A friend of mine showed me how to use Google Maps. I’m sure you’ve seen it. It lets you use satellite images to look at locations all over the world. A few years ago, I was in a car accident.
Since then, I really don’t leave the house that often. It’s difficult, and the idea of a seeing a car drive by me makes me feel lightheaded. I was fascinated by the fact that I could see all over the world, almost like being there. I could virtually walk down the streets, and it almost felt like I was really there.
I became instantly hooked. It gave me a real eye on the world. I could go to almost any major city, and I did. I’d seen streets in China, Japan, Germany, England… so many places. I’d even gone to tourist attractions like the Great Barrier Reef and Dracula’s castle.
My favorite was to go to random places in major cities and see how many people and animals I could find. The faces of the people were always blurred to protect their privacy, but it was still enjoyable to see them out there, enjoying their life, walking like it was no big deal.
“She must have good taste,” I laughed.
I zoomed in closer and noticed the grey bag she carried on a grey and purple shoulder strap. She was walking in a relaxed manner, one hand trailing the wall beside her. I bet if I could have seen her face, I would see that she was smiling. I began to feel a little sad. I let my hands fall onto the arms of my wheelchair and looked at her for a minute more. I wished that I could be there, walking so carefree with her. That wouldn’t happen though, until I died. I was stuck in this chair.
I sighed and zoomed out of Tokyo. Enough of this for tonight. I turned off the computer and went to bed.
I got up early and decided to look around Paris. Paris was always fun. I liked the look of the city, with all of the old, beautiful buildings and so many people to watch. I randomly zoomed to an area and saw a street lined with old brick buildings, a few small shops, and an old tan brick church. Ahead was an intersection, and dozens of people walked by. A balding business man walked quickly past, looking back at an old woman, hair covered with a scarf, carrying a large purse. A curvy woman in black pants that were too tight stared into a store window, and two women led a group of small children around a corner.
I spun the view around a few more times, and then saw something peculiar. Sitting on the bench at the bus-stop were two people. One of them was a young woman with her feet stuck in front of her in a relaxed manner. She was wearing a pair of red sneakers, like my own. I was startled for a moment as I noticed the black pants, white t-shirt, and black hooded jacket. Her dark brown hair was tied loosely behind her head. A grey bag sat on the bench beside her, the shoulder strap hooked over her shoulder.
“This is crazy,” I thought. “It can’t possibly be the same woman. This is a different country, different continent even. How could it be her?”
This was stupid. It wasn’t as if these were live photographs. They were taken ahead of time and then stored. It’s not like she was in two places at once. She could just be a traveler. Besides, without seeing her face, it was impossible to tell it was the same person. Brown hair was probably the most common hair color in the world. Those red sneakers were something I purchased online. I’m sure a million other people did too. I shook my head and went to fix some lunch.
When I got back online, I decided to look at Berlin. I picked a random street, as usual. It looked pretty empty. There were brick buildings lining the streets, looking more like factories than anything else. There were also empty lots, full of long grass and piled gravel. There wasn’t much to see at all, really. There was a line of motorbikes and a car with two German flags sticking up from it. After more searching, I found one kid. He looked like he was dressed for school, a jacket thrown over his bag. He was intently looking at some kind of mobile device. I was disappointed. I started to leave, but then I caught something out of the corner of my eye. I turned the view, and there they were. Those damned red sneakers.
She was standing on a street corner, next to some kind of sign post. She had a hand on the post, looking down the street, as if waiting to cross the street. I stared in shock. How could she be there too? Even if she was traveling, there’s no way I would find her every time. Even finding her in Paris would have been one heck of a coincidence, but this? This was crazy. Was this some kind of joke? Had Google decided to play a prank on its users that used their product so much? It would have been a great joke…
I did a quick search, looking for a note about a woman that shows up like Waldo. There was nothing. I looked through articles on strange things you can see on Google Maps, but none of them mentioned the woman that travels the world with you. This was crazy. Had my self-imposed isolation driven me mad? Had I become so lonely that I created a hallucination for myself?
Leaving the Berlin image on my screen, I sent a text message to a friend, asking him to look at the locations. I asked him if he saw the same woman. Then I waited, hands sweating, heart thumping in my chest. I jumped when my phone beeped with a return text message ten minutes later. The text read, “I see the lady you’re talking about in Berlin. I didn’t see her in Paris or Tokyo. Is this some kind of game, or what? Are you okay?”
I didn’t respond, instead returning to the locations in Tokyo and Paris. There she was. She was there, but it was different. She no longer sat on the bus-stop bench, in Paris. She was standing in front of it, looking for something in her bag. In Tokyo, she was blocks away, squatting down to pet that calico cat. I shivered. Who was she? What was happening?
I switched the map to Brussels. It was another city street. It was lined with old looking buildings, with shops on the ground level, and what I guessed was apartments above. I quickly scanned the streets. They were empty, other than a stocky woman in a bright blue sweater. I did a second sweep. She wasn’t there. I sighed in relief. I couldn’t believe I was getting so worked up about this.
It was nothing but a coinci– I stopped, my eyes frozen on the screen. There was a building at the point of a fork in the road, white with a black-ironwork-framed balcony jutting from the second floor. I hadn’t seen her, as I had been looking at the sidewalks. There she stood, standing on the balcony, her head tilted in the direction of the camera, almost like she was coyly looking toward me. My breath caught in my throat.
I switched to Sydney. She was leaning against the wall, inside the doorway of a bright blue Carricks Pharmacy building. London showed her getting ready to step onto a red double-decker bus, her head turned to look over her shoulder. She was everywhere I looked. She stood on a brick sidewalk on a bridge in Venice, she walked across a yellow barred crosswalk in Zurich, and in Hong Kong, she stood between a Wing Lung Bank and a McDonald’s adjusting the strap on her bag. In each picture, she came closer and closer to looking directly at me with her blurred out face.
My heart felt like a terrified bird, slamming around inside my chest. I couldn’t catch my breath. I wasn’t sure what to do. I couldn’t call the police. Should I send screenshots to Google?
I clenched my fists tightly and closed my eyes. Who was she? Was she following me? Was I following her? I wish I could see the expression on her face, know what she saw when she looked back at me. I wanted to get out of the chair and run. Why is it that the only thing that made me feel free again was the thing that made me feel even more trapped? I had to know.
I typed in the name of my town and zoomed into a random street. It was a couple of miles from my house; the gates to the city park were shown in the clarity of daylight, despite it being night here. There she was. There… There she was. She was only a few miles from my house, standing under the ironwork arch that stated the name of the park. She looked directly at the camera, directly at me. I felt like I might throw up. She was near me, and she was watching me. She was coming for me. What did she want?
I typed in the name of the apartment complex where I live. I could see the outside of the building. The parking lot was full of cars, and there were a few blurred out children on the playground. I searched everywhere for her. She wasn’t in the parking lot or on the sidewalks, not hiding between the buildings or standing in the playground. I even scanned each of the cars, behind the bushes, and each of the blurred windows. She wasn’t there. I curled tightly around myself and lay my head down on the desk.
This place was safe. I didn’t leave the apartment anyway. I would never use Google Maps again. I would never see her again. She could stay at the park for all I cared. I smiled to myself and was surprised to find a tear slipping down my face.
“I’m safe,” I said to myself in a whisper. It felt good to hear it out loud. “I’m safe.”
As I said it, there was a knock at the door. A chill ran down my spine. I had a camera hooked to my computer that showed who was at the front door, which made it easier for me, with my mobility issues. I slowly reached for the control to show myself who was outside, but my hand trembled furiously. As I touched the control, I realized my mistake. The last of Google’s images that I’d seen had only shown the outside of the building. Just the outside.
I looked at the screen and saw a woman in a white t-shirt, black pants, and black hooded jacket and carrying a grey bag with a purple and grey striped shoulder strap. Of course, there were those red sneakers. She looked directly at the camera, her face still a complete blur. As I tried to stifle a scream, she raised a hand and knocked loudly on my front door.
Cartozia is not your typical “fantasy” setting, because it’s loaded with the peculiar creations of several cartoonists’ active imaginations. I mean, I guess there are technically elves and sea serpents in Cartozia, but they don’t act like the ones you’re familiar with. We avoid the standard set-dressing of inherited folklore and high fantasy in favor of philosopher birds, phibbits, wind-up men, underdraaks, mask bears, and shambling towers. We keep the tone light enough to allow puns and other silly hijinks, while still keeping the stakes high enough that the adventures really need to be resolved.
2. We do “all-ages” right.
We write stories that will be engaging for grown-ups, but not awkward to read with kids. There’s more to say about this (and a Tumblr post that says it), but I think what it boils down to is that we know kids and adults respond to the same things about a good story. And we know that kids can tell when they’re being condescended to, so we don’t dumb things down.
3. Maps. Seriously.
One of the inspirations for this project is the narrative potential of a map — the way that a thousand different stories could unfold as characters’ paths crisscross on a shared piece of terrain. When you open a fantasy novel and see a map before the table of contents, that’s a passport into a whole world, though most novels can only draw a single line onto the two-dimensional map of the world. At Cartozia Tales, we try to make the whole map come alive.
Each issue has nine stories in it, all set in different parts of Cartozia, and each new issue adds more detail to the map, more spaces in between the places we’ve seen already. Because, as our modern (Google) maps remind us, every map codes a sort of infinite potential resolution, from infinite possible points of view.
4. We know how to collaborate.
There’s a lot to say about this, and really we’re planning to write a little pamphlet about it before the end of the summer. But to sum up: Cartozia Tales is a densely, richly collaborative project, with dozens of creative people pulling toward a shared goal. And we are all happy to hand our characters and plots over to our colleagues, and to play with our collaborators’ toys in return.
If you’re an artist, you’ll see a lot of potential for ways to share your work with your compatriots. If you’re a parent, you’ll see a model for a way kids can play imaginatively together.
All these, In every issue, and working together brilliantly: that by itself would be enough to make this book a prize of any indie-cartooning collection. But then there’s…
6. Our astounding guest stars.
If the regular crew of cartoonists isn’t enough to draw you in, imagine a world co-created by James Kochalka and Kelly Sue Deconnick, by Maris Wicks and Luke Pearson, by Jon Chad and Dylan Horrocks and Jon Lewis and Meredith Gran and Pete Wartman and Corinne Mucha. Every one of those awesome storytellers builds on the material we’re building together, and the result is something surprising and wonderful.
Plus, you are almost guaranteed to discover some cartoonist in Cartozia Tales whose work you’ll want to dig deeper into. If you’re new to indie comics, we’re a great starting point.
7. We’re feminist, though we don’t make a big deal about it.
More than half of our regular contributors are women, and strong girl characters are at the center of several of the main Cartozia stories. We don’t talk a lot about it, probably because we don’t think it’s something we should have to call attention to — like, in a better world, no one would be surprised that an all-ages comic was appealing to both girls and boys, both women and men. And I don’t want to make a big deal of it now. But we try to set a good example.
And I think that’s a big part of Cartozia’s flavor in the final analysis: just as we want to open up the narrative potential of a map by telling stories with lots of different geographical centers, we also want to a range of personalities and identities for our protagonists. Smart, fearful, capable, willful, tricky, open-hearted, foolish, or mysterious — these are traits that can define either a boy or a girl (though not all in the same character).
Why not include everyone?
8. The comics are really nice physical objects.
You can get Cartozia Talesas a PDF for a pretty low price, and this is probably your best option if you’re on a tight budget, or if you’re in another country and want to avoid the crazy cost of overseas shipping. But if you have a chance to hold the actual books in your hands, you won’t regret buying them. We use creamy, sumptuous, high-quality paper, so the books feel good in your hands and will stand up to a lot of re-reading. We offset print the whole thing locally so the editor can do a press check on every color cover. We put little things into each issue that exploit the physical form of the book — paper dolls, board games, mazes and so forth. It’s meant to be a book that takes a while to read, and a book you return to.
9. We need your help.
We successfully raised a lot of money (and found a lot of readers) on Kickstarter two years ago, but that money was never supposed to reach all the way to the end of our ten-issue run. The piggy bank is almost empty, with three issues left to pay for. We have plenty of comics to sell to new readers, and we’re running a sale right now to make it easy for you to decide whether to jump in.
Go ahead and download our first issue for free or our first three issues for $2.50. You won’t regret it. And if you like those stories, sign on for the rest of the series. You’ll be supporting a beautiful thing, and you’ll get to read some of the best-looking and smartest indie storytelling out there today.
I’ve come down with a bit of a cold or something to that extent and it got me thinking about one of my favorite houses that I’ve ever seen. And here it is in it’s full glory via google maps and it looks to me to be either vacant or being fixed up (I cropped out the dumpster and car underneath) but I figured for some reason I would share this because it’s always captivated me and this is honestly my dream house. I guess I don’t ask for too much.
theres this really ugly block of flats near me in portsmouth (uk) and whenever you go past it with anyone they 100% always say “what an ugly place to live” and i kinda like it, not that good a photo source but i dont think ive seen you post it anywhere, you should look at it on google maps or get someone to get a decent photo of it
Looks good, but for such a huge block, there’s very little to find so far.
In the meantime, a picture of Byker Wall in Newcastle, because it reminds me of it in a way:
NOTE: “As Seen On Google Maps” has moved. (Please click the whale picture to check it out.)
My collection of Google Street View photos has grown a lot by now, but I didn’t want this blog to be only about Google Maps. I also noticed that my aim in traveling through Google Maps has started to evolve. I’m fascinated with the whole concept of the Google Street View project. People are truly caught off guard doing whatever they happened to be doing at the time Google drove past them. The Google cameras and the drivers are neutral, so there is no altering of reality through the eyes and agenda of the photographer. This is reality. This is street photography in its rawest form.
As a result, I became less interested in capturing only pretty images, and more interested in capturing people in the modern-day environment. How have different geographical areas been shaped by the presence of different peoples? And in turn, how do people behave as a result of where they’re from? Or really, which comes first though? This project is now a study on human behavior and geography, as seen through the eyes of the Google Street View cameras (although there will still be pictures of pretty scenery). Over all, it seemed very fitting to put them on a separate tumblr page. I know, it’s not a new idea, but I would still like to start my own separate archive of my Google travels.
I changed the name to “Scene on Google Maps” because I don’t like dashes, and the “as seen” part didn’t look too good as a one-word url. (haha) Follow, if you please:
Original Imagine: http://thefandomimagine.tumblr.com/post/105466746404/submitted-by-anonymous
Reader Gender: female
Word Count: 1501 words
Warnings: fandom crossover(Marvel/Supernatural), no smut yet
Pairings: Loki/Reader; Dean/Reader
Author’s word: I apologize if there’s too much Marvel in it. I swear there will be more Supernatural in part 2. Also, just an FYI, I haven’t been writing in a long long time so my skills’re rusty. Please understand and enjoy!!
I stuffed all the books and files in my bag and walked out of the library. I couldn’t wait to tell Dean and Sam about my findings on the case. Whatever we were dealing with, it wasn’t just any trickster, it was Loki, the God of Mischief from the Norse Myths. I quickened my steps as the lights on the sidewalk flickered.
“What can possibly put you in such hurry, Y/N?” Said a deep, playful voice from behind my back. The cruelty hidden in the playfulness frightened me from the depth of my soul.
It was Stiles’ best friend’s wedding and Stiles was feeling miserable. It’s been two weeks since Lydia Martin, the love of his life, had told him that it was all a mistake and broken up with him to go back with her dickwad of a boyfriend, Jackson Whittmore. Stiles thought he could just disappear into the nether and never see their existence but Lydia was best friends with Allison Argent, the wifey-to-be and therefore, could not be avoided at the wedding since Stiles was the best man and Lydia was the bridesmaid.
Not that it stopped Stiles from trying anyway.
So Stiles hid behind crowds of people, (who were these people anyway) avoiding the smirk on Jackson’s face when he bumped into something solid.
“Hey. Watch where you’re going.” The wall spoke.
“Well this was my hiding corner so maybe you should go somewhe-” Stiles looked up and stopped talking when he saw the most lightest green eyes he has ever seen. It was like the color of sea foam. Not that Stiles has ever seen sea foam but he has explored the world through google maps. He knows what he’s talking about.
Attached to those eyes was the most handsome man he has ever seen. A beautiful man that was scowling at him.
the utlimate shitpost: a heavily jpeg artifacted meme, shrunk down very small and then subsequently blown up to become as blurry as possible in ms paint, and then printed out big enough to be seen by the google maps satellite thing, and then taking a picture of that on 2003 flip phone and posting it
We did get three Garridebs and I don't mean those guys who got died in the own. Has anyone else pointed out that Eurus plays out three people, each claiming their own identity, and then later shoots John, just like Winters aka John Garridebs? So what if Eurus really isn't Sherlock's sister? What if that's just something she's saying, omg like a double Garridebs! She's the third sib, but not really, she as fake as Garridebs. Also ultimately Winters didn't care about the guy he was duping he 1\2
2\2 just wanted to get the old man Garridebs out of his hpiss. Therefore what if shooting John was just a ploy to get Sherlock out of the house?? Is something at 221B? Is that why they released it on Google maps?
I actually haven’t seen that analogy made about Eurus, but it’s very interesting nonetheless! I absolutely believe that Eurus shot John, so this is a very interesting way for them to actually do Garridebs.
I think the 221B was just a little easter egg for the fans, but maybe, just maybe, the answers lie in that flat!