Vacationing with Google Maps, June 05


FOR YEARS MY ANNUAL TRIP to see family in South Dakota entailedstopping at Southridge Mall in Des Moines—a convenient stop for a lunch ofChinese food a couple hours into my trip.

But one year, dang it, Highway 5 was suddenly different—didn’t go anywherenear Southridge Mall. The good news was that it skirted the south side ofDes Moines and saved time. The bad news—I missed lunch and had to stop ata fast-food place off Highway 80.

So for a couple of years I wondered how to get from Highway 5 to SouthridgeMall. I once tried using an Internet map feature, but couldn’t convenientlyfigure it out. Enter Google maps ( Somehow Google just alwaysdoes things better.

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Jim Karpen, Ph.D., college professor, Internet devotee. Jim teaches writing at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa. Jim has been interested in the revolutionary consequences of computer technology ever since writing his Ph.D. dissertation in 1984 at Bowling Green State University on the study of the "digitized word".