Columns

2017.11.08 My photos are such a help

By DAVID GREEN

Every now and then I receive a message from Google Maps telling me “Your photo is making a difference.”

Then it shows the photo I submitted for Eagle Funeral Home. It’s a pan of corn bread fresh from the oven.

Why? Because I’m just a silly boy, I suppose. I was looking at my house on Google Maps one day and I was asked if I had a photo to contribute for the funeral home across the street. I looked in my phone, saw the corn bread, and it’s now part of the funeral home.

It was a really good batch of corn bread, cooked in an iron skillet. Only a sprinkling of cinnamon would have made it better. Sometimes I forget to do that.

Google tells me that the photo reached 5,000 views and I was heartily congratulated. It’s now up to 5,239.

“Photos like yours help people explore places and decide where to go. Well done!” said Mr. Google.

If the funeral home serves corn bread like that, I suppose I would like to go there.

I have a few other photo contributions (6,422 views total), but none are as attractive as the bread.

I’m told that I could get rewards for my contributions and that I could be a Level 2 Guide. I have no idea what that means, nor do I care.

Let’s consider my other photos. One day I was sitting in the Adrian Telegram press room waiting for my papers to be printed—sometimes I get there and it’s way too early, other times I wonder why I didn’t arrive 15 minutes earlier—and I took a photo of a large electrical box.

Because I was at the Telegram and because Google knew I was there—there’s little that Google doesn’t know about me—I was asked if I wanted to add it to the Telegram’s map location. Of course I wanted to. I think it gives people searching for a printer an excellent overview of what’s available there. I especially enjoy the note reading, “No stubs in front of the electrical boxes. Thanks.” I’m not sure what a stub is, but I think it might be an unfinished roll of newsprint. Or maybe it’s a cart used to haul papers in.

Regardless, this photo has 365 views and, as you can imagine, I am proud of that.

I have another photo from the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, part of the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx. It shows some kind of shrubbery, I guess, and they put a pair of large “googly eyes” on it. It really does resemble some sort of hairy monster. Only 254 views.

Finally, I added two photos from the Observer. The first, I’m sorry to say, has attracted only 10 views, despite the oddity included.

It shows a collection of the tools of my trade—pencils—and includes a present from city administrator Michael Sessions. Michael bought (or stole) a pencil from the House of Commons when visiting London. It’s very unique. It has regular pencil lead, but the body of the instrument is made from recycled plastic, and it’s without an eraser. I hate to think what the plastic body might have been in its former life.

The other pencils are a mix of the usual Ticonderoga #2 plus a couple of highly prized Velvet #2.5 tools.  I love those 2.5s. Not easy to find.

I have one other photo that has done much better. It’s a type drawer pulled out a few inches, located in the dusky, dusty back portion of the Disturber office. The drawer label lists it as 12 point John Hancock. It may be John Hancock, but it’s actually closer to 36 point.

Everything in the photo is covered in a light dust from the offset powder used on a nearby printing press, but it’s still a very handsome drawer, certainly worthy of 656 views.

Google offers me the opportunity to become a Local Guide and join a global community of explorers who share tips, photos and new places on Google Maps. That’s me. I think I will walk across the street now and take a photo of the bricks on the north side of Dunbar Furniture. It’s a popular location for senior photos and this new Local Guide wants to get the word out.