It's like spinning the globe of Google Maps and plunking down your index finger.
Got cabin fever? Canadian artist Jim Andrews has just the thing for you.
He calls it Teleporter. It uses the newest Google Maps API and a slate of panoramic photos to ping-pong you around the planet with the flick of a wrist. Just click "Teleport" and you'll be on your way, somewhere. It's like spinning the Google globe and plunking down your index finger. Where will you end up? Who knows!
Actually, there is some method to Teleporter's madness. Andrews tells FastCo that his algorithm generates random longitude and latitude coordinates someplace on the planet, before matching the location with the nearest panorama scraped from Google's expansive Street View archives.
I decided to take Teleporter, which appropriately begins each journey in London in the TARDIS, for a spin. My first stop is Ara Tapu, Takitumu District, Cook Islands:
Then off to the Camino Vaitea Anakena Parque Nacional Hanga Roa, Isla de Pascua, Valparaíso Region, Chile:
From there, on to Prospekt Leninskiy, Norilsk, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia:
And finally, to what looks like a research station somewhere in Antarctica:
If anything, Teleporter is the next in a long line of Google Maps hacks (Streetview Stereographic, anyone?), and is beyond addictive. No word yet, though, on whether it'll take you to the NSA's headquarters. (I'm still clicking through, and will report back.)