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Globe Genie Screenshot

We’ve just found a great time-wasting site for digital travelers and fans of Google Street View…it’s called Globe Genie.

Using the site, users can be transported to random places around the globe where Google Street View is available.  It’s all about discovering new places, so users aren’t actually able to specify a location.  Instead you just sit back and let the genie find new places for you.  Users can however choose which regions they’d like to filter; Asia, North America, Africa, Australia and Europe.

My first trip landed me in a neighbourhood somewhere in Japan, a place I likely would have never seen.  One of the cooler features enables a user to send out the coordinates of a location to Twitter / Facebook so places you find can be shared with friends.

The project was created by Joe McMichael, an MIT student who told me he created Globe Genie for fun as a side project during his breaks between class.  McMichael said “As a child I would spin a globe and randomly place my finger somewhere, imagining what it would be like to live there.  It occurred to me that with Google Street View, this is now possible.  We’ve all seen pictures of famous landmarks around the world.  Virtually teleporting to a random spot gives you the chance to discover hidden landscapes that you would never know to look for otherwise.”

McMichael clarified that Globe Genie works by “generating random latitude and longitude coordinates within several pre-specified regions that have Street View imagery. It then queries Google’s servers to determine whether the point is valid. If not, it repeats this process until it finds a valid location…As more countries are added, the service will become faster and more diverse “

Overall, I found myself quickly sucked into its serendipitous nature, and luckily, updates will continue to be implemented.

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About The Author

Avatar of Brodie Beta

Brodie Beta aka @iPhonegirl is a tech blogger, social media strategist and the Co-founder of Drink Social Media. She has written columns for well-known technology sites including The Next Web and a national newspaper in Canada, The Globe and Mail.
Brodie is also the social media strategist at CountMeIn, a social-gifting platform for collaborating on gadgets and products on Facebook.

5 Responses

  1. Brenda Gray

    I love this. I did get a few “boring roads” but I found the scenery entrancing. Ireland was lovely, reminded me of New Zealand (where I live). I visited Japan, Sweden, USA, England, Denmark … just wonderful. A magnificent adaptation of google streetview!

    What an age we live in, eh?

  2. SeniorWithAniPad

    Hey….how about a non-flash version for the post 2010 era?

  3. Bruce R. (BPR639Geek)

    This is v-e-r-y cool!!!, kind of like a full forced visual travel agent suggestion box. On several sights I visited however, I was brought to very long, lonely stretches of roads. But then randomly taking me to beautiful cities, towns and suburbs, I felt as if I was instantly teleported there and felt right at home with brilliant photography and very realistic nearly 3D rendering. In my retirement years, I was planning to buy a big motor home and tour america, but seeing how the Google road trackers map the world, I may just trade off my age old retirement plan… “B”

  4. George

    The first place I got was an amazing idyllic scene in Sweden. After that I got crappy American road after crappy American road. Removing the North America filter just gave me crappy Australian road after crappy Australian road.