Privacy advocates seem to hate Google Maps. They think the photos of buildings and houses and people going about their daily business are intrusive.
As a parent, though, I think Google Maps is a very useful resource.
Here’s what I mean. Russell is moving to his third apartment in Brooklyn. We can’t go there to see what it looks like. But, using Google Maps, we can see that his new place is above the JR’s Furniture on Broadway in Brooklyn, next door to what looks like a very intriguing meat market — literally, the Broadway Meat Market, which features “lamb, pork, poultry, dairy products, deli” — as well as Angel Fish and a discount store. Elevated train tracks run down the avenue at the second story level, and across the street is a Chinese restaurant, a pawn shop, and another deli. In short, it seems to be a classic urban Brooklyn neighborhood.
I haven’t seen Russell’s new digs, and probably won’t for a while. But thanks to Google Maps, I feel like a have a better sense of where he is and what he is likely doing — and a parent, that’s what I really want.