For the 2010 Winter Olympics, Google took their Street View technology to the ski hill by mounting it on a snowmobile. They then built maps of several ski resorts. First, here’s a video of the snowmobile in action.
Before I opened up the map, I was skeptical this would be practical, but it is. It’s a great view into what each trail is like and would be useful for creating meeting spots on the mountain. And imagine if Google licensed this technology to the resort. They could put the cameras on top of the snowcat and have a new view of the groomed run each morning. That might seem like magic, but it can’t be far off.
If you use maps regularly, it’s pretty obvious that Google Maps is far more legible than Bing or Yahoo, but Justin O’Beirne explains why. The three primary reasons are white outlines around text, more diversity amongst label sizes, and label shading. His breakdown is incredibly clear, but I love this extra point.
When you are looking at a big city, Google removes smaller cities outside of the metro area. Below, I’ve included one of Justin’s image where he used the Google Maps API to remove everything but the city labels. The results are striking.
I still can’t believe it, but all of the images from this blog are pulled directly from Google Street View. I wonder if the drivers of the van ever feel like war photographers. Should I call this in or just keep driving?
As they describe it, “a power tool for working with messy data.” After going to the Times Open Government 2.0 event, I’m acutely aware that there are lots and lots of messy datasets out there. [via waxy]
Wow, How I Met Your Mother is popular. An hour after tonight's episode, this phrase was the top search. If you're curious, the LvM is a pickup technique in which you litter the internet with dozens of pages about a unique, fake name and subtly encourage a girl to Google your name, where she finds stories about your brilliance and wealth. You can figure out the rest.
I feel like this was a challenge amongst the writers to see how quickly they could hit the top of Google Trends. It also reminds me that the show's audience skews young. It doesn't have the broad appeal of Friends, but that's part of what makes this the Friends of the aughts.
They asked 50 people in Times Square and only 8% knew what one was. Of course, most of the people they asked were older, because that number seems pretty low to me. Either way, it's a good reminder than my friends are nerds. [via waxy]