Just asking… #9 – Billionaires

Picture by pasja1000 on Pixabay

Why on earth would one person ever need a billion euro (or dollar, if that is your currency of choice)? In which sense could that person experience a genuinely higher quality of life compared to someone having ‘only’ 100 million? I’m not claiming that all the wealth in the world should be redistributed to the extent that everyone would have exactly the same – some people undeniably work harder than others or have far more responsibilities (e.g. over matters that can decide over life and death of others) and it is perfectly legitimate for that to result in receiving, say a 10 times bigger amount of money. But not 10.000 times more.

In the years leading up to the financial crisis of 2008, a handful of hedge funds managers collected more than 1 billion per person per year. If you can think of a single argument to not qualify that statement as utterly obscene, do let me know. I can’t think of any.

So: why does the world need to have billionaires? Just asking…

How to recognize Google Local Guides


Believe it or not, but if you carefully look for some subtle details in behavior and posture, it is possible to spot local guides among the crowd in a shopping street or in a restaurant. Let me list a few of those for your convenience.

If they’re in group, usually during a so-called Meetup, they’re easy to find as they will often flock together around anything that deserves to be photographed – as you can see in the picture taken in Krakow (Poland) during the European Meetup in September 2018. But if they are on their own ‘in the wild’, you really have to know what exactly you need to pay attention to.

In the shopping street, look for: Continue reading

Local Guide Best Practice: The best order for suggesting edits

[This is one of a series of articles originally published on Local Guides Connect]

Sometimes you come across a point of interest (POI) where more than one data point is either incorrect or missing: no telephone number, incorrectly spelled company name, no website, pin located incorrectly, etc. As I already explained in a previous post, you should not submit all changes all at once, as this will certainly increase the chance of running into a ‘not applied’: if one of the edits is not accepted, your entire contribution will be marked as the notorious ‘not applied’ (look around a bit on this forum to find out how much frustration this is causing).

But then another question can be raised: does it matter in which order to suggest the edits? My experience (as mentioned in the disclaimer at the bottom: pure speculation, I have no hard evidence for any of this) suggests: yes, it does. Two different factors might be at play here. The first is Continue reading

Song of the day: Jon Cutler Feat E-Man – It’s Yours

Jon Cutler must be the proud owner of what might possibly be the shortest Wikipedia page about any musician – apparently there is not much to tell about him. But nevertheless this It’s Yours (2001) in my view is enough to grant him eternal fame.

These days (read: at my age) I can usually resist turning the volume up to the maximum when a song kicks in, but not in this case. Damn good music!

Local Guide Best Practice: Improve your reputation

[This is one of a series of articles originally published on Local Guides Connect]

By submitting suggestions for edits, you build up a reputation in terms of certain types of edits and/or certain regions or countries. This is very important for the way the algorithms evaluating the suggested edits are taking your reputation into account: if your ‘trust level’ is high for specific factors, your suggestions will more easily be approved.

Let me illustrate this with some specific examples. When I came across a chain of discount supermarkets that is operational is several countries, and noticed that quite a few of them had an incorrect category (either ‘grocery store’ or ‘supermarket’ in general) I obviously had the unstoppable urge to Continue reading

Song of the day: Allez Allez – Allez Allez

In the early 1980’s there was a spectacular wave of interesting Belgian bands. This was not obvious to me at the time, as I (born on the mid 60’s) was just discovering music, so I figured this abundance was the default situation. Only in retrospect did I realize how exceptional the era was.

Such a bold statement of course begs for some proof to back it up, so here’s a very nice example: Allez Allez (which happens to be both the name of the band and the song).

Local Guide Best Practice: Create on mobile / Complete on desktop

[This is one of a series of articles originally published on Local Guides Connect]

There are basically two different ways of adding/editing information on Google Maps: in the mobile app on your phone or in the browser on your computer (a.k.a the desktop version – although it’s frequently used on laptops too). Both have their pros and cons, but in one particular case I find it most convenient to use a combination of the two.

Picture by Skitterphoto on Pixabay – so: not my gear

Adding a new place is typically done in the mobile app, when you are walking around in a city or area and come across a point of interest (POI) that is not yet showing up on the map. And although technically you can perfectly Continue reading