The Page a Day Writers Group

Posts Tagged ‘Using Technology

Being a part of the earliest segment of Generation X, I have been bred to truly appreciate technology and what it can do for creative people.  When I was a kid, I had to get to know the horror that is the Dewey Decimal System, and look up those numbers in these crazy, skinny drawers called ‘card catalogs’.  Though the big DDS still puzzles me to this day (there appears to be no fixed limit for the digits that can appear after the darned decimal point!), I can find my way around the library shelves and retrieve what I need.

I could probably do all of the research I need at the library.  I like the feel of books and trust most of what I see in them.  As I used to tell the kids I once taught, “Any idiot who knows HTML codes can say whatever they want on the Internet.  Books require the added filter of publication, so they are somewhat more reliable.”  Said children would grumble audibly as I required them to use at least three published resources and provide bibliographies from any website they were using for research.  Poor, poor Gen Y/Gen Next babies!

Even though I love ‘hard copy’ reference, I try to imagine what it would be like to work on my latest project without the Internet.  In particular, without the glorious, fantastically useful Google 5.0!!  Since I’m working on a piece that takes place not only in another country but also underwater, I need something a little more than a two dimensional map.   With Google 5.0, I can pay visits to cities all over the world.  Many of them also including the option of diving into 3-D bubbles, so I can virtually stand in front of the Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan or the Eiffel Tower in Paris, turn around and see…well, probably a Starbucks, but that’s not the point!

I know I sound like an advertisement for the Google Gods, but this thing is truly amazing with its applications.  You can have the program mark out parks, driving routes, historical monuments and more!  You can also go underwater with Google 5.0.  Granted, there isn’t the kind of detail down there that you can see above water, but there are cartoony mountains and crevices, etc.  You can also have Google pinpoint where various shipwrecks and military dumping of vessels have occurred, or where there might be some protected marine life project going on.  This is especially useful when one is trying to build underwater kingdoms.  We wouldn’t want the humans discovering thar be selkies, mermaids, kelpies and the like down there.

Then there are the ways you can alter Google Earth to your own needs and specifications.  I’m able to put pins in places I’ve decided are particular landmarks, for easy return later.  There is even a function for drawing trails on the globe.  I’ve been using that to mark out territories of my underwater peeps.  The best part being that you can back up this information and retrieve it later, just in case you have to do something wacky like reinstall your hard drive.

Yeah, there are some flaws, like sometimes things aren’t exactly up-to-date.  I did see that a great deal of development had taken place in the city of Ayr, Scotland (where my heroine lives).  I discovered this because the regular Google Maps link I got from a UK estate office showed properties which had been built after the pictures for Google Earth had been taken.  Oh, well!  I also wish that all cities had the 3-D view, but again, I get why some of them don’t.  I’m not sure I would want to constantly show up on Google Earth, sitting at a corner, waiting for a bus, possibly doing something embarrassing.

Still, it beats the heck out of a set of encyclopedias and an atlas!

Here’s the place where you can get a little Google Earth of your own!


Who are we?

The Page a Day Writers Group is a diverse collection of wonderful writers based in San Diego, CA. We've been meeting monthly since 2004. Our primary function is in-depth writing critique, marketing and brainstorming, but there's usually some wine, chocolate and ribaldry involved too. We write fantasy, humor, literary fiction, nonfiction, romance, thrillers and YA. Join us on our journeys to publication and the wonderland beyond!