Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Google Businesses Privacy The Internet Your Rights Online

Nanaimo, The Google Capital of the World 227

Posted by Zonk
from the when-will-you-be-googlefied dept.
eldavojohn writes "Time.com has up a story on Nanaimo, a British Columbia coal mining town of about 78,000 that has had everything conceivable mapped into a Google database. Citizens can track fire trucks real time. The results also include Google Earth data for Nanaimo. 'The Google fire service allows people to avoid accident sites by tuning electronic devices to automatic updates from the city's RSS news feed, says fire captain Dean Ford. Eventually, Nanaimo plans to equip its grass-cutting machines with GPS devices, so residents piqued by the apparent shabbiness of a particular park or grass verge can use Google to find out when last it was groomed by the city's gardening staff. And the city's cemeteries will soon be mapped to allow Internet users to find out who is buried in each plot, says Kristensen. A new multi-million-dollar conference center, opening in June, will have 72 wireless access points to allow out-of-towners to use their laptops to navigate the Google Earth version of the city.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Nanaimo, The Google Capital of the World

Comments Filter:
  • by FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @11:05AM (#22716584) Homepage
    they'll plant RFID tags in every citizen so you can track THEM on Google Earth...
    • by lucabrasi999 (585141) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @11:18AM (#22716850) Journal
      they'll plant RFID tags in every citizen so you can track THEM on Google Earth...

      Let's start with the elected officials. How about using Eliot Spitzer as our first test case? I know. He isn't Canadian, but I bet the results would be interesting.

      • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @12:28PM (#22718160)

        How about using Eliot Spitzer as our first test case?
        I have a better idea.

        Let's get rid of laws that proscribe when, where and under what conditions consenting adults in a free society can have sex.

        I'm just sayin'.

        • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

          by lucabrasi999 (585141)
          Let's get rid of laws that proscribe when, where and under what conditions consenting adults in a free society can have sex.

          Only if we also get rid of self-righteous, pontificating politicians that go on morality crusades against their perceived enemies in order to further their own career.

          • by fm6 (162816)
            You think there's no connection between moralistic politicians and moralistic laws?

            Then again, Spitzer's crusades, however self-serving or hypocritical, were aimed at corrupt businesses that were ripping off their investors and customers. That's not moralism, that's just expecting people to play by the rules. That stuff still needs doing, even if one of its leaders turns out to have Clinton Pants Disorder.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by lucabrasi999 (585141)

              When Spitzer prosecuted Grasso (the former NYSE head) for basically conspiring to increase his own salary to an astronomical sum, Spitzer didn't limit his prosecution to the issue about salary. He went after Grasso for sleeping with his own secretary. What does that have to do with Grasso's other alleged sin? Spitzer wasn't just interested in prosecuting corrupt businesses for fraud. He was interested in crushing those businessmen and women in every way possible.

              Spitzer also prosecuted prostitution ring

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by fm6 (162816)
                Yes, it's hypocritical of Spitzer to enforce prostitution laws he was himself violating. The secretary thing is a whole different matter.

                I don't know what the story was there (can't seem to find this detail online) but I very much doubt that Grasso was prosecuted for "sleeping with his own secretary." Having sex isn't illegal in itself (at least not in New York!). Having sex with one of your own employees might open you up to sexual harassment or discrimination charges, but not without the question of the s
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          We already have. Single men and women can have sexual encounters with any other single consenting adults without fear of legal repercussion.

          The problem is that he was married, which means that he put himself into a contract stating that he would restrict his sexual activities. Now he's in violation of that contract, and in the process has put the other party at risk of developing incurable diseases.

          Don't blame the laws; he chose to marry his wife, and he chose to violate that contract even though are vali
        • by c6gunner (950153) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @01:21PM (#22718980)

          Let's get rid of laws that proscribe when, where and under what conditions consenting adults in a free society can have sex.
          Damn straight! I've always wanted to have sex in the Prime Ministers office while he's in conference with the Pope. Thank you for trying to make my dreams come true!
        • by kthejoker (931838)
          I thought it was rather clear most of us are more upset by the moral transgression than the legal one.
        • "What's that you say? On a playground, during recess? Well, the law's the law!"

          [Rolls eyes]

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            You can't possibly be *that* stupid that there's other laws to take care of that, or have not understood what I meant, can you? (rolls eyes)
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by StikyPad (445176)
          Hell no. Legalizing prostitution would remove my best excuse to say no when my girlfriend asks for money!
      • Relocating Spitzer to Nanaimo is going to be a punishment enough.
    • by Jon_E (148226)
      no .. just the sex offenders
    • People will do anything to avoid rush hour.

      Next thing you know, they can use this tracking information to let me know when the next train arrives on the Nanaimo Metro so I can get to Nanaimo International Airport in time for my flight to Prince George.
    • by snowraver1 (1052510) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @12:50PM (#22718518)
      TRUE STORY:

      I was on vacation in Toronto (I know, weak place for vacation) with the old man and my grandpa. We had rented a car and got a GPS reciever to navagate the Toronto area. Our first stop was my Uncle George's house, so I programmed the address into the GPS and we were on our way.

      As we were getting closer to our destination, I was showing the GPS to grandpa and explaining how it worked. We make the final turn and were rolling down the street, when gramps says "Can you see George on that thing"

      Naturally, I replied "Of course I can, he's taking a shit!"
      We got out of the car, knocked on the door, 2-3 mins later the door opens. Turns out I was right, he was on the can. The rest of the vacation though, my grandpa thought that GPS could track people.
  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @11:05AM (#22716598) Journal
    but I didn't realize how much.

    How long before they start building man-made islands in cute shapes?
  • City corruption (Score:3, Interesting)

    by darjen (879890) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @11:12AM (#22716710)
    I just have to wonder how much resistance city officials will put into something like this. Would any of the corrupt city councils here in the states ever allow Google to do that? If they catch cities that are bad about updating their infrastructure, there could be a backlash against the local government. It could be a whole new way of holding them accountable...
  • Citizens can track fire trucks real time.

    Ambulance chasers [wikipedia.org] rejoice!

    Seriously, there's something about this idea that seems kind of silly. I don't know - tracking public services does make some sort of sense, I guess. I wouldn't want to pay for the cost, but if Google's willing to foot the bill, I guess I'd have no problem with it were it done locally. It's not something I'd like the local government to spend money on though - too little benefit for the cost.

    I guarantee that this will never happen in the US, though, over concerns that knowin

    • by robertjw (728654)

      I guarantee that this will never happen in the US, though, over concerns that knowing where fire trucks are could potentially allow terr'ists to strike areas where the firefighters are all busy elsewhere or something silly like that.

      Probably, but there is already a nifty little device to do this. It's called a police scanner. People have been using them for years to find out where public service vehicles are. Google earth doesn't help terrorists as much as a handy portable police radio would.

  • Just imagine how useful it would be to have the real time location of the city's police force as well. ;) The $64,000 dollar question is, of course, whether public funds should be invested in building Google's infrastructure. Yes, cloud computing is more cost effective that rolling your own systems, it's convenient, outsourced, on a common platform, etc. On the other hand, will this result in the city losing control of their data? Will the city share in any revenue that Google earns from their investment in
  • GPS on lawnmowers? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by stoofa (524247) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @11:13AM (#22716748)
    So where as you used to just cheekily shout "You've missed a bit!" - now you get to email them with co-ordinates and a satellite photo as proof... and then blog it all.
  • Here's the upside: Exploitation of existing technology. Shows real potential for the future of the internet. Further, these are services that would not have been possible for free (or cheap) even 3-4 years ago. This is building on what I call The Google Platform. Great PR for Google, right? ;-)

    Here's the downside: Since most of this is built on Google, these folks are building on an infrastructure that is mostly free. When you don't pay, you have no control. Further, there's no SLA's (service level agreemen
    • by QuantumRiff (120817) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @11:35AM (#22717208)
      Actually, most of the cool features are built on the KML file format and RSS. If MS would support it, it would work on Virtual Earth. You could create a tool to do it. They are not loading up google with data, they are publishing the data in a very easy to read XML format, and suggest you use google earth to view it, since it is currently the best tool out there.
    • I can't remember the last time I saw an SLA that had any kind of meaningful penalty clauses in it. The best thing you can get is a rebate on your fees, but nothing that can come close to compensating you for lost revenues.

      Given the huge disparity between my risk and the tiny insurance that the common SLAs provide, I just don't care about those SLAs at all.

      I wish I could find a provider who was willing to put some real skin in the game, but alas I am sure I couldn't get my PHB's to accept the necessarily hi
  • This is cool (Score:5, Interesting)

    by blhack (921171) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @11:15AM (#22716780)
    This is one of my favorite things I've seen google do so far.
    It really is neat to see how google has gone from a company that indexes web pages, to a company that stores and indexes your email, to a company that stores and indexes maps of the world, to a company that will literally tell you ANY available information about an area on the map.
    As much as the privacy advocates are going to hate this (and please, somebody tell me WHY without using a slippery slope argument), this is really where I would like to see mapping go. Maps hadn't really improved in the past couple of hundred years, but now we're starting to see just what mapping can do.

    Should be an exciting next few years.
    • by seifried (12921)
      Because you can figure out someone's maiden name using cemetery data potentially? Guess what, losing privacy IS a slipper slope. Maiden names. Your home address. Your phone number. Where you work. Start putting this together and it becomes intrusive as heck. And then one day "oops, we just lost some cd/tapes/laptops/whatever that contain sensitive data on some/most/all of our citizens/consumers/whatever".
      • If someone wants to pretend to be me, fine. They can't get away with it for very long. I don't use credit, so any debts incurred wouldn't be my problem. I got nothing anyone would want to have. I have a boring life, with three great kids (most of the time), a great wife, a job I can deal with, and sometimes love/hate. And a cat. I like puttering around the house fixing things.

        I don't play WoW, don't own a Wii, nor Xbox, Nintendo DS. My kids have a Game Cube I got dumpster diving. Hey it works. I don't drive
      • by pnewhook (788591)

        Dude, once I'm dead they can track my location and call me all they want... unless of course they start tracking me into my next life.

    • by garett_spencley (193892) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @11:28AM (#22717054) Journal
      "As much as the privacy advocates are going to hate this (and please, somebody tell me WHY without using a slippery slope argument),"

      Agreed. That slippery slope argument really pisses me off. A few months back I was hiking in the woods and, thanks to my GPS device, I was alerted moments before stepping onto a slippery slope and sliding to my doom.

      The more people we can save from slippery slopes the better. Surely any privacy advocates who say that such technology is a slippery slope simply have never had a near-death-from-slippery-slope experience themselves. They really need to STFU.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by stoofa (524247)

      Ah yes, but have you tried out some of them slippery slopes recently? Some of them are really, really slippery.

      Perhaps we need to be told WHY this is so cool without being told it's new and shiny.

      Scientist: We can now graft a human ear onto a mouse.
      Concerned public: Pardon?
      Scientist: Well, at least the mouse heard me.

    • by bhima (46039) *
      Because Governments and Corporations have demonstrated themselves to incompetent in the management of private and / or sensitive data. Moreover they have shown a callous disregard towards the negative consequences borne by consumers & citizens in events of identity fraud that the security breaches enable..

      Additionally surprising methods have been demonstrated which tease identities out of what was thought to be anonymous data.

      Also just because be some ass hasn't figured out something annoying or illega
    • I agree with you that many things can be mapped using modern technology that just weren't feasible or possible to map before. That *ability* is a great option to have at our disposal. But how many of these things make financial sense to do? Which ones have minimal privacy implications? At the very least, I'd be concerned whenever I heard a city was "trying to make everything accessible via the Internet", because it sounds like they're too caught up in the "big picture" to be carefully analyzing the spec
    • This is one of my favorite things I've seen google do so far.
      It really is neat to see how google has gone from a company that indexes web pages, to a company that stores and indexes your email, to a company that stores and indexes maps of the world, to a company that will literally tell you ANY available information about an area on the map.

      To storing and indexing you!

      Blhack (click here to learn more)
      *click*
      Real name: Arthur Smith
      Age: 31
      Sex: born intersexed, gender-assigned male (parents never told him)
      Sexual Orientation: straight, but there was that one time at band camp... (click here for video)
      Interests: Posting on slashdot, furry porn
      Marital Status: Married
      Wife: Maylin Smith, born Martin Hazleton (sex change operation in 1998, Arthur unaware)
      Children: Bobby Smith
      Sue Sm

  • by ozamosi (615254) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @11:15AM (#22716800) Homepage
    Adding all graves will make it so much easier to visit the graves of your relatives. It's already possible to visit the cemetery through Google Earth/Maps, but it can be hard to locate your passed loved ones.

    However, I feel there's a need for an additional service to be developed: put flowers and candles on the grave. As soon as that's implemented, you'll never have to go to the cemetery again!
    • by fyoder (857358)
      Except that google maps are often off by a half a block with regard to addresses. I'm not sure what that translates to in grave plots, but you will likely be virtually venerating the wrong dead person.
    • by sik0fewl (561285)

      However, I feel there's a need for an additional service to be developed: put flowers and candles on the grave. As soon as that's implemented, you'll never have to go to the cemetery again!

      A drag and drop interface for this would be great!

      • by ccguy (1116865) *

        However, I feel there's a need for an additional service to be developed: put flowers and candles on the grave. As soon as that's implemented, you'll never have to go to the cemetery again!
        A drag and drop interface for this would be great!
        If properly implemented you could share flowers and share a few bucks... (or get them for free)
  • Coal Mining??? (Score:5, Informative)

    by rueger (210566) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @11:29AM (#22717078) Homepage
    Surely with all of that intense technology eldavojohn or Time could have figured out that coal mining stopped back in 1938 in Nanaimo. Since then it is primarily known for being one of the finest examples of really bad urban planning, for at one time having more square feet of shopping mall per capita than any place else on earth, and of course for theNanaimo International Bathtub Race. [island.net]

    To quote Ember Swift: "This is the city that Engineers enter to demonstrate just how not to build a city centre This is the city used as a symbol of haste. "
  • i was standing in the supermarket about a week ago, looking over my shopping list on my palm phone, and as i read the next item i had to get, i wondered why everything in the supermarket couldn't be available to my phone, such as where it is, if it is on sale, if it has been moved from it's regular spot in the isle to the end of the isle to attempt to make it more visible when on sale. It would make shopping more easy, but that is just one tiny way the world could be organized, i am not going to say that a
    • by HeyBob! (111243)
      Stores want you wander through them and buy the items on the ends of the isle and by the check-out.
      Next time you go to the store with your list, note where they are so that you next visit can be more efficient
  • There was a time when cities just grew out of towns, streets went anywhere, etcetera; complexity grew organically, with the odd extreme here and there. In newer developments, streets started getting laid out in grids years ahead of need ... cue cookie-cutter houses, the 1950s, etcetera again. Now I'm no urban planner, so I shouldn't comment on it (-grin-), but this urban-information-integration prototype sure seems like a Good Thing, to me (in the sense that it's a prototype/trial of a planned information

  • because the city already sounds like a futuristic sci fi japanese anime city, or a place in a videogame, so why not have everything mapped that way too?

    furthermore, "google maps nanaimo" is exactly the kind of nonsensical phrase from the future no one would have predicted in 1978
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Kitsune (8349)
      If it's a futuristic japanese city, it'd be a gag on the rest of us. Nanaimo is a homonym for "seven potatos" in japanese. "Google maps seven potatos" FTW ;)
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dubbreak (623656)

      he city already sounds like a futuristic sci fi japanese anime city

      The name is aboriginal (the politically correct term in Canada being "first nations".. ). The name Nanaimo comes from the Coast Salish name meaning "Great Mighty People", the whole", "great strong tribe" etc.

      Funny thing is no one has mentioned the dessert of the same name: Nanaimo bar [wikipedia.org].

      Whether the dessert actually originated there is debatable, whether it is delicious is not ;).

  • " ... will have 72 wireless access points to allow out-of-towners to use their laptops to navigate the Google Earth version of the city."

    Now, I don't have to go there at all. WHEW!!

  • All I can say is: neat!
  • My new tag the babies song..

    Words/Lyrics: dusty
    Music: TheDataminersJugBand

    Tag the babies, tag the pets.
    Tag the children, tag the rest.

    We want to watch the little dots.. That are people!
    We want to watch the little dots.. That are people!
    On our screens!

    Tag the old ones, tag the cold ones.
    The cold ones don't move too much.
    Naw lord, the cold ones don't move too much.

    We want to watch the little dots.. That are people!
    We want to watch the lttle dots.. That are people!
    On our screens!

    So tag th

  • Google should put the recipe for Nanaimo Bars on their front page :) It's a very tasty dessert ...
    • by brjndr (313083)
      They are delicious. I always get some when I visit B.C., although I could just make them myself. Here's the recipe [nanaimo.ca].
  • I'll tell you what Nanaimo is the real capital of: Yummyness [wikipedia.org]

    JJ
    • Fudge, chocolate, custard.

      What's not to love? It's the Holy Trinity of yummy goodness, all in one delicious snack.

      And, of course, my Mom's are the best.

      So there.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Goddamn things out to be outlawed as food porn.
  • Nanaimo is also the WEED Capital of the World [thehammer.ca]. Think about it: they came up with Nanaimo bars for a reason. As they say, if you've been in Nanaimo for 20 minutes and you find someone to sell you pot, you're already baked. Wait, maybe that's Nelson. Hold on... what?
  • "She waits for me in Nanaimo...."
    Those lines have been in my head for many many years now.... = )

    Nanaimo used to be quite the dump--and rough, but they've been doing a lot to fix it up since the 90s. Wonder if that hot pink Mexican restaurant on the hill is still open....

    Nice to see that they are continuing their efforts.

  • I used to love this idea of making everything internet capable. Everything electronic. Sensors everywhere! But then I got a little older and figured out that, (wow!), Earth is pretty neat and no monitor can really do justice to its genuine brightness, contrast, and overall realism.

    I used to want a cell phone that did everything. I used to want to wear a computer on my sleeve. I thought it would be great for my refrigerator to tell me I'm low on mustard... but it's things like this complete Googling of a cit
  • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @12:24PM (#22718082)
    The town of Nanaimo has completely vanished, leaving behind only a flat and barren landscape where there was once a thriving, interconnected community. One relative of a Nanaimo resident reported receiving a phone call from the town shortly before it vanished.

    "I got a call from my brother Earl in Nanaimo," said Harry Wacker of Fresno, California. "He was babbling on about how they may have gone too far in connecting the town up to the intertoobs, and some sort of hogs pizzle about a 'singularity' or something. Utter nonsense, but that's Earl- loonier than a sack of weasels. You'd have to be to move to gol-damned Canada. Broke his mother's heart, he did."

    Other relatives and friends have reported hearing the voices of former Nanaimo residents coming from their game consoles, computers and other Internet connected devices, but these reports are unconfirmed.
  • I wish they had spent the money on actually figuring out how to get around the mess that is downtown Nanaimo. The street grid dates back to the 19th century, and it shows. Ugh.

    Who needs streets when there are more malls to build! From the B.C. Ferries terminal to the north edge of town you pass at least 4 enclosed malls, plus numerous strip malls.

    ...laura

  • Even better than this is http://www.swisstrains.ch/ [swisstrains.ch], where you can watch Swiss trains moving in real time.
  • When I zoom in on a city, I want the little ants to be moving in real-time, live video from the sat. Not little symbols moving over a static image, I mean real-time video.

    I wonder what it would take to keep the entire Earth covered in that level of detail. Why do I want something like this? So I can show it to Dick Cheney. He'll spooge so hard in his pants his heart will explode.
  • Woot! Sadly, this is the first I've heard of any Google friendliness of the place.
    • by canajin56 (660655)
      Indeed! Now we're the Google capital too, not just the bathtub racing, mall, weed capital!
  • For every citizen who uses the location data of a firetruck to avoid the fire, there'll be 10 moronic disaster tourists who'll turn up at every fire.
  • by jgerry (14280) * <jason...gerry@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @01:49PM (#22719384) Homepage
    What's not to love about this? As governments want more and more information about us, we should demand more information about them. This is our tax dollars at work. We should know where our money goes and how it's being used. If governments were to provide all this information, we'd have an army of fact finders going through every detail of every budget, every purchase, every opportunity to defraud the public or waste time, money, or manpower. The people would become the watchdogs over government instead of journalists. This is probably a good thing, as it's pretty clear that the journalists haven't been doing their job properly for some time.

fortune: not found

Working...