Friday, March 07, 2014

Modern Not Advanced

During our EarthView program today, we applied an array of geospatial technologies to find lunch. At the suggestion of one of our hosts, we selected Ward's Berry Farm, where a full-service sandwich stand is part of the farm's strategy for economic diversification. Like many farms that succeed in suburbia, the management has embraced internet and social media strategies to cultivate relationships with customers.

Turning to mapping software to find the quickest route to and from our lunch, we found that it should take about 8 minutes each way. The fact that Google Maps automatically provides a public-transportation alternative is encouraging. The fact that this alternative takes two hours longer than driving is a sign that we are not quite as advanced as we might hope to be.

Sadly, better public alternatives were removed throughout much of the Northeast and Midwest, about three quarters of a century ago, when General Motors systematically dismantled the old trolley networks.

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