Oh sure, you could play another round of Tetris or wade into the sea that is YouTube when you’re doing your best not to be productive. But here’s a better idea—especially useful if, in addition to not wanting to work, you’d rather be somewhere else: Go look at somewhere else!
Joseph McMichael, a grad student in electrical engineering and computer science, has hacked Google Street View and developed Globe Genie, a random way to see the world. Simply choose from among five continents (sorry, Antarctica and South America) and Globe Genie, according to McMichael as quoted in the Guardian, “generates random latitude and longitude coordinates within several pre-specified rectangles around regions that have Street View imagery. It then queries Google’s servers to determine whether the point is valid. If not, it repeats this process until it finds a valid location.”
The most amazing thing might just be that when seen in small snippets, locales around the world, no matter how exotic, can also be quite familiar. A lonely street in Trajere, New South Wales, Australia could be a dead ringer for one in rural Michigan (trust me). Be sure to take a 360-degree twirl via the tool in the top left corner of the page.