Google’s Digital Sundial—Because We’re Human Beings

One of the abiding traits of humanity since recorded history is, well, our tendency to make things sometimes for practical reasons and, sometimes if we’re being honest, for no reason. Map making is a part of that impulse and in its own unique way combines both the practical and the superfluous. We use maps for all kinds of practical things but we also like them. They shrink vast distances down to a manageable size. They open up the imagination.¬†They’re fun. We enjoy a subjective relationship with them which makes a lot of sense considering just how subjective map-making is.

The Euro-centric, North oriented map that seems so practical and intuitive to us nowadays could just as easily look like this:

Upsidedown Map Of The World--Optimized

As this article from The Atlantic points out, “[Maps] are imperfect tools crafted by imperfect human beings.” This means that things like politics, cultural norms, religion, etc. will have an influence. It also means that there is a personal element to the map faces we look at. Google Maps, probably the most comprehensive, simultaneously detailed and flat out useful series of maps the world has ever seen is no different.

This link will take you to 2 15th st. nw which as it happens is the address of the Washington Monument in Washington, D. C. In case your knowledge of American monuments is fuzzy, the Washington Monument is a 500 ft. tall obelisk which means in a certain slant of digital light it is a perfect place for Google engineers to insert a sundial Easter egg. At all times of the day, you can tell time by the direction the shadow falls–“no, srsly.”

Well, that’s it for us this week! Check back here next week for more from Huddleston Tax CPAs!


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