Google Maps has kindled a rediscovery of sorts for looking at what’s going on aboard spaceship Earth, and many others have piled on with maps of all sorts, from deforestation to animal migration.
One of the most beautiful and mesmerizing new maps we’ve seen is the Earth Wind Map, which tracks wind around the globe. The map is part of a NOAA initiative and it’s really fun to mess with. You can spin the globe, zoom in – looks like a wet July Fourth for much of the East Coast due to tropical storm Arthur – and even change the map to track ocean currents. You can also change the type of map if you feel like living in the past – or the future.
So I guess you really don’t need a weatherman to see which way the wind blows.
Still waiting for your self-driving car to arrive? Well, fully self-driving cars aren’t here quite yet, but Hyundai recently put together a dramatic illustration of how self-driving some of their cars already are.
They took a bunch of Genesis models to a test track in Arizona, covered them with cameras and then got them all going the same speed – and we don’t mean slow. The drivers all activated the smart cruise controls – and then bailed out through the sunroof, except for one brave guy in the lead car, who put on a blindfold and took his hands off the wheel. Lane-keeping assist technology and the smart cruise controls kept the ghost cars going, but then, a real test.
The semi driver in the lead stomped the brakes, and each car in turn activated its automated braking system, and the whole convoy ground to a quick halt. Fenders damaged? None. Well played, Hyundai. Watch two videos about the experiment, the actual stunt here and and how they did it here.
Friday is the 238th birthday of the United States of America, and no celebration would be complete without fireworks. Lots of fireworks.
So what cities have the best displays? USA Today put a list together of the top 10 pyro programs, and there’s probably one near you. Winners include Washington D.C. of course, but also New York City, Philly, Chicago, San Antonio, San Diego and even our hometown of Portland, Oregon. Just remember to use sober adult supervision with your own fireworks!
From all of us at Digital Trends, have a great Fourth of July and we’ll see you again on Monday with more fun tech news.
You host today is Caleb Denison.
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