I spend a lot of time researching cities and properties through Google Maps, and I'm always delighted to find areas where Google offers 45˚ views of the landscape. Many of the larger American cities have this feature, which is created by stitching together a series of aerial photos to form a detailed composite that can be viewed from the north, south, east, and west.

Unlike the straightforward top-down view that is shot via satellite, the 45˚ view is a little less forgiving when it comes to perspective. It's pretty cool to come across the occasional inconsistencies of these intricately detailed landscapes, so I've put together a gallery of screenshots from five major American cities that give us a wild look at contorted skylines and mismatched towers.

For a great list of the best 45˚-enabled cities, check out 15 Google Maps with Stunning 45˚ Views at Condé Nast Traveler.


This morning I spent two hours revising the copy and design of a PowerPoint presentation that my agency created at a client's request. I'm willing to bet that it would have taken half the time if I used Pages from Apple's iWork suite.

PowerPoint wouldn't recognize several keyboard shortcuts, it makes aligning bullet copy nearly impossible, and it crashed twice for no particular reason. Dragging images and text boxes was met with a resistance that I would have expected from a dog whose owner is trying to wrestle its ball away.

I thought the main purpose of a program was to help us do something better; to be more efficient.

I recently created a beginner's guide to WordPress for a different client at work. I opted to use Pages, which made the entire process a breeze. I can't recall a single issue I had. I could freely move images, modify text, and I never had to worry about crash reports. It's no Illustrator or InDesign, but it worked perfectly well for the demands of that particular project. 

I appreciate the fact that Apple strives to create the best user experience for their products and software (with the exception of a few recent hiccups -- Apple Maps, I'm looking at YOU). Microsoft, however, seems to keep the consumer out of the revision process, leaving bugs scattered throughout the MS Office suite.

These larger, inaccessible corporations need to realize that our landscape has changed. People want to be heard. People want to improve the products that intend to make our lives more efficient. We have suggestions that can help, and we don't even want to charge for them. We just want a product that helps us do a better job of what we're already doing.