Saturday, December 20, 2014

Statcounter Google Maps Game (Part 2)

Today I'm going to play another round of the Statcounter Google Maps game.

I played the first game about a month ago.

In this game, I use Statcounter to find the next seven entities that visit my blog.  I look at their location, find it on Google maps, randomly pick a street view in that area, and then give my opinion on it.  I choose whether I'd like to live there, visit there, or avoid it all together.

Note: I'm not judging the whole city or suburb, just the particular random street.

So...now I have to wait for someone to visit.

I feel like a spider.

In the meantime, I'm going to exercise while watching The Elephant Princess.  In my episode yesterday, Alex met her evil ambitious cousin for the first time. Although I think she had at least seen and/or heard him in an earlier episode.  He had appeared at the market to terrorize the villagers, demanding that they reveal where the "fake" princess is hiding. She was indeed hiding, but I assumed it was in a place where she could still see and hear what was happening. I guess not. Or the writer's forgot.

Okay...I've finished watching my daily dose of The Elephant Princess. And now finally I have a Statcounter hit.

1. Sydney!  I wasn't really expecting an Australian at this time, because it's late morning here, which means it's in the middle of the night in Australia; well, at least the eastern part.  But then again, it's the weekend. So there would be more night owls.

I've landed on Captain Cook Drive. It's beautiful.  There are lots of trees, and a body of water. There are no buildings. I think it's just a place for driving.  So I wouldn't want to live there. I might want to visit, in terms of driving past.  That's something though. Tim, Jack, and I were talking about our recent road trip, and I realized some of my favorite parts were when we drove past beautiful scenery.

Now I'm trying to find where Captain Cook Drive is.  I've left Street View, and I'm looking at the map.  It's near a body of water called Woolooware Bay.

Woolooware Bay has it's own website.  It looks like they're trying to sell real estate.

They have a transport page that says it's a fifteen minute walk from Cronulla Beach. I still associate that area with the race riots.  I wonder if Sydney will now be long associated with the hostage situation.  Maybe Martin Place specifically will be associated with it.  Well, Cronulla is part of Sydney and we don't associate the whole city with the the riots.

I think whether or not a place has a strong long lasting association with a negative event probably depends on whether people associate it with OTHER things.  I'm sure many people quickly associate NYC with 9/11...if they didn't think much about New York before that. But if you have other memories, images, ideas, etc. about New York, 9/11 might not be the first thing that comes to your mind.

If someone lives in Cronulla or has visited there, they will more likely have a broader idea of the place and not immediately connect it to the race riots.

I have a ton of Sydney stuff in my brain, but for now the first thing I think of is the hostage tragedy. But it's so recent. I'm sure soon I'll be back to thinking Opera House, Hyde Park, Darling Harbour, Sydney Harbour Bridge, etc.  Stuff like that.

2.  I finally have a second one.  Inbetween the first and second, I had some breakfast.

Anyway, the next one is Edgewater Maryland, which is in the north east part of The United States.

I've landed on London Time Road.  Like the last Street View image, this one is quite pretty. There are a lot of trees, and fluffy white clouds.

There's a little red house, a church, and someone has a boat parked on the street.

I'm looking at the map now. I see a church called Woodland Beach Community Church. I'm guessing that's what I saw. But I'll go look.

Yeah. Here's a Street View image of the church.  It's refreshingly small.  We have churches in our neighbourhood, and they're huge. They look more corporate than religious.  Well, I guess it's not just about size, but also ugly architecture.  There are plenty of beautiful big churches in the world that don't look like corporations.

I do like this small little church, in Maryland, though.

Here's the church's website. They say this is the 88th year they've offered Sunday services. It was built in 1929.

They welcome Christians of all denominations. So I guess they'd be called non-denominational.

Anyway...as for this place. I'd like to visit. It looks quite lovely. I'm not sure I'd want to live there...just because it gets cold in Maryland.

3. I already have a third visit. I didn't expect that!

So...this visit is from Splitsko-Dalmatinska, Croatia.

I landed on a Street View of a place called Vinkovacka Ul. I'm not sure what the Ul. means. I'm guessing it's a Croatian word for street.

The image I'm seeing is less beautiful than what I usually expect from Europe.

The buildings are blah.

I associate with Croatia with war. I don't know though how things are going in that area these days. I'm so ignorant.

Lord Wiki says the war was from 1991-1995. It's long over.

Now Lord Wiki is telling me about Splitsko-Dalmatinska.  He says its main industry is tourism.

I might not mind being a tourist there, but I probably wouldn't be interested in visiting Vinkovacka Ul.  Other parts of the area might be more beautiful.

4. It was taking a long time to get another visit, so I played Sims 2 for awhile. Once I turned off the game, I found I had two more visits.

The fourth is from Sheffield, United Kingdom.

I've landed on Matilda Street. I definitely associate Matilda with Australia.

I started wondering about the origin of the word Matilda, and then had the sense that I've wondered before. And I probably researched it before. Still...I've forgotten, so maybe I should look again.

Or maybe not. I have to get ready soon for our Chanukah party.  Maybe I'll look another day.

Like the Croatia Street, this Sheffield street is much less attractive than what I expect from Europe. There's a lot of graffiti, and not the type that's artistic.  This is more the garbage type.

On the plus side, there's an Oxfam shop. I do like thrift stores, so maybe I'd visit for that purpose.

Next to the Oxfam shop, is a restaurant called Brunch N Lunch. It has no specific website, but from Google I can see it has multiple locations in the UK.  I wonder why it doesn't have a website.  And no one has reviewed the Sheffield one on Yelp.

5. Next I have another Maryland visitor.  This one is from the land of Hairspray. Baltimore!  Well, see....I don't always associate places with tragedies. Sometimes I associate them with musicals.

I've landed on North Broadway. It looks like a college campus, or a hospital district.

There are some nice flowered trees, and some fancy buildings.

I wouldn't mind visiting the area, but I wouldn't go out of my way. Despite the beauty, there's something about it.  I don't know. It feels kind of generic.

I've zoomed out, and now I see I was looking at the Johns Hopkins area.  That's a hospital, I believe. Maybe a school as well.

Lord Wiki says John Hopkins is a research university and hospital.  It's very medical. Maybe that's why I'm not in love with it. Generic was probably the wrong idea. It's probably more the fact, that although it's beautiful, it looks like a place where sickness prevails.  Hospitals are depressing and full of germs.

On the other hand, hospitals save many lives. So it's definitely not all bad.

Lord Wiki says that John Hopkins was rated the best hospital in the United States from 1991-2011. Now it's been bumped to third place. That doesn't necessarily mean it's worsened. It could mean another hospital has just become super great.

What is thought to be the best hospital in the world?

This website says it's a clinic in Cleveland.  The first five hospitals, on the list, are American. The first non-American hospital is a French one.  Australia is on the list at 15 with Royal Children's Hospital.

If anyone is curious, this page explains the listing's methodologies. I don't have time to read it. And if I did, I probably wouldn't understand it.

The website also lists rankings of hospitals per area. They have a whole section about Australia.

I find it all very interesting. America doesn't have very good health care, yet we have some of the best hospitals.  I think most of our problem is with money...affordability.  We can get you good treatment. We can save your life. But then you might end up broke and homeless.

6. The sixth visitor appeared a few hours ago, but I had to leave for the Chanukah party.

Now I'm back.

The visitor is from Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India.

There's no Street View there, unfortunately. I guess Google hasn't yet visited with their magic trucks.
I'm zooming out to get a sense of where it's at.   It looks pretty close to the Nepal border.  Yeah. I just calculated the distance. Google Maps says it's about three hours away.

Lord Wiki says Lucknow is the 8th most populous city of India.

The 2011 population of Lucknow was 2.8 million.

Lord Wiki says the 8th most populous city in Australia is Canberra, and their population is 411,000. For the United States, the 8th most populous city is San Diego at 1.3 million.

Lucknow is known for a special kind of embroidery called Chikan.  Here's a website that sells the Chikan stuff.  It has some photos.  It's all quite lovely.

7. The last visitor I'm going to look at today is from Tucson Arizona. Arizona is now probably one of my favorite places.  I'd put it in my top five.

With Street View, I actually ended up INSIDE a museum of some kind. I'm going to try again though. I want to find a place outdoors.

Okay, on the second attempt, I landed at South Thunder Sky Way.

I like it.  I'd definitely want to visit. Maybe I'd live there.

What's nice is it actually looks different. It has an Arizona look to it.  It doesn't look like a street that you'd easily find anywhere in the United States.

I might be getting this totally wrong. But I think maybe some of the houses have an Adobe style. I might be wrongly defining that term in my head.

The street is right near a huge park. I'm not sure of the name, but there are some mountains—Rincon Peak and Mica Mountain.

Well, actually the street is not as close as I thought. I pictured myself walking out my front door and walking to the park. Google Maps says the walk would take you close to 2 hours. To drive there takes about nine minutes. The thing is there's a body of water. I guess you can't cross it at the spot that would make getting to the park much faster. You have to drive around...kind of go out of your way.

Here's a house for sale on South Thunder Sky Way.  It's $185,000 for three bedrooms, 2 bathrooms. And it's 1525 square feet.  I wish I had enough information in my brain to know if that's a good price or not.

This website  might help. It has the most expensive real estate markets, and the typical prices per square feet. While the Tucson house $121 per square foot, Sydney is about $2000 per square foot.  That's a huge difference!

I just played around with my calculator. The Tucson house in Sydney would be about three million.

The most expensive place on the website's list is Monaco.  The house there would be about eight million.

Now I'm looking at the average per foot price of our city (Fort Worth). It's even cheaper than Tucson; $83 dollars per square foot!

There's that question...would you rather live in a small home in an awesome city, or be able to afford a large home in a less fantastic place.

I guess the best situation is when you personally feel that the city with the easy-to-afford homes IS fantastic.  So if someone actually prefers Fort Worth culture and architecture to London culture Architecture, that's really awesome for them.

Back to the house for sale....I'm wondering about it's architecture. I want to say Adobe, but I think I might be wrong.

No. Well, it seems I might be right. I'm looking at Adobe houses via Google Images, and they look similar to the house for sale.


Anyway....

I think I shall end this post now.

I hope all of you are having a healthy, happy, and safe holiday season.