This Is Not The World I Grew Up In, Part 3


Last week we turned on a computer, opened a browsing program, went to Google, clicked on Maps, and told the machine to show us the Ponderosa Market. Let’s go on from there, OK? 

The program has us on an outline map of Pine. On the left side of the screen is the zoom control with a little man in it. Under his feet is a plus sign. Click on it, zooming in until the view stops expanding. We’re still looking at a map, which isn’t too exciting, but go over to the right side of the screen and click on “Satellite” — Bingo — A beautiful aerial view of the Ponderosa Market! And, believe it or not, taken from a satellite circling the Earth 100 miles out in space. Look at how clear that image is. And how big everything is!

But here comes something even more amazing.

Press and hold your mouse button and you’ll see that the pointer changes to a little hand. Using it, you can grab the map and move it around — north, south, east or west. Try it, but first find the little minus sign at the bottom of the zoom control and click on it once or twice. That will zoom out a bit so you can see where you are going. Once you’ve done that you can travel all over Pine, zooming back in and looking at things from up close. Try it. Have some fun.

OK, now what? This next change is about as amazing as anything you will ever see in your life. Next to “Satellite” in the upper right corner of your screen is “Earth.” Click on it.

Isn’t that something? Click on the minus sign again to zoom out just a little. You are now looking at the terrain up here in Rim Country in three dimensions! You can actually see the hills and valleys, the deep crease of Pine Creek, the way the land rises up to Strawberry, and the high terrain of Milk Ranch Point. And, of course, you can use the plus sign and minus sign to zoom in and out.

One thing that may surprise you is how many things you can see from overhead that can’t be seen from ground level. Fences and hedges don’t mean a thing to the satellite. No secrets from the Big Eye In The Sky! At least none that are bigger than a birdbath. If you live in Pine you may be surprised to discover how many things you didn’t know about your own neighborhood.

We haven’t even begun to scratch the surface.

What now? Click on Satellite again. Let’s go take a gander at the big city — Phoenix.

Might as well do something practical. Some day you may find yourself on a visit to the Juvenile Corrections Department with your children or grandchildren, so let’s take a look at the place. Go up to the search box and type in “AZ Juvenile Department of Corrections.” You don’t need an address; the computer knows where it is. In fact, it won’t even let you get done typing before it puts up a suggestion you can click on.

We could look at our target from above as we did places in Pine, but there’s a better way to look at places in bigger towns, so let’s try it. Look on your screen; see the big A? That marks our target. See the little man in the zoom control? Been wondering what he’s for? Wait till you see this!

Place your pointer on the little man, press and hold your mouse button, drag him over toward the big A, and release him in the middle of the street next to the A. In about a second the image will change and you’ll find yourself looking at West Adams Street in Phoenix. Depending on exactly how you placed the little man you may either be looking up the street or at the corrections building. If you aren’t looking at the corrections building, just press and hold your mouse button and slide the oval your pointer turns into. The whole scene will move with you as you move your pointer. Go left or right to see the building.

You can now, if you want to, travel every street in Phoenix. All you have to do is slide your view so you are looking at the street again, move your little oval up the street as far as you want to go, and click. Bingo! You’re there! It’s like driving around town; you can stop, look around, and then move on. To travel faster, just zoom out with the minus sign, move the map so that it shows a new area, and put your little man on a road.

Think about it: You can do the same thing in the hometown you haven’t seen for so many years!

Or in any town or city on Earth!

If you think that’s something, Johnny, next week we are going to talk about something that will knock your socks clean off!


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