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Japan Wants Cats to Use Google Maps More Effectively

In adorably nonsensical news this week, Hiroshima tourism officials have created a street-view version of a port city 70 miles outside the city from the vantage point of a cat and made it public for consumption. Because you’ve always wanted to know exactly what Muffy sees when she manages to run directly into your legs even though you were standing still and not bothering anyone. She must have seen the two pillars of muscle and sinew, right?

According to an interview with a Hiroshima tourism official in The Wall Street Journal, they were hoping to introduce a different way to look at the cities and to provide a unique look at the streets that hadn’t been available before. The subject of the unique mapping is the port city of Onomichi which is known both for its large number of cats and a museum dedicated to Japan’s ‘maneki-neko’ cat dolls.

lucky-catImage via Lucky Cats

The maps now cover the shopping arcades of Onomichi and the surround area. It also features 11 local pets with linked backgrounds for users to find and explore. The features and interaction are similar to other street-view maps, and the tourism officials used 360 degree cameras that are similar to those employed by Google Earth to capture the world for our viewing pleasure.

My question really is whether any cats have found this exciting new feature worthwhile or not? While I’ve seen cats on leashes here in the US, I haven’t seen such cat treatment abroad as much. So are cats getting a kick out of being able to see Onomichi for the first time? Will these eleven felines become international celebrities now that their fellow cats can see and learn about them? Tell me what you think of this fun new map in the comments below!

You can explore the map personally here.


HT: Vox

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