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Nanaimo, The Google Capital of the World 227

eldavojohn writes " 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.'"
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Nanaimo, The Google Capital of the World

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  • 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?
  • by Knuckles ( 8964 ) <[knuckles] [at] []> on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @11:15AM (#22716798)
    Yeah, finally anal people can bitch about the length of the grass with the help of Google. Jeeez, get a life.
  • by guruevi ( 827432 ) <evi&evcircuits,com> on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @11:16AM (#22716822) Homepage
    Like this: [] ?

    Not coal though, oil will buy you that. Coal is on it's way out (or at least that's what we hope for)
  • 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.
  • by geoffspear ( 692508 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @11:44AM (#22717394) Homepage
    Yeah, and screw the people who can't afford a vehicle with a nav system; who cares if they get hopelessly lost?
  • by GlitchCog ( 1016986 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @11:44AM (#22717406)
    I don't think any privacy activists will mind greater transparency in government. Privacy for the government isn't a privacy that should be promoted or protected in any free society.

    You have two groups:
    1) The government - has the monopoly on the legitimate use of force
    2) The people - controlled by that government, but, hopefully, with enough of a democracy to keep the government from beating the liberty out of them with the police, military, judicial system, etc.

    One of the most important tools in keeping that democracy working is knowing what the government is doing. Getting this level of information about the government and using the internet to dole it out to this degree is fantastic for the people.
  • 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'.

  • by partenon ( 749418 ) * on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @12:57PM (#22718620) Homepage
    "Because I'm competent at my work. What I do outside the company isn't an indicator of my competence or lack of professionalism"
  • by pushing-robot ( 1037830 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @01:05PM (#22718724)
    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 valid methods of terminating a marriage.
  • by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @04:00PM (#22721338) Homepage Journal
    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 sexual partner. Was Grasso perhaps using his position to get his lover a better salary or perqs? That's a corrupt practice, and certainly deserves prosecution.

    Spitzer wasn't just interested in prosecuting corrupt businesses for fraud. He was interested in crushing those businessmen and women in every way possible.
    Show me a case where Spitzer went after someone for trivial or imaginary offenses and I'll agree with you. But going after a subject with every violation you can document is not vindictive — it's standard prosecutorial practice. No sane lawyer goes into court without every legal weapon he can dig up.

    Finding fault with Spitzer as a person (even if it headn't made it horribly easy!) doesn't change the fact that he was trying to right some really bad wrongs. We've had 8 years of big business basically getting away with almost anything, at least until their crimes are so blatant they can't be ignored. It's time for that to stop.

    Spitzer may have been an opportunist, but in a democracy, opportunism is what gets the job done.

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN