Mapping Sex Maniacs

Like everyone else we know, we were blown
away by the innovations in mapping featured on,
principally the satellite photo and hybrid views, featuring street names
and labeled
landmarks superimposed on the satellite photos, and the unlimited click
and drag scrollability: if you had the time and patience you could scroll
from Cambridge to Cupertino.

People we know who understand these things are equally
impressed with the programming involved in making the maps work.  They
say that the back end functionality, which has nothing to do with java
or xml or shockwave or any of the other now conventional ways to jazz
up web sites, has opened whole new vistas for what is possible
in a browser delivered application.

When we heard that Google had released the source code
for this marvelous innovation and invited developers to build new applications
utilizing it, it seemed a promising and atypical move, although we understood
about as much about the underlying technology as a Great Dane does about
Shakespeare, unless his name is Hamlet. We figured the type of implementation
we could expect was a Google map on the Taco Bell web site showing the
location of all 17,000 locations.

Well, we just saw our first two Google Maps applications
and they are both pretty cool and marginally useful. The first, currently
being promoted as a Halloween prophylactic, is called
and is currently available in Beta format.  It is a nationwide database
of level 3 (the most dangerous) sex offenders integrated into the Google
maps. Type in your address and see a map with pretty purple pins for
each local sex offender. Click on a purple pin, and you get a name and

Sounded great in theory, but when we typed in our own
address and told the site to add the sex offenders to the map, nothing
happened. We scrolled around our neighborhood. Nothing. Offenderless.
Well, we thought, lets take a scroll on over to Cambridge. Hell, we know
a couple of perverts personally who live in Cambridge! Still
nothing! Not a single hit.

We were on the point of concluding that the applications
still wasn’t working correctly, or that they hadn’t gotten around to
adding the Massachusetts info, when we thought to scroll on over to
Brighton-Alston, the gritty student/industrial zone west of the BU campus.
Six purple pins popped into our map! Real sex offenders at last!

There were even two at the same address, a Father and
Son team. Best stay away from that house on Halloween, kids! Check it
out at

The second application, also in Beta, is the Map Gas
Price, which seems to have mapped all, or most anyway, of the gas stations
in the US.  However, it is the users who actually report and enter
the prices on the web site, buy clicking on gray pins, thereby turning
them into blue pins. Letting users supply the data makes it kind of like
a Wiki. We can see how it would allow you to look at all the
a regular
to work, and find which one had the lowest gas price.  Of course,
you could do the same thing by keeping your eyes open on the drive to
work: it’s
not like the stations try to hide their prices.  On the other hand,
there may be a station a block off your  normal route with a great
price that you could only discover via this site.  Check it out

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3 Responses to Mapping Sex Maniacs

  1. Misha says:

    I badly know English but pleased me

  2. Anonymous says:

    Прикольная статья.
    Еслиб я понял про шо она былоб ишо луче)

  3. Konya says:

    Siz kabul etmiyonuzmu ayıp oluyor dekan!

Comments are closed.