February 28, 2011

A Google Maps moment

I was translating the following passage from Demon City Shinjuku:

Ten Street ran between the Sumitomo and Mitsui buildings before intersecting with the old Koshu Highway. A hundred feet further on and to [Kyoya's] left rose the majestic Keio Plaza Hotel. A dozen yards behind him was a flight of stairs leading down to the lower road level.

"Ten Street" is an elevated road, as are the plazas of the buildings along it. The problem was, I couldn't picture the geometry of the lower road level, but was pretty sure it ran under Ten Street at right angles, and continued on to Chuo Park, Kyoya's destination.

To the cloud! Well, not the Microsoft one. Google Maps and Street View to the rescue!

The triangular building is the Sumitomo Building. You can see the flight of stairs there on the left. The dark red line is the subway running from Shinjuku Station on the right under Chuo Park on the left. So I added for the benefit of those not familiar with the geography:

It crossed beneath Ten Street at right angles, linking the west entrance of Shinjuku Station to Chuo Park.

I don't play video games, but I can waste a whole lot of time cruising around Japan using Street View.

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