Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Center of the Google Universe

Dear Google,

I know that you embody all that is technologically holy, and may or may not have created a monopoly of the internet (though the fact that I only have to log in once to check email, post photos and video, and write in my blog is very handy), but I have a complaint.

Google maps is pretty awesome. It's super cool to be able to figure out where I'm going, see what it looks like from space and from across the street. Sure, you're not always right - you're a street number or two off once in a while - and this really only works if you live in or around a major city that has one of those fancy picture-taking cars. And besides, if you really did have the whole world on there it would be pretty creepy. But, can you please stop making San Francisco the center of the world?

Sure, its nice that the city that I work in is always getting these neat gadgets first, and you often save me valuable keystrokes (17 to be exact) when I look up an address, but being so snobby is getting kind of annoying. Particularly when you insist that I drive through San Francisco when there is no logical reason to do so. Here's the thing. I don't live in San Francisco. I live across the bay in the city (yes, city) that most people are afraid to go to. Though you might know about it because most geeky folks think it is inhabited by At Ats. Sometimes, though, I like to visit other parts of the bay. Sometimes I even like to go to the land where your employees go to retire. But, the last two times I've looked for directions to get to the north bay from Oakland, you've insisted that I drive through San Francisco.

View Larger Map

Really? I mean, sure if I cross the Richmond bridge I have to avoid all the tourists and cyclists in latex on my way to the 101, but your way means I have to cross the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate. Round trip that is $10 in bridge toll alone. Never mind that I have to drive through San Francisco. All it takes is one Muni bus to loose their connector and I'm sitting on Van Ness. Oh and its San Francisco, it never takes the half hour you say it does. Sure, the 80 might be packed, but what else is new? There is traffic the other way and I only have to pay four bucks in tolls.

And why is it that it is only if I search generic directions between cities that you seem to think it is okay to skip San Francisco? Where is the consistency? Are you trying to make a liar out of me, Google? When I went to make my map for this letter, I just put in the cities (because you already know to much about me, by the way) and there I was going over the Richmond bridge. Is it that you only believe cities other than San Francisco are good in theory, but that if we actually live there we need to learn what we are missing out on?

Yes, I know you aren't the only ones. MapQuest (really, people still use it, I mean you haven't taken over all of the internet, you still have to have a Yahoo account for Flickr, after all) is guilty, too. But I thought you were smarter than that, Google. And besides, your frontin' you poser. Oh sure, San Francisco is awesome, but that's not where you are from. Your headquarters are in Mountain View. Yeah, I would be embarrassed, too.

Still friends,

1 comment:

  1. Shhh, Google's watching. Our directions are going to be totally jacked up from here on out!


be nice.


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