I love the Streetview feature in Google Maps and Google Earth. I use it all the time when I’m watching the news and want to get a sense about where the event is happening. Or, I’ll use it to check out a Formula 1 racetrack – you can even tour the track at Monaco and I’ve done that a number of times. Or, I will reminisce about places I’ve lived or gone to school. Or, if I’m about to go to a new place, I’ll use it to get an idea as to what the place looks like so that I know when I get there.
Here’s the workflow that I typically use.
- Open Google Maps;
- Zoom in to the location; (or type the address in the search box)
- Grab the Pegman and drop him close to where the placemark is;
- Wait as we switch from map mode to streetview mode;
- Orientate by looking around to find the location.
Now, it’s not nearly as onerous a task as it is to write it out but I just wanted to enumerate the steps.
There is a quicker way. It’s called “Instant Google Street View” and located here.
When the site opens, just type your desired address and voilà! You’re automatically placed in Streetview and automatically looking at the right side of the street! To even speed up the process, pattern matches to your search appear as you type with imagery filling in as you go. It’s pretty amazing to watch.
In terms of reminiscing, here’s where I lived for the first year at university.
Quick and easy.
Give it a shot yourself and see if isn’t a bit quicker than the way you search for location using Streetview the conventional way. You may just want to bookmark this!
And, if you want to reverse the process, there’s a button that will switch you to Mapview. Heck, you can even look at random locations on the current map.
It might even change the way you think about finding or exploring locations.
Aviva Dunsiger started a great line of conversation with her post “Online; Offline; Where To Draw The Line?“.
To her blogpost, I added my thoughts but decided that I didn’t say enough so I fleshed out the topic in a post of my own “Learning About Social Media”. That extended the conversation and, in particular, Aviva and I had a nice back and forth on the topic.
Later in the day, Mark Carbone weighed in with his own perspective with “On or Off Line: a Perspective“. And, of course, Aviva and I had to share our thoughts there as well.
Now, if these two smart minds and then me can’t come to a definite answer, it has to be complicated.
Which leads into an excellent read by danah boyd titled “It’s Complicated“.
And, it is.
If you’re looking for a really, really good discussion about the networked teenager, this should be part of your professional library.
From danah’s website, you can order your own copy from Amazon or a number of other retailers.
However, danah has decided that her work and insights may be of such value, that she’s made a PDF copy of the book free for the download. You can then read it on your computer or your portable device.
If you’re interested in another perspective on networking, then you really owe it to yourself to read this book.
Armed, you’re ready to join the conversation.
I’m always looking for ways to improve my writing.
It’s kind of amazing, considering that I haven’t had a course in English since secondary school Even there, I only took the courses grudgingly. Looking back now, I wish that I’d paid more attention or put more enthusiasm into my efforts.
I don’t think I do a bad job – I generally get my its and it’s correct; same with they’re, there, and their. I try not to leave things hanging or dangling. I usually do a pre-writing, writing, and proofreading when I do my blogging. Thankfully, I also have kind readers who’ll fire me off a note or a message on the sly should something still slip though.
I do subscribe to blogs that promise to make you a better writer. I think I’ve got the blog format down pat – a title to catch attention, a first paragraph or two to set the stage, a body to elaborate on my thoughts, and then a closure with usually a call to action to the reader. I try to leave the door open for thoughts or suggestions on my premise to encourage interaction should readers wish.
I use the WordPress writing checker to help me make my efforts as good as they possibly can be. I’m still working to avoid writing in the passive voice but I’m starting this that that may, in fact, be just me.
When I read about “Expresso“, I thought that this was great. It will make me a better writer and, hopefully, a better blogger.
Expresso is a web app. You just enter the text you want analysed there and sit back to read the results.
I sent the above to Expresso and here are the results. It’s actually, four images that align fairly well below.
Whoa! (I should do it again – I now have 1 exclamative sentence)
I think I got cheated in my English classes. I don’t think I’ve ever had an analysis of my writing like this ever. Usually, it’s just a return of my original writing with lots of red circles and arrows.
The tab that lists the metrics applied against the writing reads like a curriculum document. There’s a great deal of good information here. It did indeed bring back a flood of memories about learning.
There’s a great deal to think about as a result of this analysis. I think I’m going to try this app for a while as I write to see what it can do to make me better.
Would you trust an app like this to help make you better?
The site’s best piece of immediate advice?
Good writing style remains an art, not a science…