Exploring From Your Desk

Around these parts we talk a good deal about innovation and creative productivity. Whether it’s kerosene or sneaker sanitizer, libertarians have a strong historical argument for the benefits that accrue to societyindividuals, institutions, and the environment, from innovation. But not every innovation changes the world. Some are totally asinine. Some are just fun. Today, I bring fun.

I’m a shameless Google Earth and Google Maps fan. It’s cool to sit at your desk and scroll around the world, and back again. Here are two of the best plug-ins to help spice up your staycation.

History Pin – Google Maps

This website allows you to tag and browse Google Maps and Streetview with old photos, creating a virtual time machine. Amazing scenes like the one below abound. (From Information Aesthetics)

Time-Travel Google Style

Visual Shipwreck Collection – Google Earth

Ships are big. So big you can see their rusting, rotting bones from space. This Google Earth catalog tags visible shipwrecks around the world. Some are spectacular, like the S.S. America, a towering, Titanic-like wreck beached off the coast of Africa, and currently haunting my nightmares.

If you need me, I'll be screaming in pants-crapping terror.

I hate shipwrecks. They’re a stark reminder that death comes to all things, even those that aren’t alive. Just for libertarian giggles, check out how the Aral Sea was drained by the Soviets, and now exists only as a giant, sandy ship graveyard.

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