Home Geospatial Applications Miscellaneous ‘People are 20 IQ points smarter because of Google Maps’

‘People are 20 IQ points smarter because of Google Maps’

US: In the past few years, the map has transformed from a static, stylised portrait of the earth to a dynamic and interactive conversation, said Michael Jones, Google”s chief technology advocate, in conversation with The Atlantic.

Speaking to The Atlantic, he said, “It”s not the map itself that has changed. You would recognise a 1940 map and the latest, modern Google map as having almost the same look. But the old map was a fixed piece of paper, the same for everybody who looked at it. The new map is different for everyone who uses it. You can drag it where you want to go, you can zoom in as you wish, you can switch modes–traffic, satellite—you can fly across your town, even ask questions about restaurants and directions. So a map has gone from a static, stylised portrait of the earth to a dynamic, inter-active conversation about your use of the earth.”

He further said, “The dialogue with the map is becoming much more personal. You can imagine that in the future, if you have a wearable computer, the dialogue will become even more intimate: you will see a continuous stream of guidance and information, and no one else will even know that you”re being advised.”

He added, “Right now people walk around looking at directions on phones. In the future, the phone will signal you–go left or straight ahead–in words or sounds in your ear, or visually through your glasses, so you can just look where you”re going and walk. It”ll be like you”re a local everywhere you go. You”ll know your way through the back alleys and hutongs of Beijing, you”ll know your way all around Paris even if you”ve never been before. Signs will seem to translate themselves for you. This kind of extra-smartness is coming to people. Effectively, people are about 20 IQ points smarter now because of Google Search and Maps. They don”t give Google credit for it, which is fine; they think they”re smarter, because they can rely on these tools. It”s one reason they get so upset if the tools are inaccurate or let them down. They feel like a fifth of their brain has been taken out.”

Source: The Atlantic