Tag: Travel Technology

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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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How Virtual Penguins are Leading the Way to Tokyo's Sunshine Aquarium

Where: Tokyo, Japan
October 23, 2013 at 3:56 PM | by | Comments (0)

As is well known and widely acknowledged, Japan is a land of crazy. The plain assertion doesn't really require any proof, but if it did there are entire websites devoted to the insanity that pervades the Land of the Rising Sun. Even their zoos and aquariums are batshit, allowing you to do everything from shake hands with otters to watch Santa Claus play with dolphins.

Somewhere in between shaking otters hands and Santa Claud on a dolphin, there's this very cute bit of travel advertising from Japan's Sunshine Aquarium. The tourist attraction is kind of a hike from the nearest station, and aquarium officials wanted to make sure people could find it. The solution? An augmented reality app where penguins guide tourists along the right path. Because Japan, of course.

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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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Travel App Review: 'LoungeBuddy' Says Bon Voyage to Boring Layovers

October 3, 2013 at 9:39 AM | by | Comments (0)

Starting a journey in comfort or enjoying a longish layover in a new airport are key for having a memorable vacation and since told you that we really didn't care for the Smart Layover app, we may have been lost when it came to spending hours at the airport. We can announce that we have a contender for the perfect app to help us out.

The free iPhone app is called 'Lounge Buddy' and it does just that; a buddy that helps travelers find a quiet corner in an airport to put their feet up and relax. The app will help "the casual traveler with a long layover, or an elite traveler flying first class". If our first impressions are any indicator of the app's actually functionality, we're pretty excited for further updates.

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Meanwhile, in Weird Travel Gear News. a Vibrating Belt Gives Directions

September 17, 2013 at 9:51 AM | by | Comments (0)

Before you complain that we're making this up, please see the video embedded at the bottom of this post and this Indigogo campaign page requesting $10,000 for the project. It's not a prank. If it was a prank, it'd be a great prank. But it's not.

Triposo is a travel technology company that makes apps containing maps, recommendations, currency advice, etc. They have iPhone and Android versions of their software. The company touts the ability of their programs to "deliver custom, real-time recommendations of places to go and things to see." So far so good, but things are about to head south.

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Google Adds, Updates Street View Tours of Japan's Radiation Hazard Zone

September 10, 2013 at 10:18 AM | by | Comments (0)

Last March we told you about one of the newer and more creative Google Street View efforts, which had the Mountain View giant mapping towns and cities in Japan that had been abandoned—and were now functionally inaccessible—because of the Fukushima disaster. We always knew the radiation-soaked areas were going to be off-limits for a long time, but in recent days new readings have transformed "a long time" into "a very, very, very long time." This is all by way of saying that if you want to "visit" those areas, you're going to have to do it over the Internet.

Now comes word via the Google Maps blog that you can see more of those areas than ever before. The blog post—which formally announced the addition of 17 cities within the hazard zone—begins by linking to information about the project itself.

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Google's Street View Backpack Has Florida's Coast Covered

July 31, 2013 at 9:54 AM | by | Comments (0)

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.

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Google Street View is on the Move, from Hiking Hawaii to Abandoned Japan

July 1, 2013 at 12:10 PM | by | Comments (0)

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.

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New Travel Planning Site Bets It All on Videos

June 24, 2013 at 6:05 PM | by | Comments (0)

We are notoriously torn over travel technology that purports to show off destinations (see here, here, here, and especially here). On one hand, it's awesome to get to see videos—and even virtual reality renderings—of places we've never been. On the other, it allows douchebags to say things like "now you can travel the world without ever leaving the comfort of your own home." Of all the combinations of words in the world, that is among the ones which make us most stabby.

So when the press release for a new travel videos website landed in our inboxes, we were wary. The tagline for the site, creatively titled "Travel Videos," is "travel the world with videos." Danger Will Robinson, danger.

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Google Street View Adds Japan's Uninhabitable Nuclear Zone

March 29, 2013 at 2:36 PM | by | Comments (0)

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 should—and in a very precise sense, just is—about 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.

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Google Maps Hits the Slopes While There's Still Snow

February 14, 2013 at 10:13 AM | by | Comments (0)

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.

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