Sunday, 23 October 2016

Street view navigation

Today's Bible Sunday service took me again to Llanos where there were over thirty people for the Eucharist. Many regulars are away at this time, I understand. The weather was comfortably mild, even with a wind, much to the relief of many present, as it was unnecessary to use fans to keep cool. We began the service, in consequence, with a few minutes of delicious silence. I told a little of the story of the Bible Society's world wide work, and afterwards found there were some who are familiar with it. I felt a little like I did back in to eighties when I was often out and about preaching 'world mission' sermons and telling stories about the work of church agencies at home and abroad.

While I was just about to eat lunch on returning, I had the exchange of calls about the funeral on Wednesday which I'd been expecting last night, and then made arrangements to visit the widow, who lives just up the valley from Arboleas. She gave me clear instructions, which I tried to follow on Google maps with little success. Putting the address into the search bar produced nothing. So I tried using Microsoft's Bing map search engine. That produced no result and the area map was far inferior. Using Google Street View again, as I did yesterday, I followed the main road towards the house to the point at which there was meant to be a right turn. Indeed there was, but there was no view of a street, only a view of tarmac'd stretch of road without houses. This convinced me that neither map nor Street View have been recently updated.

It's not uncommon here for streets in new housing developments to remain un-named for several years after houses are built and occupied - they are simply known by the original developer's plot numbers. Keeping street maps up to date is by no means an easy task when there are so many new developments to cover all over the world. 

When Street View was first came to Cardiff city centre, it showed pictures of the redevelopment work well in progress, from late 2008. Earlier still, Google Earth had shown aerial photos of the city centre dated October 2006, the week when demolition began. You could even see a huge yellow machine that eats old buildings parked on a flattened site. It would be another five years before this aerial view was updated. I lost track of when Street View caught up with the place transformed, but do know it was a year or so after the work was completed in summer 2009. I pitied foreign visitors using these services, having heard about the wonders of the new shopping centre and finding images of a building site instead. Not good for tourism! My protests yielded nothing, but that was in the days before I could complain publicly on Twitter.

A couple of weeks ago, I broke my HSBC code generating device, used for CBS business internet banking. I didn't feel I could throw it away intact, so I reduced it to pieces to throw away, and extracted the tiny lithium battery for safe disposal. It's always a challenge to find a battery disposal unit at home and abroad. Here in Mojacar however, there's a collection point facility I've not seen elsewhere. There are tall advertising panels at certain points along the street, and built in to the base of some is a safe disposal unit. Ingenious. I must have walked past one nearest to the apartment a dozen times without remembering to drop off the battery. Tonight, on my evening paseo, I finally remembered, musing to myself that sometimes you can overlook doing the right thing, even when it's possible and right in front of you.

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