I just saw this over at fast company: Geo-Coupons Land On Google Maps.
I think all the new map software is pretty interesting, but I’m wondering about its effects on culture. For one, it continues to reduce the world and put everything on a grid. In this sense, of course, map making is the epitome of modernity: rational presentation of an area of study.
Also, this illustrates what many have been calling the shift from virtual reality to augmented reality. Instead of escaping reality for a ‘reality’ of ones own making, you simply augment the reality you are participating in via carrying a computer with you everywhere. This augmented reality is already seen in “on-star” in car, the proliferation of portable computers, cells phones, and PDAs, and I think will continue making in-roads through eye-wear.
As with all technology, there will the be good with the bad on this. I’m hoping that this will open up the door to receiving a renewed sacramental theology in all areas of life; but it very well might turn narcissistic.