I think Google Maps is a pretty amazing tool. I’ve used it for years now. I remember being amazed at having such easy access to high-resolution satellite images. And as cool as it was to see the natural and manmade wonders of the world — The Great Wall of China! The Grand Canyon! The Pyramids of Giza! — in some ways, it was even cooler to stay local — There’s my house! There’s the school I used to go to! Is that my car at the supermarket?
With time, the novelty of Google Maps wore off. We inevitably get used to almost any new technology. But once in a while, it amazes me all over again.
This is the current satellite photo of the Science Factory that anyone using Google Maps to look for us will see. And I know exactly what day this photo was taken.
June 7, 2014. The day of our third annual Eugene Mini Maker Faire. You can see all the canopies along the north wall of the building, the food truck near the point of the covered patio, and of course, the giant slingshot on the north edge near the pond.
If you zoom all the way in, you can even make out the line of pennant flags strung between the trees along the pathway.
In a little over 24 hours, those pennant flags will be back up. The food truck will be out, the canopies will be up, and the giant slingshot will be back in place. But there will be so much more! Twice as many tables on the front lawn. Rocket launches from Eugene Rocketry. A beer garden, serving Agrarian Ales, operated by LagerBot. 3D printers, battle bots, woodland sprites, and alien habitats. And that’s just outside! Inside the museum you’ll find steampunk art, electronics, lasers, looms, and much, much more.
As much fun as the overhead satellite images are, they won’t really give a good sense of what makes a Maker Faire special. I think you have to see it up close to really understand the excitement.
Better yet, you have to get your hands on it. Don’t be afraid to break things.
Don’t be afraid to try something new.
And most importantly, share your excitement about making new things. It’s contagious.
I hope you’ll be there for all the fun on Saturday! Get your tickets in advance or at the door.