“An old friend moved to France and sent me her address. Could you show me her town on a map?”
All of the computers here at the Newton Falls Public Library are installed with Google Earth, a program that allows users to take a virtual tour of almost anywhere in the world. We were able to type in our patron’s friend’s address and, from the comfort of a library computer in Ohio, take a virtual walk down her street, catching all the sights, from the outdoor patio in front of the pizza place to the little courtyard gardens.
While absolutely everywhere doesn’t seem to be mapped yet (for example, some Ohio country roads can be viewed from above, with buildings and landmarks clearly visible, but the street view doesn’t yet seem to be an option), it’s still a neat program to play around with. Another one of our Newton Falls Public Library staff members likes to use Google Earth when he’s going to be driving somewhere new, because it gives him an idea of which landmarks to expect.
After exploring on Google Earth, our patron also checked out a travel guide to France, several more of which are available through CLEVNET (such as DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: France) if she decides to take the trip in person!