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I use Google Maps nearly every single day. Some days it’s for productive reasons, some days it’s for entertainment. If someone mentions a place I’ve never heard of, I explore it on Maps. Traveling? I browse Maps looking for places to eat, landmarks, unique shops, etc. Need to measure the distance between one place and another? Maps. Need to count the blades on the cooling tower fan behind the power plant I help manage? Maps. Need help surveying open areas or where utilities may be able to be constructed? You guessed it.
I haven’t even mentioned Google Street View. James Lileks calls it the “greatest documentary project of the 21st century.” I think that might be underselling it. I can spend countless hours virtually traveling the world, through distance and time.
What a powerful tool Maps is. I wonder how much economic benefit the economy has gained from this service. It has to be immense.