The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) is filming a short segment in the Metamend board room this afternoon. I am being interviewed about the amazing work the City of Nanaimo BC is doing promoting itself via Google Earth.
For those unaware of Nanaimo’s new found fame, it is being called the Capital City of Google Earth. Over the last two years, the city has been adding real-time information about civic issues to its Google Earth feed. Virtually all businesses, hospitals, civic infrastructure and civic service in the region is displayed on Google Earth.
The benefits to citizens are numerous. For example, the next time a resident of Nanaimo hears a fire engine siren, they can open Google Earth to find out where that fire engine is going. When a property owner is about to dig in their backyard, they can first check Google Earth to see if sewer or electric lines run under their property.
More practically, Nanaimo’s experiments with making as much information available through Google Earth will most certainly expand tourism, help individuals plan property purchases, and show people where and how their tax dollars are being spent. An interesting application of technology has GPS sensors placed on civic lawn mowers so residents can see when their boulevards and parks were last tended to.