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So close I could almost touch it..

Posted by Ted on Apr 17, 2010 in Biking, Technology

After discovering a couple of key new connections, I explored unridden territory today, and avoided both Alameda and the Oakland Hills by riding up to Cesar Chavez Park in Berkeley this afternoon.  A mostly urban ride, but with more bike paths than I was expecting, I went up the Embarcadero and through Jack London Square, and then around the Port of Oakland and past Emeryville, to a small park jutting into the bay. My route is below, using Google’s new ‘Bicycle Directions‘ feature which I can tell I’m going to like a lot. Clicking the map will take you to the saved route.

CesarChavez

I had meant to go all the way up to Point Isabel, but the wind and fading light turned me around. Without Alameda or the port to block the view, San Francisco was so close that I could almost touch it. The Bay Bridge was extending into the bay to my left and curving in to Yerba Buena Island. The City itself rose above the glistening water and Treasure Island. The Golden Gate bridge framed Alcatraz, and the sky behind the Marin Headlands and Mount Tam were turning orange.

It was windy out on the water, but the view was amazing. I look forward to exploring farther up the coast.

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Haiti – A map of Jacmel

Posted by Ted on Apr 5, 2010 in Causes, Technology, Travel

Last night I discovered that Google Maps updated its satellite data of Haiti after the earthquake, including Jacmel where I worked for two weeks, clearing rubble from two schools. This map will serve to complete the travelogue, along with the posts here and the photo gallery.  Clicking on the map should take you to the interactive map which will allow you to zoom in for more detail.

A map of Jacmel, showing some of the places I visited

A map of Jacmel, showing some of the places I visited

It is my hope that it will not only give geographical context to my writings and images, but that it may help future relief workers bound for Jacmel get their bearings. If you are in or recently returned from Jacmel, and would like to add data to this map, please let me know.

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A bird’s eye view

Posted by Ted on Oct 28, 2009 in Vagabonding

As soon as I’ve returned from a trip, I’m usually imagining where to go next. One of the first tools that I use in researching a destination is Google Maps.

A fishing village an hour north of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

A fishing village an hour north of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Even the best guidebooks can’t give you the level of detail and overall geography that is made possible through worldwide satellite data. This view of Sayulita, Mexico clearly shows the triangular plaza in the center of town which appeared in the hand-drawn scribble from the owners of the guest house where we stayed, as well as the main beach and Playa de Los Muertos where we hoped to escape the crowds.

For more examples of how Google Maps helps in planning and appreciating destinations, please see the rest of the article in my new weekly Vagabonding column on vagablogging.net, every Thursday!

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