Google Maaaaaaps

I grew up in rural Kansas, where the gravel roads and laid out in arrow-straight mile-square grids. It’s always pretty easy to understand where you are and where you’re going.

I was always confused by the transition from Kansas City, KS to Kansas City, MO, where the numbered streets shift suddenly from North-South to East-West — and especially by Westport, KS, where streets suddenly head off at odd angles.

So the transition to Connecticut, where the roads wind around like deer who’ve overindulged, and where trees cover every square inch right up to the pavement, was disorienting. Even after four years of driving around Fairfield County, Google Maps is my constant companion. Drop me in the middle of a neighborhood in Norwalk and I’m just as likely to end up in New York City as I am to make it home.

That’s why I completely identify with¬†Durita Andreassen of the Faroe Islands. Durita was frustrated that Google hadn’t yet made it to her home to create Google Street View, so she took matters into her own hands. She picked up a few 360 degree cameras — and strapped them to her sheep.

Google allows individuals to contribute to Street View, and she started pumping content to Google. They¬†noticed — shocker — and have now partnered with Durita and her friends to get the Faroe Islands…on the Map!

(Trigger warning — if you hate puns, DO NOT read the Google blog post linked above. Or, for that matter, this blog post.)

Durita is now crowd-sourcing the mapping to people on horses, and bikes, and kayaks, and even wheelbarrows (who knew the wheelbarrow is a common mode of Faroe Island transport??). And, of course, she continues “herd-sourcing” the mapping as well.

What’s next, Google? Sloth cams to map Central American jungles? Reindeer cams for the snowy north? A Dolphin cam to map the ocean’s depths? Watch this chaaaaaaanel to find out!

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