Have you ever used Google’s Streetview feature? It’s where you can look at a map, choose a street anywhere in the UK (or most of the world) and look around as if you were stood on the street there. You can click and drag to look in different directions and click on a different bit of ground to “move” to look from a different place.
It’s great for helping with planning routes, so you can actually see what a junction will look like. Or see what your hotel will look like before you get there, so you can recognise it.
And it’s also fun for exploring places you’ve never been to.
It’s not just for streets, either. Google have added a few buildings that you can “go” inside. And they’ve just added one more: Ten Downing Street.
It’s not the whole building, but it’s still quite interesting to see. And they’ve added a few bits of information about the bits you can see into it as well.
You can have a look here.
Bonus points to anyone who spots the painting that’s all blurry (for copyright reasons, apparently).
It’s quite interesting, if you’re interested in history and old buildings. I enjoyed having a look around, anyway, and I suspect it’s my only chance to look around inside number 10!
Pictures you can use in newsletters and so on
I know quite a few readers are involved in local clubs, societies and so on. And you might sometimes need to make a poster or a newsletter or whatnot for a club you’re involved in.
You can do it quite well in a program like Microsoft Word, OpenOffice or LibreOffice (LibreOffice and OpenOffice are very nearly the same program – but with different names!)
But sometimes you might want to include a picture of something in particular. Say there’s a concert on at the local village hall and you want to put a picture of a violin on it. Or you’re writing about auditions at the local drama group and want a picture of a stage with the proper stage curtains. Or are organising a coach trip and would like a picture of a coach.
I suppose you could just do a Google search – but chances are the pictures you find would be copyright, so it wouldn’t be legal to use them for most things.
There’s an easy alternative, though, which I use myself. It’s called OpenClipart, and it’s pictures you can use that are “in the public domain” – which means you can use them how you like.
All you do is go to the website, then type what you’re after into the box near the top and voila, you get a list of all the images it has related to that. You click on the one you want and then you can download it to use for whatever you want.
A lot of the images are drawn by Americans or people with an American dialect of English, though, so if you can’t find what you’re after it might be worth stopping to think if it’s one of those words they spell differently over the pond.