A Couple Of Links For You #socs

Kitty looking out the window at birdies in Doha, Qatar. Source: window-swap.com

Compared to last week’s prompt, this week’s, “link,” is a piece of cake.

How are you coping with staring at the same four walls, looking out the same windows at the same scene, day in and day out? Okay, most of us can get out and walk around the neighborhood, at least, but my knees are so bad that it’s pretty much not safe for me to go out walking. Mary takes me with her when she goes to run errands sometimes, and that lessens the frustration for me, but, let’s face it, I’m bored.

One of the ways I cope with this is to let the computer do the walking for me. One of my favorite sites is Google Maps. I’ll pick a site, say Pierre, South Dakota, type that into the search, and voilรก!, it shows me a map of the city. I can see the map view or the satellite view, and I can even choose a location and find myself standing on the street, from which I can walk the streets and go looking for highlights. Or, I’ll hear of a location somewhere in the world, like Sukhbataar Square in Ulanbaatar, Mongolia and with a few clicks of the mouse, I can be standing in fromt of the huge statue of Genghis Khan that overlooks the square.

Recently, I heard of a couple more sites by reading about them on Apartment Therapy. One is Random Street View, which which uses the pictures from Google Maps and gives you a random view of somewhere in the world. If there’s a specific country you want to see, like Swaziland (or if you prefer the more current name of Eswatini), you can select the country and RSV takes you to random places within it. There are a lot of dirt roads in Swaziland, just so you know.

The latest I’ve learned about, and maybe the coolest, is WindowSwap. People around the world take videos of up to ten minutes out one of the windows of their house and send it in to the people who run it. They then put it into rotation for visitors to see. A visitor comes to the site and clicks a button, which launches a new browser window with one of the contributed videos playing in it. If you get tired of watching that one, there’s a button on the screen that’ll take you to the next random video. Some of the videos seem almost like photographs, while others show a lot of activity, and sometimes you can hear conversations going on.

Try them and see for yourself, and if you find any more sites, be sure and post the links!


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now a word about the Yellow Pages. Find it fast in the Yellow Pages!

24 thoughts on “A Couple Of Links For You #socs

    1. That was the great thing about all those travel shows: you got a chance to see places and people you probably never would otherwise. I imagine that’s still part of the charm of National Geographic. Being able to sit at a computer and see something in realtime, now that’s really something…

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    1. They don’t have that many videos yet, but the ones they have are quite enjoyable. I sat for I don’t know how long watching the cat that’s in the picture at the top of the post. I hear there are a few places where you can watch a live video feed. Have to look into that.

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    1. I’ll see an address in an article sometimes and look it up just for fun. It’s even more fun to get an address from an old ad and look to see what’s there now. I found an ad for Teletype Corporation (I guess they hadn’t been bought by Bell Labs yet) and the address sounded familiar, so I looked it up, and it was next door to a place I had worked early in my career. Talk about your coincidences…

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  1. Google Maps are fun. I’ve sometimes typed in our own home address, but put a different city and state. Funny to see who shares your same address and what their area looks like.
    I took a quick look at that Window Swap – looks fun. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Also you can find ‘live’ cameras lots of places, too.

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    1. I’ll have to look up a few live cameras. I had an app on my Kindle Fire (which bit the dust a long time ago) that was cameras around the world in different channels, and when you got bored with one you could change channels.

      This is kind of fun: find the latitude and longitude coordinates for your house or anywhere else on latlong.net, then multiply both coordinates by -1, then just the first by -1, then the second by -1, and see what you get. Mine, for example, are (34.02, -84.48) (I’ve simplified for the example), so I’d look and see what was at (-34.02, 84.48), (-34.02, -84.48) and (34.02, 84.48). Then flip the numbers and see what you get (e.g. (-84.48,34.02)). Geeky fun, but lots of it…

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  2. I have been bored too if I run out of things that engage me, which happens a lot lately. Genealogy research has been good but I need other outlets as well. We used to like to take road trips in California and not doing that now. We did go out to the desert a couple of times but then you are pretty much limited in activities there too. Your suggestion of remote exploration is interesting. Google has a site called Arts and Culture I have glanced at but it might be worth exploring.

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  3. This is a great idea! I’ve used Google Maps for practical searches, but in some ways, fighting boredom and fantasizing about places I’d like to go could be practical…. and educational. Thanks, John! New Zealand, here I come!

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