Afterword

ThimphuTech was the first technology blog in Bhutan. We started writing it in 2009, just as broadband and mobile internet started to take off. (Although internet in Bhutan was launched in 1999, it was either super-slow or super-expensive, and was only used by a selected few).

In the blog, we wrote about technology and food, but also about plenty of other stuff. The blog became popular and influential in Bhutan. A companion bi-weekly column -- Ask Boaz -- was published for many years in the Kuensel, Bhutan's national newspaper. (The complete Kuensel columns are available as an ebook, Blogging with Dragons).

We stopped updating the blog when we left Bhutan in 2014, but the information within the posts can still prove useful, and thus we decided to keep it online.

We thank all our readers.
Tashi Delek,
Boaz & Galit.

Monday, October 4, 2010

When will Google Street View reach Bhutan?

Yak at Pele La
Google Street View is the technology used in Google Maps and Google Earth which provides panoramic street-level views in various cities and towns across the world. Large parts of the U.S., Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand are covered, in addition to parts of South Korea, Japan, South Africa and Brazil (and then a few other countries).

To use Street View in Google Maps, drag and hold the little orange man (just above the zoom slider) over the map. The areas where Street View is available are then highlighted in blue. Drop the man at the desired location and use your mouse to watch the magic. For example, if you want to wander the streets of Paris in your pyjamas, here's a good place to start (don't forget to drag-n-drop the little man!). Alas, buttery croissants and bitter espresso are still beyond Google's technological wizardry.

While privacy is a major concern (especially in Germany, for obvious historical reasons), Google keeps expanding its Street View program. A couple of years ago there were rumours about starting the program in India, but this has not materialized. Google doesn't make its plans public. So it may take a good number of years - and Bhutan's government co-operation - until Street View is available in Thimphu and other towns in the Kingdom.

Until we'll be able to see roaming yaks when zooming on Pele La, take advantage of the most recent addition to Street View - Half Moon Island, Antarctica - and enjoy the penguins.