If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the Internet, it’s that fads rise and blow over in a matter of days. However, a more recent trend online that seems to have some sticking power is MapCrunch, a site that drops you randomly on a Google Street View. You can limit it by continent, country, and even whether you want to only be dropped in urban areas. You can even have it hide your location, which brings me to my next point.
A game has developed among MapCrunch users that doesn’t really have a title, but has one point: from wherever you’re dropped, find the nearest airport, so you can “fly home.” You accomplish this just as you’d imagine – click down the road in classic Street View style to advance through the country. If you get dropped in a major city or a tiny country, your odds are much better. More often than not, though, you get dropped in the middle of nowhere, and as we all probably know, one unwitting wrong turn can send you in the opposite direction of where you need to go.
However, finding an airport is, in a word, tedious. If you don’t drop near one, it could be hours, days, before you get there. And as fun as that could be, I just do not have the patience for it.
So this turned into a new mini project for me – a single-serve blog that regularly posts screenshots from MapCrunch that show how beautiful the world really is, even captured on a Google Street View vehicle camera. It’s not a huge commitment at all and is actually quite fun to curate. I don’t know if this will be a long-term commitment, but for now, I’m enjoying it, and so are my growing numbers of Tumblr followers on that account.
Here are some of my favorite images so far. Click through to see them all.
Isn’t it surprising how many beautiful pictures the Google Street View cameras have taken worldwide? I definitely encourage you to take a look around MapCrunch for yourself and see what you find.