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I’ve been wondering lately what a map of my life might look like. Thankfully, Google maps has the answer.

Obviously, there are many different kinds of maps, and though I don’t know what a figurative map of my life would look like, I can see the geographical one online. The Google Earth map was impressive at first, but this new ‘street view’ map is bloody fantastic.

Ok, so it might be a bit weird to look up a panoramic view of your own street as you sit in your apartment… but the street view of my apartment was actually done two winters ago: so really, it’s like an old photograph. And what do old photographs do but bring back memories.

The views of my street and apartment were taken on a cloudy, wintry day, sometime (I’m guessing) in late 2007/early 2008. I can tell this because the new condos that were built right next door to me were still under construction; I can also tell by what neighbor’s cars are parked in our lot. I was hoping for my car to be in the shot, but alas, it isn’t!

After looking up my street, I panned over to the park next door. The panoramas in the park were also in winter, probably in December: it is a very cloudy day, but one can still see the unlighted xmas decorations everywhere. Suddenly, unexpectedly, I was taken back to xmas of 2007. This happened so quickly and I had such a rush of emotions, I immediately burst into tears.

WTF? Again, this was very much like opening a box of old photos and being transported to another time. It still amazes me how memory works, how strongly it is tied to place, smell, sound, etc. Seeing the park in winter (even though I saw it pretty much every day this past winter) during a specific time was a bit overwhelming. A flood of memories has come over me of that particular xmas.

Not sure how often the maps are updated, but it’s kind of nice to be able to look at my street, my neighborhood, and see the changes that have occurred in the past two years. It’s also a lot of fun to look at some of the other major cities that have the street view available: I’ve been all over the world today– London, Rome, Australia! Virtual travel from the sofa– you gotta love it.

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