3 cool things you can do with Google Maps

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I use Google Maps all the time. By far, the feature I use most is the GPS aspect. When I make an appointment on my Google Calendar, I put the address in the “Location” bar. Then, when it’s time to go to that address, I open up my Waze app on my phone, and the address is listed there so I just tap it and follow the verbal street-by-street directions. It’s really an amazing process that we just take for granted now.

Google Maps

 

BUT – there are some other things that you can do with Google Maps that are really interesting. It seems like Google is always trying to come up with something new and exciting, so I wanted to share a few of these things with you today.

First we have Street View with History – http://tinyurl.com/ml3lvc8

Most people already know how Street View works. You plug in an address in Google Maps, and find that address. Then you click on Street View, and instead of looking at a map, you now have the view as if you’re standing in the street looking at that address. It’s helpful if you’re traveling to someone’s house for the first time, because now you know what their house actually looks like.

In fact, back when Street View, wasn’t quite so widely known, I would kind of enjoy freaking people out a bit. They would be giving me directions to their house by phone for an upcoming appointment, and at the same time I would be looking up their address and seeing the street view. So before they had even finished with their directions, I might say something like, “Oh, okay – so your house is the brown one with the 3 bushes in front of the screened porch?” Not such an amazing trick today, but a few years ago it was pretty awesome.

Now that Google has been sending their little Street View cars all over the place for several years, they have an archive of older street views which is pretty interesting. I believe it goes back to as early as 2008, but it really depends on the actual address being viewed.

Here’s an example that’s in my little city of Safety Harbor, Florida. This first picture is the most recent one taken by Google, and it was about a year ago. There were some condos being built at that time (they are now fully built and occupied):

Google Maps

 

But if you want to see what that lot looked like before the construction started, you just have to go to Street View for that address, then look up in the top left corner of the screen for the little clock and click it:

street view with history

 

That gives you the option to choose a date and see what the Street View picture was for that date, at that location. In my example, I can go back to 2011 for this address, and back then it looked like this:

street view with history

 

Next, Google Maps offers us the ability to Explore a Sunken Ship – http://tinyurl.com/lvz5ulo

The USS Mohawk was originally launched in 1934. She was used extensively during World War II, and then became a pilot boat on the Delaware River for over 30 years. You can get more details about this ship at this Wikipedia entry.

Currently, the Mohawk enjoys the status of being the first military ship reef dedicated to veterans. She was sunk in 2012 off the coast of Captiva Island. This memorial sign is on the side:

google maps ship

 

And if you click this link, that sign is one of the first things you’ll see. Google has created a “Street View” of the sunken ship so you can navigate all around just like you can use Street View in your local neighborhood. Pretty cool.

And finally, you can explore the moon. Yes, Google Maps has mapped the moon.

To do that, just go to maps.google.com and start zooming out (so your view is getting farther and farther away from the earth). When you’ve gone out as far as you can go, look in the lower left corner and click on the little window that says “Earth”:

google maps

 

After it changes to Earth view, keep scrolling out until you see the 3 options in the lower left corner: Earth, Moon and Mars. Click on Moon:

google maps moon

 

Now you can go exploring on the Moon just like you went to astronaut school. But without the bulky suit and breathing apparatus. Or if you choose Mars, you can visit there too.

If you’re really into this idea of exploring the world and space using your computer, you should consider getting Google Earth. Google Earth itself is not new, but they are updating it all the time. In the current one (version 5.0) here are some of the moon-related features:

google earth

 

And for bonus points – in the comments below, enter the phrase that this man is saying to this woman:

google maps

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Michael Wolff
March 23rd, 2015

“To the Moon, Alice!”

Bob Gilbert
March 23rd, 2015

“To the moon, Alice, to the moon!”

Pam Hood Kooyenga
March 23rd, 2015

“To the Moon, Alice!”

Joanna Pinkham
March 23rd, 2015

“One of these days, Pow, right in the kisser”

Richard Mondro
March 23rd, 2015

One of these days Alice, Pow right in the kisser.

Jan
March 23rd, 2015

To the moon, Alice!

Jay
March 23rd, 2015

to the moon alice!

Andy
March 23rd, 2015

to the moon alice

marge201
March 23rd, 2015

To the moon, Alice!!

Karen
March 23rd, 2015

“One of these days! One of these days, Alice! POW! Right in the kisser.”

Susan Caryl
March 24th, 2015

To the moon, Alice, bang, zoom……to the moon!

Macxtc
March 24th, 2015

(The others are correct… but, sometimes he would also say:)

“One of these Days, One Of These Days…”
“BANG ZOOM!”

Dewey Meteer
March 24th, 2015

“To the moon, Alice; to the moon.”

Suzanne vab=n der Merwe
March 24th, 2015

Scott, you never stop amazing me!
So much information with just two words:Google Maps.
I like the story of how you used your own early-days-Sreet View on people trying to give you a description of their house!
Sneaky, hey!!

Looking at the moon—something else!
Who is “ALICE” many of the comments are referring too?

I have along way to go!

ML, Suzanne

I have not said this before—there is no error!

Scott Johnson
March 24th, 2015

Suzanne – Alice is the lady in the picture at the end of the article. Her husband on the TV show “The Honeymooners” was Jackie Gleason and that was one of his signature lines.

Jim Duffy
March 29th, 2015

“One of these days, Alice: Bang, zoom, to the moon!