He wasn't in caves, he wasn't in Afghanistan, and he wasn't going to escape this time. A recently built home, surrounded by walls and within an affluent community, was where the last stand between Osama and the USA took place, with the US' Navy SEALS emerging victorious in under 40 minutes of covert operations.
As such, Abbottabad is today the center of much curiosity; it's even been trending on Twitter all night thanks to Abbottabad-based Twitter user Sohaib Athar@ReallyVirtualwho lives in the town and who unknowingly live-tweeted the mission several days ago, hearing as he did helicopters overhead and bursts. Sohaib moved to the relative calm of Abbottabad to work on his IT business and escape the fighting in Lehore, Pakistan. This isn't all that extraordinary, since Abbottabad is a huge tourist destination; in fact it is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Pakistan.
Google Maps / Tourism / Bar Refaeli / Israel Travel / Religious Travel / Google / Tourism Boards / → All Tags
Israel is finally set to allow Google to map out the country's roads using Google Maps Street View, which is something of a bold move since terrorists routinely brag about using Google Earth to target their missiles and rockets at Israelis. Since we're talking about the Middle East, the decision has naturally engendered a robust debate about costs and benefits. On the costs side: the terrorism and people dying thing. Supposedly on the benefits side: tourism.
We're not really going to belabor the security issue, partly because it's convoluted but mostly because it's way, way too depressing for a Monday morning. You can go here for a will-it or won't-it backgrounder. The tourism debate, on the other hand, seems a little bit more straightforward and a little closer to our wheelhouse.
Please forgive us for sending you into daydream mode so early in the morning already, but we simply have to share Entertainment Weekly's find of the World's Largest Slip-and-Slide. Now, it's not been confirmed as the largest by an official from Guinness World Records or anything, but one glance at this video and it's quite difficult to imagine anything beating it.
The Slip-and-Slide is really a man-made reservoira totally off-limits, no trespassing-allowed onebut authorities should've considered making it of another material if they really wanted people to keep out with their bodyboards. And of course, like much of the best stuff in Hawaii, this reservoir is located nearby some truly breathtakingly lush scenery.
So here's where it is:
Christmas Travel / Santa Claus / Google Maps / Google Earth / Holiday Travel / Around the World Travel / → All Tags
Well, everyone; today is the day. It's the day we can begin "tracking" Santa Claus on his gift-giving journey around the world via NORAD's annual Santa Tracker. There once were days when NORAD, or the North American Aerospace Defense Command, would just send little Santa travel status update videos to the networks, for them to broadcast during newscasts, but these days things are tad more hi-tech than all that. Santa is being tracked by Google Maps.
Over at the official Santa Tracking websitewhich is a cute site to let your kids check every so often during Christmas Eveyou can
watch grass grow watch as Santa slowly (or pretty quickly, really) makes his way around the world, spending no more than 4 minutes in one place. He's already finished with the Pacific Islands (he got to visit Palau a moment ago), New Zealand, Australia andfrom what it looks likeNorth Korea. As we type this, his butt is getting stuck in some minimalist chimneys around Japan, as he's still got quite a while before he hits North America airspace.
Google Maps / Google / Airplanes / United / Chicago Travel / → All Tags
Don't get us started on our love of Google Maps and Google Earth. Sometimes we sit for a moment and just think about how all the scientists and explorers of centuries ago would simply crap themselves if they had only a glimpse of the site. That's why we have to share this, even though it's already been all over the web: a plane caught flying over Hyde Park on Chicago's south side, mid-air and captured by Google satellites.
As GeekoSystem notes, a commenter at The Atlantic has attempted to explain the rainbow effect, saying: "The satellite that took the image must have taken several colored exposures over a few seconds and then combined them." We just think it's gorgeous, and we're pretty sure it's a United plane, not just because it's in the vicinity of Chicago.