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Monday, December 11, 2017
Latest Listen Ramble Browsing the Atlas

I still remember the world atlas that my parents had when I was a kid.  It wasn't the typical atlas with normal maps of places... it was filled with high resolution images from space.

I could sit for hours and just look at all of the places around the world and try to imagine what they were like.  Since we lived on the water, I would trace the routes I could take from the back yard out to wherever there was water access.  Looking back, it's no surprise that I still carry on with this interest in maps and exploring places.

 

Now, the atlas has been replaced with online versions from Google and Bing.  It's still fun to go looking around the world and wonder what a place is like.  The continual development of online maps makes it easier to actually see a place.  Grainy satellite images gave way to high resolution aerial images... and those were augmented with ground level views from cars.

Then came another iteration where geotagged panos became available.  Now, we've got Bing throwing in Photosynths and ground level views pulled from Flickr.

It's an exciting time thinking about the evolution to date... and what becomes possible in the future.  Not only from the point of random exploration... but from the potential avenues people and businesses can use to publish content and how customers / consumers can explore that content.  Bing calls it spatial search... and it could be fantastic.



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