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bLink 21

Virtual trash, real treasure.

By Thom Wong 6 Feb 2006 | TheTyee.ca

Thom Wong writes regularly about music for The Tyee. He has also been a teacher and contract specialist. With eight years of education and three bachelor degree, Thom focuses mostly on marketing writing.

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To most people, garbage is just garbage. To the users of Garbage Scout, an overlay that works with Google maps (DOUBLE TRUE!), one person's garbage is another person's proverbial cherished trash.

The site is a "found treasure map of New York City" (could it be anywhere else other than New York?). A dedicated group of spotters takes photographs of interesting curb finds and then uploads these images to the map. Google's user-friendly interface makes it a snap to browse the various goodies.

Admittedly, a few of the finds might give you city-envy. On any given day, you could find a magazine table on West 12th, an abandoned bike on West 15th, or a fax, printer, and keyboard. On the other hand, few people will be rushing to Seventh Avenue to pick up a dumpster of hospital beds.

I might start my own version of the site. If you're in the market for a cookie jar shaped like a cartoon cow, drop me a line.

Thom Wong is a law student who spends an unreasonable amount of time online. His 40 bLinks column runs every Monday and Thursday on The Tyee.

What's he all about? Click here.

For previous 40 bLinks, click here.  [Tyee]

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