Thankful Friday and Google maps

Dear Google Maps,

You’ve really had a profound affect on my life. You see, I’m not a very visual person, so it’s good for me to see where I’m going first, from traveling to soccer games to doing research for my novels.

And as any good relationship should develop, I feel I’ve gotten to know you better, especially when my last novel took place in South Boston. Don’t be offended, I still made my husband go with me, just in case. The museum I visited isn’t quite in South Boston and that’s where my character lives, but as a rural NH girl, I was a tad bit nervous about driving through Southie. But don’t feel too bad, Boston is one of the hardest cities to drive in, even before you came along.

I feel our relationship really went to the next level when I tried out the Google satellite. It was amazing! I zoomed in on South Boston. I got street names, the cemetery’s name, business names, the middle school’s name and I really got a feel for what Southie looks like. You helped me add details to my novel so it’s more believable. And if you ever try to write a novel, you’ll realize that’s kinda important.

Thanks for being such a great friend, and I promise you’ll be seeing more of me. My next novel takes place in another country, so I just might have to try out Google earth.

Thanks and best wishes in mapping out the world!

What writing tool are you thankful for?

14 Responses to Thankful Friday and Google maps

  1. Sherrie Petersen November 12, 2010 at 9:20 am #

    I love Google Earth. And really, everything about the whole internet has made research so much easier.

  2. Jennifer Shirk November 12, 2010 at 1:39 pm #

    We used to live north of Boston and would go into the city a lot. The hubby got the hang of it right away. Me, I could NEVER drive in that city. There’s no usual grid. The streets are all wagon-wheelish.
    I’ve never used Google maps. What a great tool to have though!

  3. Lois Moss November 12, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

    I love Google Earth. I’ve also been real keen on the internet in general for writing. I can check my facts in a snap.

  4. Angela Felsted November 12, 2010 at 2:49 pm #

    If you try to get directions from Seattle to Honolulu on Google maps, you can have a good laugh.

    • Laura November 12, 2010 at 2:59 pm #

      Sherrie – Yes, internet and research go hand in hand. Invaluable for writers. I loved when I stumbled across a blog from someone who lived in South Boston. It was so cool!

      Jennifer – The street patterns in Boston are horrendous, which is part of Boston’s charm, but it’s very easy to get lost!

      Lois – And fact checking is important. The internet is a good spring board!

      Angela – And yes, the directions aren’t always perfect!

  5. Laura Marcella November 12, 2010 at 4:59 pm #

    Cool idea! Thanks for the tip!

  6. Susan R. Mills November 12, 2010 at 5:07 pm #

    I love Google Earth. I use it to scope out every town I write about. Even if I give a town a fictional name, I base it off a real location. Not only does it give me details to add to my novel, but it helps me get a feel for a place and what kind of effect it will have on my characters.

  7. Stephen Tremp November 12, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

    I use Google maps and Google Earth much. Like yourself, I needed to research the layout of Boston as much of my book happens there. There;s no way I could describe the setting without the help of Google for which I am very thankful.

  8. Stephen Tremp November 12, 2010 at 6:35 pm #

    Oh, and thanks for stopping by Kelly’s blog today and saying hi!

  9. kris November 12, 2010 at 6:46 pm #

    Great tool, Google Earth. I love the internet for research…it even helps me research what research I need. LOL.

  10. Karen Strong November 12, 2010 at 7:11 pm #

    We use Google Maps and Google Earth in the software we develop — it is VERY cool (and sort of scary since you can zoom right up all in my backyard.

    What writing tool am I thankful for? Oooh, that’s a hard one. Maybe the yWriter I’m using right now. If I ever get a Mac I would love to try the Scrivener thing. Laura, I know you use and love it right?

  11. Carolyn Abiad November 12, 2010 at 7:21 pm #

    I LOVE google anything! Blogger, Picasa, Maps…I don’t think I could live without it. Might be a bad thing, to be so dependant on them, but who else gives you what you need, asap?

  12. Elisa November 12, 2010 at 11:58 pm #

    I love Yahoo and Google search engines, but my all time favorite tool, the online webster dictionary. ;p

  13. Adam November 13, 2010 at 12:51 am #

    I would be lost without Google, and Google Maps. But without a word processor, or at least a typewriter, I wouldn’t even write. Writing by hand is just far too cumbersome for me.

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