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Big Apple Unpeeled 8th October - 8th November 2010

Thursday 26 August 2010

Using Google City Tours for New York City

I discovered Google City Tours the other day and got quite excited about the possibilities!

You just put in your location, with the option of adding in dates as well. Great!

Hmm. Well, perhaps not so great. I lost patience with it very quickly.....

My first search under 'Manhattan' delivered a walk around and through central park with an approximate length of time along each part of the route, and with the option of removing some of the choices.

Okay, not bad for the first try. I could do that on one of my days in NYC. But upon refreshing the screen to find another selection I was disappointed to find the same map presented to me. I guess in some ways I shouldn't have been surprised as I used the same search term, but in a city the size of Manhattan, I would have thought that it would be churning out 'tour' after tour covering the width and length of the city.

So, I went a bit more general with my next search term, 'New York City'. Ah now it was covering a bit more ground, with a walk lasting approximately 4.5 hours starting at the centre of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Okay, time to get a bit more specific on my next search, 'Financial District, Manhattan'.

Well, this walk does include the financial district, but also takes me quite a way away from it too. Hmmm.....

As I mentioned, you can put in how many days you are staying in the area, but the maximum number of days is 5. I clicked on day 2 for Financial District. Now this is more like it. Much closer to the area. Things are looking up!

Until....Day 3. Where Google City Tours had run out of suggestions altogether.

So, my initial excitement about Google's City Tours waned very quickly. It just isn't good enough. Lack of choice. Restriction on days. And although you can put in exact dates, the information doesn't seem to change. For example, I would have liked up to date events and seasonal suggestions included. I don't really know how they pull the information together, but overall it was a disappointing experience.
I think I'll stick to planning my own walks, maybe selecting one from a guide book, or more likely just go where the wind blow me! :)

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