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Friday, April 8, 2005


Ogling Google

Sure you use Google, but do you realize just how much more you could be using it? Forget finding the right specialized dictionary, just Google define:. Calculation or conversion? Google it. Just the other night, I needed area in square miles when I had kilometers. Googled 34km^2 in mi^2, and bingo. “Square miles” or “sq km” works too. Google rules like that.

They aren’t the first to have a map service with aerial or satellite photos, but they certainly have the coolest service yet. Google maps switches quickly between map and photo, and lets you drag and zoom either one around without a lot of slow reloading. This isn’t much of a scoop, I realize — the feature is a few days old, and it’s been in the news. I’m just urging you to check it out.

Here, I’ll get you started with two of the most scenic places I had the opportunity to earn a living: on the San Francisco waterfront in that big wedge-shaped building facing the green park strip, and on the Oakland waterfront under the giant green roof. Google will even draw a pretty line between the two for you.