Even though I love Google Maps, I found a flaw in the service: For whatever reason, the maps don’t always show rivers. If you call up a map of the Quad Cities, no problem. The Mississsippi and Rock rivers are depicted in beautiful traditional mapper’s blue (if that’s not an actual color, it should be). Now check out Princeton, California, one of America’s favorite former ferry crossings; if you click on the satellite image of the view, though, the Sacramento River pops into view.
What gives? I have no idea. On the maps, the river just kind of disappears about 75 miles north of Sacramento for some reason.
But what I really wanted to point out was a pretty cool application built on Google maps, the Gmaps Pedometer, that lets you chart your walks — the app is really designed for urban hiking, because it relies on drawing straight lines from point to point — and calculates the distance you’ve covered. Here’s a picture of Wednesday’s rambles in a well-known western town. You could put it to the test in Chicago and Brooklyn, but maybe not in neighborhoods that didn’t exist a year ago.