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Google, they think of everything.

By Shamus
on Saturday Apr 28, 2007
Filed under:


Totally stolen from the Rampant Coyote

  1. Go to maps.google.com
  2. Click on “get directions”
  3. Enter “New York, New York” as your starting point.
  4. Enter “London, England” as your destination.
  5. Note step #23-24.

Bring a towel.

Comments (25)

  1. JagDell says:

    Hilarious, geeky humor!

  2. Sem says:

    Funny ^_^. It also mentions at the top how long it would take if you drive all the way in one go. In addition to enormous resistance against sleep deprivation, you will also need that amphibious add-on for your batmobi… err… car :).

  3. Joe says:

    I’m not sure what’s more amusing, what you can get to or what you
    can’t. (or how high an opinion google has of my swimming rate.) So
    far, I’ve found you can get to:
    -most anywhere in the UK
    -most anywhere in Europe
    -some places I wouldn’t consider “Europe”, like Moscow, Russia.

    But you *cannot* get to:
    -Beijing, China
    -Tokyo, Japan
    -Sao Paulo, Brazil
    -Casablanca, Morocco
    -Melbourne, Australia
    -Honolulu, Hawaii

    I think this has the effect of making google maps a much less perfect
    platform for playing Risk. I mean, if all I can conquor is Europe,
    well Pfft.

  4. Jeremiah says:

    Yeah, someone passed this on to me a few weeks ago, it still makes me giggle. Just wait until we have accessible satellite images of the moon or other planets! Teehee

  5. Lynx says:

    Longest I can find is from Anchorage, Alaska, to Moscow, Russia. Only 9,864 mi!

  6. Olly says:

    I’m just amazed that “swim” is a valid mode of transport for their direction finding service. You drive to the East coast, get out of your car, swim across the Atlantic, then get back in your car in France.

    Also, why is France even part of the directions to London?!

  7. Chilango2 says:

    There’s a tunnel through the English Channel, so you can head more direcly east to head to France and then north through the tunnel, instead of having to go further north.

    Either that, or it has some strange prejucide for driving on land, and does so as often as possible.

  8. SteveDJ says:

    Interesting time estimate for how long the trip will take (over 29 days). If I were to drive nearly 4000 miles, it would not take that long — maybe 8-10 days and probably less, including nightly pitstops. Does that mean they have actually estimated the time it would take to make that crossing (presumably w/o stopping to rest)?

  9. Melandry says:

    I love how it’s apparently important that you start swimming from Boston, and not New York.

  10. SteveDJ: Yes, it looks like they are estimating swimming at the human speed of approximately 5 mph. I wasn’t too careful with the calculations, but it’s close enough. Online references place that as probably the upper end of human swimming.

    Leaving from Boston is probably important for one of two reasons: Swimming is so slow it should be minimized, or Google has explicitly set up certain “swimming” pathways in their software, as if they were ferry routes (I know they have at least some of those). Given the recommended swim, and Joe’s observation that you can’t seem to get other places, I lean towards the latter; if the former was the only thing in play you should have been instructed to swim to the nearest road in Spain or Portugal, whichever is nearer.

  11. Andrew F. says:

    Maybe in a couple of years it will be able to book international flights for you, but until then I suppose this is the best they can do.

  12. Polari says:

    Apparently that feature doesn’t quite support intercontinental trips and “swim from place A to place B” (from Boston to Le Havre or something) is their hack for crossing the Atlantic. Try Miami, Florida -> Lisbon, Portugal for an even better example.

  13. Melandry says:

    Eeeenteresting. Now whenever I’m down at Long Wharf, I’ll be thinking of these Google directions, and keeping my eye out for swimmers, haha.

  14. Katy says:

    Jeremiah (comment #4)> Just wait until we have accessible satellite images of the moon or other planets!

    But the moon has been surveyed: http://moon.google.com/ (well, part of it anyways. See especially #3 in the FAQ).

    Also Mars: http://www.google.com/mars/

    Complete images would be Way Cool, though.

  15. Marmot says:

    That was amazing. I’d better work on my swimming skills, I guess! Thanks for providing it for us!

  16. Browncoat says:

    Note step #23-24.
    Bring a towel.

    Well, duh. Every intergalactic hitchhiker knows to bring a towel.

  17. Lord ZYRK says:

    Browncoat reminded me, anyone ever type “the answer to life the universe and everything” into Google calculator?

  18. braincraft says:

    I’m just worried that after swimming all that way, you’d probably have dropped the money you’d need for the toll roads you’re going through when you get there.

    On the other hand, it would all be in American money and they probably don’t take that there.

  19. Matt says:

    Katy mentioned http://moon.google.com

    You should see the detail they have… look at how close you can zoom in. ;)


  20. Dave says:

    I always thought the moon was made of swiss cheese.. too bad I already told my kid it was made of rock.

  21. Deathblade_Penguin/aka Minion of Darkness says:

    Obviously Google knows of the secret plans of building a tunnel from Boston to France…

  22. Jindra34 says:

    TOoo FUNNYYYY nearly dieing of laughter

  23. Ryan says:

    So, the company I work for has a similar service. When some of us saw this, we had a coversation about why we aren’t providing similar “humorous” directions.

    Apparently, the idea had been considered by the team, but the legal department put their foot down. Thier argument was that an individual could easily sue the company if a family member drowned while following these instructions.

    So, while a lot of us personally think it’s funny, and adds some great personality to the interaction, there are also some understandable arguments about why not to do it.

  24. hank says:

    >”the legal department put their foot down. Thier argument was that an individual could easily sue the company if a family member drowned while following these instructions.”

    This is why civilization is doomed to fail.

  25. Andrew says:

    Well if you check (for example) Fairfield to Sydney you would read instructions to use a kayak to cross the Pacific Ocean. It would be more reasonable though to assume that you want to get directions from Fairfield (NSW Australia) to Sydney instead of Fairfield (USA).

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