Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Help me. I'm drowning in a sea of macroeconomic sludge. I'm helping a friend write a 60+ page country report filled with macro jargon. Am I really supposed to know whether private consumption, annual household expenditure and consumer spending are merely different words for the same thing? I remember at some point in the past I at least wanted to be able to say I knew this stuff inside and out. Now I'm thinking life's probably a bit too short.

Anyway, to help you while away the time, I've composed a list of interesting links to various spots on the world now covered by Google's amazing satellite mapping service.

(I just checked out the political projection for The World for the first time -- I mean the map with drawn borders, not the satellite shot -- and I'm curious to know what the green bits in the U.S. and Canada signify. Please don't tell me they're forests.)

Unlike with locations in the U.S., Google's not smart enough to know addresses or place names. So you have to have some vague idea of where you're going and scoot around a bit until you find it. I gave up before locating Berlin, for instance. Here are some selected shots, and since the amount of details varies greatly, I'll rank them in terms of awesomeness on a scale of 1 to 10.

- The Calabrian town of Gioiosa Jonica: 2
- The Strait of Messina: 4 *
- Barcelona: 6
- Gibraltar: 6
- Prince Edward Island, Canada: 3 (It's mostly low-resolution, but my dad says he can see the old MacMillan family farm and cemetary.)
- Isle of Mull, Scotland: 1 (Very low resolution, for now at least.)
- Pyramids, Cairo: 10
- A bunch of ships docked in Istanbul: 5 (Sadly, Sultanahmet is still in the blurry zone.)
- Zizkov TV tower, Prague: 8
- My apartment:: 7

* I know one of you was curious about the planned bridge across the Strait of Messina. It will indeed be the world's longest suspension bridge based on the distance between the towers. Here is the project's website. Construction is supposed to start next year and it'll be done in 2012. This means you'll be able to drive from the Arctic Circle to a point south of the northern tip of Africa without ever leaving the roadway.

Gurgle, gurgle.... (That's me drowning in sludge.)


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