Thursday, September 17, 2009

Not Your Ordinary Map Quest


Late in the afternoon, several different trains of thought combined to create an amusing and odd diversion.

Today, I was considering the possible publication of a book that would require the use of GoogleEarth images. At the same time, I've recently been thinking about a short vacation to China in order to visit my daughter who is studying in Nanjing for the semester.

Studying GoogleEarth images while musing on the book, it occurred to me to wonder how an airplane flight to China would be routed from Minneapolis——would it go up over the polar region as the shortest distance between two points? Or would it go by the more expected route, to the west coast and then overseas?

So I typed in directions: Minneapolis to Nanjing.

What I got was wholly unexpected: Walking/driving directions to China, which you can follow along visually by clicking turn-by-turn buttons. Among the directions were several dozen traditional directions, but then in Seattle, the map tells you this:

"Kayak across Pacific Ocean. Go 3,879 miles."

This brings you to Hawaaii, where we "turn left at Kailima Dr. Go .5 mile."

And then:

"Kayak across Pacific Ocean. Go 2,756 miles."

At this point, the directions turn into Japanese, then Chinese characters. but clicking on the direction buttons produces a fascinating zoom in-zoom out journey from distant satellite views to street views, back and forth.

Don't really need to go to China anymore. Went there this afternoon.

By the way, if you haven't downloaded and played with Google Earth, you owe it to yourself.

4 comments:

Amber said...

Ha! That is funny.

:)

Molly said...

You'd want to be working out regularly to cope with all that kayakking! At least google has a sense of humour!

Jerri said...

Wonder why "kayak"? Google can't imagine motorboats?

What did you decide about the book?

Michelle O'Neil said...

Wow! Kayaking sounds like fun. Not all the way to China, but still.