05 April 2009

And speaking of vacations

Check it out. The kids at Google Maps have been busy, and I mean busy, expanding their Street View function to more and more of the world. I got clued in to this latest expansion by Scintilla at Bell'Avventura who mentioned that Positano had made it onto the list of places with Street Views.

Huge swaths of Europe are included now but I homed right in on Italy. I'm amazed by this technology. Do yourself a favor and head over to Google Maps and then drop the little yellow guy anywhere you'd like to get a pedestrian's view. Once it's activated, you can pan up and down and turn a whole 360 degrees. Try it!

Here's how the Villa Terrazza looks from the road down to the Marina Picola in Sorrento. My friends and I rented a floor of that villa less than a year ago. Astounding! I cannot get over how clear these screen captures are.

Here's the view of the Villa Terrazza from the Marina Piccola itself. Wow. I feel like I'm back there.

The "Farmashop" on the left side of this screen capture was where I had to go explain to a Pharmacist that I had developed athlete's foot from traipsing around southern Italy in wet hiking boots. It was the ultimate test of my conversational Italian skills, not to mention my ability to use my iron will where my language skills fall short. Yet there it is on my laptop. It's like I'm there again. "I funghi sono in pedi!" I'm shouting that at my laptop as I write this. That's not a very grammatical Italian sentence, but it made the necessary point --I have fungus on my feet.

This is the coastal road between Sorrento and Positano. You and work your way over to the wall and look down into the abyss. What's a safety rail anyway?

It's a virtual vacation. Google Maps can take you all through Naples, most of the way down the Amalfi Coast, up to Rome, Florence, Perugia, Livorno, Bologna, Milan, Genoa, etc. If you're not in the mood for an Italian get away, You can stroll the streets of Marseille or Paris. How about Madrid or Amsterdam? London's in there now as are most of the cities in Japan. Mapping the world like this is an ambitious project and leave it up to Google to undertake it in the first place. Leave it up to Google too to make is so smart and accessible.

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