Today’s post is not only a shorty, but, in the interests of full disclosure, entirely stolen from an article I read on Terrapass. Ok, stolen may not be the right word because this info is out there, but Terrapass is where I read about it, and is a cool site to check out in and of itself for info on offsets and all sorts of environmentally cool info.
I’m guessing that most of you reading this have either heard of or even used GoogleMaps before, Google’s super cool map site that offers street views as well as detailed route info. I use it myself quite often. What I wasn’t aware of though, is that they now offer walking and public transportation routes as well. How cool is that?
When you head over to GoogleMaps a little drop down menu will appear in the upper right hand corner, just underneath where you type in your location and destination. You can choose by car, by public transit (where available) and by walking. It’s really quite cool and while not perfect and not available everywhere, eventually they will be covering even more locations. The article seems to hint that there are bike routes available as well, but I couldn’t really find them anywhere so if you come across any, offer up how you found them.
As far as street views, Google normally has a fleet of cars that drive around with those funky 360-degree cams up top, taking pictures of your neighborhood. If you’ve ever seen these they are a little big-brotheresque. We had one in our neighborhood a few weeks back but sadly I was unable to drop my drawers in time before they passed. Ahhh, a moment lost. But I digress.
Not to be outdone on the off-road stuff (and perhaps this is where the bike path info will come into play), Google has outfitted a hard-core tricycle to do the same thing. Check out the video below to see how it works. Now there’s a job I’d like to have.
So next time you’re planning on driving, check out the drop down and walk or take the bus instead. It’s just that easy.
Dave Chameides is a filmmaker and environmental educator. His website and newsletter are designed to inspire thought and dialogue on environmental solutions and revolve around the idea that no one can do everything, but everyone can do something. “Give people the facts, and they’ll choose to do the right thing.”