Google Sightseeing: Top 10 Crazy European Buildings; Sanzhi’s UFO Houses

In my latest article for Google Sightseeing, I decided to take a look at some of Europe’s wackier buildings as caught on Street View and Yandex Maps Panorama. In it, you’ll see such oddities as a building with walls shaped like bar codes, a house that looks likes it’s melting, and the most famous building…

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A Gallery of Ghost Signs

Grandma’s Boy, Vancouver, British Columbia. This old advertisement for Harold Lloyd’s 1922 classic silent comedy was rediscovered in February 2012 when the building next to it, built in 1923, was torn down. Sadly, this building was also scheduled to be demolished, and indeed it was just a couple of weeks later, taking the advert with…

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Revisiting Brasilia

The Basement Geographer is back again with another article on Google Sightseeing. This week, thanks to the new Street View and 45° imagery released at the end of July throughout Brazil, we decided to revisit one of the greatest civil engineering projects of all time – the city of Brasilia. You can read the article…

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California City and Environa: Invisible Metropolises

At the intersection of geographical curiosity and failed urban planning lies California City.  Anyone who’s browsed Google Maps in the Mojave Desert just north of Los Angeles has likely noticed the massive street grid lying in the middle of nowhere, producing the illusion of a city of hundreds of thousands of people that quickly fades…

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Ramciel: The Next World Capital

Last year, we profiled the world’s newest national capital, Juba, the capital of not-quite-one-year-old South Sudan.  A few months before independence, however, the South Sudanese government announced that this arrangement was to be temporary and that the government would be looking for a more central location for its permanent home, as well as one that…

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Oil Rocks: The Offshore City of Neft Daşları

Oil platforms have been around in some form or another since the early 20th century and people have been temporarily living on them for nearly as long.  As we have tragically seen over the years and most recently in the Sea of Okhotsk, life on an oil platform can be quite precarious at times.  Of…

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The World’s Largest City: Tokyo? Shanghai? New York? Other?

What is a city?  It depends on what you’re talking about.  Are you simply looking to define a conurbation of people?  If so, what separates a city from a town or a village?  And is it something legally definable?  In some countries, yes; others, no; at least when referring to cities proper.  Do you use…

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Riprap Islands of New York City

New York City is built on a network of islands.  Even in remote parts of the world, we’re all familiar with Manhattan, Long Island, and Staten Island.  And while those are by far the largest islands located either wholly or partially within New York City, there are dozens of other islands contained within its five…

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Following Up: An August 2011 Update on Previous Articles

Just a few mini-updates and additional tidbits on some topics from previous articles here at The Basement Geographer: Semi-Abandoned Prairie Town or Detroit? (originally posted 30 July 2010): The very first article on this site was about the increasingly vacant landscape of the city of Detroit; a topic also brought up this week at World…

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