From:         Patrick Douglas Crispen 
Subject:      TOURBUS - 15 Nov 2005 - The Top 22 - Part 5


The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved

Howdy, y'all, and greetings once again from deep behind the orange curtain in beautiful Irvine, California, where we take one, one, one 'cause you left me and two, two, two for my family ... :P

On with the show... Each year or so I create a handout titled "The Internet Tourbus Guide to the Most Useful Sites in the World." Today is the fifth post in my never-ending series, and today's stops all focus on Google. You can find my previous posts in the Tourbus archives at

16. Google Local

A few weeks ago, our friends at Google combined their much-acclaimed Google Maps [which we last visited back on July 28th] with their equally-acclaimed Google Local service to create a new, improved Google Local at

Fans of Google Maps won't notice much of a difference. Go to and you'll notice that the page looks exactly the same. The only difference is that there is now a new Google Local icon in the upper left corner. Behind the scenes, though, Google has added a few new tricks including "in" and "near" searches. For example, if you search Google Local for

ribs in anaheim or ribs near anaheim

you'll see a list of rib restaurants in and around Anaheim, CA. The list isn't complete -- it omits Lucille's BBQ in nearby Long Beach and Brea -- but it's still pretty helpful. Try some in and near searches on your own and see what you can find in your hometown. The cool part comes when you search for a particular business. Try searching for

lucille's brea, ca

and you'll see a list of all of the businesses in Southern California that contain the name "Lucille's." Click on the first hit on the left -- the "A" hit -- and a pop-up window appears showing you the Brea restaurant's address, telephone number, web site, and even customer reviews. And, let me add, the reviews are spot on. Lucille's is the best barbeque I have had outside of Alabama.

So, in addition to the clickable, dragable, zoomable street and satellite maps we have all come to know and love at Google Maps, the new Google Local also includes local business information you may find helpful. And don't forget that Google Local also offers turn-by-turn driving directions that [in my humble opinion] are far superior to anything MapQuest offers.

17. Google Sightseeing

Of course, the coolest part of Google Maps [now Google Local] is the site's satellite or hybrid views. Being able to see your old high school [ ] or Alcatraz Island [ ] from space is simply too cool for words.

Want to see more but don't know where to start? Hop on over to the Google Sightseeing blog at

The folks at Google Sightseeing [who are not officially affiliated with Google] have spent the better part of eight months digging through Google's satellite looking for cool stuff like pictures of airplanes in flight [ ], an example of how Missouri and Illinois highway engineers don't play well together [ ], and something that is best filed under the title "I want to believe" [ ]

Take some time to browse through the categories on the right side of the Google Sightseeing page, especially the "Weirdness" category. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at all the stuff that is hiding in Google satellite images.

18. Google Blog

As long as we're talking about Google, let's pay a quick visit to the official Google Blog at

Edited by Google managers, engineers, and team members, the official Google Blog is a great place to get a sneak peek at some of Google's newest tools and technologies. As one example, on Monday the Google Blog announced that Google has relaunched the Urchin web traffic analysis toolkit as "Google Analytics." Oh, and it's free so long as you have a Google account. Just point your web browser to

Bonus: Free Google PowerPoint Presentations

If you want to learn more about Google, point your web browser to

There you'll find a bunch of free PowerPoint presentations you are free to steal, including:

  • Google 201: Advanced Googology [updated 11/05]
  • Ready to take your Googling to the next level? Beyond the world of plusses, minuses, and quotes lies a whole universe of secret Google tips, techniques, and tools. This quick, one- hour presentation introduces you to little known Google features like pipes, stop-word workarounds, full-word wildcards, and query modifiers--features that will instantly make you the envy of your friends and the center of attention at cocktail parties.

  • Google 301: Uber Google [new 11/05]
  • Want to know what the evil Google scientists have been working on the past couple of months? In this fast-paced, one-hour presentation you'll see some of Google's latest creations including Google Earth, Google Maps, Google Print, Google Scholar, Google Video, and more. You'll even get a sneak peek at some new Google tools that will soon be released upon an unsuspecting world.

  • Google 70-20-10: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Everyone's
  • Favorite Search Engine [new 11/05]

    Ready to take your Google-ing to a whole other level? In this three-hour presentation [which is a combination of Google 201 and Google 301] you'll get a behind-the-scenes look at how Google really works, learn little-known Google tools and tricks that will change the way you search, and even see what Google has up its sleeve in the not-too-distant future. You'll also learn Google's 70-20-10 philosophy and see how Google Answers, Google Catalogs, Google Directory, Froogle, Google Groups, Google Images, Google Maps, Google News, Google Print, Google Scholar, Blogger, and Keyhole both work and fit into Google's overall search strategy.

    The Next Best Thing

    Linda from Marlinton, West Virginia recently wrote and said "The next best thing to Tourbus is the Smart Computing magazine that you guys recommend. I've been getting it since last summer and it has solved numerous problems for me and my friends." Thanks, Linda!

    We hope other Tourbus riders will discover the Plain English answers to their computing questions that Smart Computing delivers every month. Do you want to speed up your PC? Eliminate the threat of computer viruses? Get rid of spyware and keep hackers out? Try Smart Computing today -- get your FREE TRIAL issue NOW!

    I hope these help. Let me know if you find any typos. That's it for today. Have a safe and happy week, and we'll talk again soon.

    .~~~. )) (\__/) .' ) )) Patrick Douglas Crispen /o o \/ .~ {o_, \ { / , , ) \ `~ -' \ } )) AOL Instant Messenger: Squirrel2K _( ( )_.' ---..{____} Warning: squirrels.

    The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
    Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
    The Top 22 - Part 5, viruses, hoaxes, urban legends, search engines, cookies, cool sites
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