Cool toy OTD

The new Google Maps service is very nicely interactive. You can drag maps around with the mouse instead of clicking and waiting for a refresh. Plus the directions search works extremely well, as does the “nearby business” search. Unfortunately it only supports Firefox and other Mozilla-based browsers and IE, but then again why would anybody want a browser other than Firefox?

One interesting quirk – if you ask for directions to ROC (it takes airport identifiers as well as addresses), it gives you directions to the general aviation area at the south end of the field off Scottsville Rd, instead of to the passenger terminal at the north end off Brooks Ave. I’m not sure why that would happen, since a web search for the airport’s name finds my flying club’s web page ranked well below the airport’s own web page, and the airport’s official address is on Brooks Ave, not on Scottsville Rd.

In other news, GMail must be about to come out of beta, because I suddenly have 50 invites to give out, instead of the usual 4-5. If you want a gmail invite, email ptomblin at