Google Maps + more stuff

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Google Maps

The Wall Street Journal explores the history and technology behind Google Maps. The mapping equipment decrease in size over time is particularly interesting to see. The origin of Google Maps starts with a PC app developed the Rasmussen brothers. Jens went on to help found Apple’s map application as well. What quickly becomes apparent when you look at the camera and mapping equipment is the lack of designing for operator comfort. Even these are produced in commercial amounts, the Google Maps camera and LIDAR equipment still looks and feels like an engineering student project. Google Maps is now 17 years old from launch. It spurred a large amount of development on what was termed ‘where 2.0‘.

The impact of where 2.0 in our world today can be seen in local recommendations from Siri on your smartphone to the Institute for the Study of War, which has created the defacto map for what’s happening during the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine.

Aquafresh fortune-telling

Grey Japan based the campaign on a behavioural insight. During COVID, Japanese toothbrushing habits changed. While brushing your teeth morning and night was common within the Japanese lifestyle prior to COVID; the emphasis has also slowly shifted to brushing in the night and less in the morning.

Aquafresh Japan fortune teller

The campaign asked Aquafresh users to upload a photo on Twitter showing the toothpaste applied to their toothbrush. They would then receive their fortune-telling results from the famous Japanese fortune teller Johnny Kaede based on the colour and shape of the toothpaste on the brush.

Brabus Invicto

German Mercedes tuner and the sultans of bling Brabus have got into the armoured G-Wagen business with the Invicto. I am not quite sure who it will be marketed to since the security sector is already well catered to by the likes of Alpha Armoring. But if you need a team of armed bodyguards to rollout and deploy rapidly on the Kings Road in Chelsea, be reassured Brabus have the gun truck for your ex-special forces types.

The engineering and manufacturing processes that go into making the vehicle is very interesting. It contrasts with the process that Jankel uses for its Land Cruisers. The main challenge I see is the large number of pieces that Brabus has to use compared to Jankel’s hot forming process.

Lyle Goldstein on U.S. Strategic Challenges

Goldstein is a director at a dovish US think tank and formerly taught as the US Naval War College. I don’t necessarily agree with Goldstein since I view the challenges that the west faces more apropos to the Axis powers, rather than the cold war.

Manulife Hong Kong

Manulife insurance for personal injury and health costs is what this ad is using. The actors are famous in the Hong Kong film industry and the ad uses tropes from police and spy films.