My new addiction is googlesightseeing why bother seeing the world for real? – people send him Google satellite images of people and places around the earth doing crazy things. One of a guy peeing in the desert in Africa (thrilling discussion here), “keeping up with the Joneses” (rows and rows of long piers in Texas), whale-spotting, and monitoring where Google uses *stock* imagery (such as the pre-hurricane Katrina images of New Orleans fiasco that broke last week).

There’s a physical hardcopy book called Off the Map. Perhaps Big Brother Road Tour would be more appropriate?

EDIT (TO BE MORE GROWN UP): On the off chance that you are starting to feel this blog is getting too personal, superficial and un-businesslike (reeeeaaaaallly?) here’s what I was thinking about: Top Gear used this blog (googlesightseeing) to notify everyone of a Bugatti Veyron test drive at a top secret Volkswagen facility in Germany.

The BBC’s Top Gear program recently took the Bugatti Veyron for a quick test drive — a very quick test drive1. James May was asked to test the car’s top speed, and there was apparently only one place in the world it could be done — Volkswagen’s super-secret test facility in Germany, Ehra-Lessien.

Why? Because Ehra-Lessien has an unbroken straight 9 kilometres in length, which you can see running along the top of our thumbnails. It’s so long, that if you stood on one side of the straight, you wouldn’t be able to see the other end due to the curvature of the Earth. Seriously, this straight is enormous. One or two thumbnails just couldn’t do it justice, so we’ll do it in two parts. Here’s the northern end

…and then we have to skip a couple of thumbnails before we get to the southern end!

There’s several cars visible on the straight, including one that seems to be going really very fast.


There’s also a small blob — which is either some kind of bug on the image, or a very strange new kind of concept-tractor.

Anyway, while May couldn’t get the Veyron up to its theoretical top speed, he did manage to equal the fastest speed of any production road car, reaching an almost incomprehensible 253 miles, or 407 kilometres per hour2 on this very straight. You can watch the clip on Google Video to really get a feel for how fast that is.

Thanks to Top Gear.

As a marketing tool, getting the word out to a top blogger or two, in a truly creative marketing way (*secret piccies by secret satellite of a secret test track of a top-secret car*) will do more for your brand than the millions you spend on advertising in traditional media. Plus it’s cool.

Anyway, it’s raining, so I’m going to disappear into World of Warcraft for a few hours. For Teh (!) Horde!