From Dallas to Paris

I use Google Maps all the time. Not only do I use it when I want to look at satellite photos of the roof of my house, I also use it when I need directions. If I don’t know where I’m going, Google does. I can just type in the destination address, and presto. A map appears with detailed directions from my front door to wherever it is that I am going.

I only use Google Maps when I am driving, and that usually means that I am driving somewhere in the U.S. But have you ever wondered what would happen if you got Google directions from your house to an overseas address? Well, that is what I did this evening.

I made a Google map with a starting address in Dallas, Texas and a destination address in Paris, France. According to Google, the journey is 5,347 miles. That is a long way, but if you drive an average of 60mph you would expect to arrive in Paris in about 4 days time. Yet according to Google, the trip takes “about 30 days 6 hours”!

Why does Google estimate such a long period of time for this trip? You have to read through Google’s detailed directions in order to find the answer. I have a hunch that the real slow part of the trip appears in direction #22 which reads as follows: “Swim across the Atlantic Ocean 3,462 mi.”

Well, yes. I guess I can see how that swimming-across-the-ocean part would make the trip last a little longer than one otherwise would have expected.


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