Out of Africa: Google Maps Goes on Safari

By Steve Bryant  |  Posted 2006-11-27 Print this article Print

Update: Man, I'm out of it. Google actually called me to say -- in its best George Burns impression -- that they issued a press release about this. Turns out the whole Africa thing is because Africa is the spotlight nation continent for national geography week. So there ya go.

google out of africaThe Google Maps logo is graced with an image of the African continent today, but the main Google logo hasn't changed. There's no explanation on any Google blogs, far as I can see. So what's up with that?

I emailed the G Poppa but haven't heard back yet. There could be several reasons.

The most likely reason is that last week, Google added street and road maps to several South African cities, including Johannesburg. Cities in Nigeria, Kenya, Morocco and Egypt got the treatment as well.

Another possibility: Googlers are all about cosmic events, and today marks the height of the Leonid meteor shower. Why a map of Africa to mark the shower? The best explanation I can find is that in 1994, a fellow named Norman Appleton witnessed a huge, flaming meteorite while stationed in central Africa. Here's a Google Maps tool showing crater locations around the world.

Today also marks the beginning of the African Studies Association conference in San Francisco.

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