27 February 2008

Google Earth. That's what I was thinking about for a portion of my walk today. Well, actually the Google maps, but I think of it all under the umbrella of Google Earth. I dropped off the kids at school, then continued on to Berkeley Bowl (14 miles, roundtrip) for a little grocery shopping. Something happens when you're out walking....or biking....or running - at a certain point your brain kicks into some kind of strange clarity where thoughts and ideas and solutions just flow. Not about world peace or anything like that (well, maybe for you), but about things in your life. Frankly, I think up some really eloquent musings that I frame out in my mind as a blog entry. The problem is that my clarity wears off by the time I return home, not to mention the fact that my exhaustion takes over, so I often don't get to put fingers to keyboard in time before my brilliant thoughts are long forgotten. On this subject I've devised a strategy....I'll carry my mini tape recorder. You know - the one I used in graduate school 3 times....not to mention the times I tape recorded Scott snoring....because he just didn't believe me. Then I'll come home and transcribe my brilliance.....just you wait.

Back on track......one of the things I do remember thinking about is that I have this whole love-hate thing with my GPS and Google Earth.....I know I could be doing so much more with them, together as well as separately. But as usual, my techno knowledge only takes me up to a certain point, then leaves me on the side of the road like a spent cigarette [bad I know, but I like the image]. I even took a GPS class at REI, but I knew as much as the dude teaching it, to my and his mutual frustration. Anyway, one of the thoughts that occurred to me after about mile 6 (that seems to be my ”walker’s high” point) was how much I love the "Street View" feature on the google maps. It has really helped me a lot. I happened to discover it the day after it launched (hadn't read the oodles of press releases in the paper, as usual) - just in time to look at where I needed to take one of the kids for their chorus audition in San Francisco. It grounded me....I knew the area, but seeing the building and zooming through the cross streets was awesome. Similarly, a couple of weeks ago I bought a mini-fridge off Craig's List for my school, and while the apartment in San Francisco was close to where we used to live, it was on the corner of a one-way street and had a big garage/lot behind it.....so I knew which direction to come from, and could see where to park behind the building. Believe me, it really takes the stress out of not quite knowing where you're going. So where am I going with this? Well, I've noticed that most of the Oakland and Berkeley Hills aren't ”Street-Viewed”. So I'd like to offer my services to take the photos as part of my walks. What better way to gather the photos than from a walker? I think I read the original photos were taken by Google employees driving down the street taking photos from their cars. A walker has to be able to do just as good a job as that, yes? It will take awhile of course, but it certainly is a great way to continue keeping up walking all over the place. There could even be a network of walkers.....and some tie in to health and the American Heart Association.....oops sorry....reverting to my marketing and promotions hat. Really, all I care about at this point is me. And I want Street View for the hills. Plus, think about how cool I would sound at a cocktail party. So, what do you do? Oh, I'm a school counselor part-time, and the other part, I'm doing photography for Street View. Huh? Oh yeah....I'm the only one they trust. I'm methodically going street by street....so make sure your property is all cleaned up....because you never know when I might be going up your street. I'm willing to do it. Really. Now does anyone know someone at Google Earth? Tee hee hee.

No comments: