Google Sightseeing: Fakin’ It!

The concept of a Potemkin village dates back to the late 18th century, when tales spread that the Russian military leader and governor Grigoriy Potyomkin (Potemkin) had ordered the construction of temporary, false-facaded ‘villages’ in his territory to impress visiting officials. The areas of the southern Russian Empire under Potyomkin’s governorship (‘New Russia‘, today’s southern…

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The Oldest Buildings in the World, Part III: South America and Europe

Today is Part III, the final instalment of our look at the world’s oldest buildings by continent. Part I can be found here; Part II can be found here. South America – Sechin Bajo (3500 BCE) View Larger Map A rather recent addition to the list, the oldest building in the Peruvian ruins of Sechin Bajo…

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Sugarcane Railways

If you live in a large country, a ‘developed’ country, or in a country with continental connections, then you probably take the idea of having rail service at least somewhere in your homeland around as a given. There are quite a few countries, however, that don’t have rail service. Most of these are SIDS (Small…

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International Condominiums

For the vast majority of people, a condominium is a suite in a commonly-held apartment building that is owned rather than rented.  Condominiums, however, also exist in international law. Not as apartment complexes lying on international borders, or anything like that. Rather, a condominium is a piece of territory shared equally by two or more…

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Multi-Barreled City Names

It’s a common occurrence: towns and cities that were formerly some distance apart grow together over time due to population growth and eventually become so intertwined economically, geographically, and culturally that it becomes prudent to formally amalgamate them under a single government. Or sometimes a higher level of government decides that it would alleviate the…

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Google Sightseeing: Top Ten Northernmost Items on Google Maps

If nothing else, Google Sightseeing loves superlatives.  Articles on items that are the largest, the smallest, the funniest, or the strangest are always popular topics.  In my latest GSS article, the list of superlatives on the website gets added to with a list of ten items seen on Google maps that can be called the…

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A Look at GPS Alternatives

Around the world, use of the Global Positioning System (GPS) is so commonplace that for many who use GPS-enabled devices (handheld navigation devices, automobile satnav units, cellular phones and tablet computers, geofencing, surveying, and so on), the words ‘GPS’ and ‘GPSed’ have become everyday verbs.  The presence of GPS in modern life is so ubiquitous…

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Counting Down the Ten Largest Empires in History, Nos. 10-6

For number 5 through number 1, click here.  10. Portuguese Empire (1815) – 10.4 million km2 (4.0 million sq mi) Portugal proper is not the largest country on the planet by any means, but its hold on a massive overseas colonial empire existed for nearly six centuries thanks to the maritime kingdom’s place at the…

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Some Google Street View Imagery Notes

For the latest TBG article at Google Sightseeing, it’s an all-toilet related post.  Juvenile, I know (don’t worry, the next one is about Einstein’s birthday.  Seriously).  One Street View image in particular had me worried that the post might actually have to be pulled before it was even published, namely this image of a man…

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Google Sightseeing: Right Down the Toilet

For the latest TBG article at Google Sightseeing, it’s an all-toilet related post. Juvenile, I know (don’t worry, the next one is about Einstein’s birthday. Seriously). The toilet – home to some of humankind’s most intimate moments, and probably one of the last things you’d think you’d find on Google Maps (or think to look…

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