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Live Wire: Google Street View has Phuket all mapped out

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Live Wire: Google Street View has Phuket all mapped out | The Thaiger

Google announced recently that it had released Google Street View for Phuket, Bangkok and environs, and Chiang Mai. Many of you read about the new service but have you had a chance to look at it? Mind boggling.

The Nation quoted Pornthip Kongchun, head of marketing for Google Thailand, as saying, “In Asia-Pacific, Google Street View is available in Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Australia, Singapore and Thailand. In Thailand, the next cities for Street View will be Chiang Rai, Lamphun, Lampang, Nakhon Phanom, Hat Yai and Nakhon Si Thammarat, and also Thailand’s World Heritage cities.”

Five months ago, we had several sightings of Google cars on Phuket roads, snapping pictures like roses in May, traveling along all of the major roads, and many of the minor sois on the island. The result is something to behold.

If you haven’t yet had a chance to look at your street, here’s how to do it. All you need is a web browser, and a reasonably fast internet connection. It’ll work on PCs, Macs, iPads, Android tablets and phones – just about anything with a browser. The bigger and better your screen, the more you’re going to like it.

Step 1: Fire up your browser and go to maps.google.com. In the box at the top, type Phuket and click the magnifying glass. Google Maps takes you to an overview map of Phuket.

Step 2: Find a location that interests you by “zooming in” with the mouse’s scroll wheel, by pinching on a tablet or phone, or by using the + and – slider on the left. You can drag the map by clicking on it. Play with it a bit and you’ll see how it works.

Step 3:Once you’re in the right general area, drag the brown man icon onto the main map. The brown man is above the + top of the zoom-in slider. If there is a Street View map available in that vicinity, the roads will suddenly develop blue lines where Street View maps are.

Step 4: Drop the brown guy as close as you can to the place you want to see. (Note that the brown guy can only be dropped in specific places – you can’t slide him along the blue lines.) The screen splits into two: on the top, you’ll see the Street View – what Google’s cameras actually saw when they drove by your place. On the bottom, you see a map which shows which way the brown guy is facing.

Step 5: Click on the Street View map, the top half, to zoom in or zoom out (the + and – icons). Grab the map on top and drag it to make the brown guy turn left or right.

Step 6: Want to look around a little bit? Drag the brown guy anyplace you can find a blue line. You can also make the brown guy “walk” by clicking on the directional arrows, or on the ovals, in the top screen. For best effect, get the biggest screen you can find.

I think you’ll be amazed by the level of detail in the shots. In the shot of the Gazette offices, for example, there’s construction going on in the klong to the right of the main building. You can clearly see the faces of the construction workers. All around the island you can see people, cars, motorbikes, chickens – an amazing amount of detail.

And that amount of detail is available in shots on all of the major streets in Phuket, and many (if not most) of the car-accessible sois. At some point Google will return with cameras mounted on push trikes, to take shots of locations where the car won’t go – particularly parks and historical places.

Google has developed some very fancy software to support this effort. As part of the data collection, faces are intentionally blurred and license plate numbers – even on motorbikes – are blurred as well. Google may not be terribly concerned about your privacy in other ways, but in the Street View they’re pretty capable.

Ever wonder what it’s like strolling down Soi Bangla in the middle of the day? It’s there. Want to know what your business sign looks like from the middle of the street? It’s there, too. How many rental cars are taking up spots on Beach Road? Yep all there.

The web site isn’t perfect – I found that I had to nudge the brown man a few times to get the Street View picture updated –but the overall effect is stunning. If you have a friend who’s wondered what it’s like to travel around in Phuket, point them to Google Street View.

MapJack plotted Phuket more than three years ago, and although they have a lot of fantastic street-level shots as well, navigation is a little more difficult. The shots are considerably older and not as many streets get shot, but the quality of the pictures is outstanding, and they catch many things that Google Street View doesn’t. Check it out at mapjack.com.

Will the sudden appearance of Google Street View spur huge gains in the number of tourists visiting Phuket? I doubt it. Several people ascribe a 25 per cent jump in visits to Pompeii to the release of Google Street View for that area, but it seems a bit far fetched. More likely, I think, is that Street View will lead to visitors who are more savvy and less intimidated at the thought of breaking free from the packaged tours and striking out on their own.

At least, I hope so.

Seth Bareiss holds computer sessions on every-other Wednesday afternoon, from 1 to 3pm. If you have a Windows problem that needs to be solved, drop by one of Seth’s free afternoon sessions, or come to one of our free Sunday morning roundtables at Sandwich Shoppe Chalong. Details in the Events Calendar. Sponsored by the Phuket Gazette and Khun Woody’s Sandwich Shoppes.

Live Wire is Phuket Gazette columnist Woody Leonhard’s weekly snapshot of all things internet in Phuket. Shoot him mail at [email protected], follow him on [email protected], or “like” his page at facebook.com/SandwichShoppe.

— Woody Leonhard



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North East

Swiss man accused of overstaying visa and theft charges

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Swiss man accused of overstaying visa and theft charges | The Thaiger

by Kamthon Kongsombat

PHOTO: Security footage from the Phuket jewelry store in December 2018 – Facebook

The Immigration Bureau says they’re going to blacklist and deport a Swiss man who overstayed his visa and is also accused of series of thefts in Nongkhai and Phuket.

The Nongkhai deputy immigration police chief Colonel Prasit Somjaiprasong says that Julien Andre Junior Cotting, a 25  year old Swiss national, was arrested yesterday at a guest house near the Mekong River in Nongkhai on theft charge.

He was arrested after 42 year old Sai-arun Konwan, the owner of the Chorfah Gallery Hotel in Muang district, filed complaint with police that a foreigner had stolen her bag that she left in the hotel’s lobby on January 8.

She told police that she noticed Cotting having coffee in the lobby. Security camera checked later showed the suspect picking up her handbag and leaving on a rented motorcycle.

The handbag contained 1,000 baht cash, an ATM and other credit cards as well as other important documents.

Sai-arun said Cotting was a regular customer at the hotel’s coffee shop.

After the complaint, police searched for the suspect and noticed a suspicious-looking foreigner at a guesthouse. His passport revealed that he was Cotting and he had overstayed his visa.

After Sai-arun identified the suspect it was found that he had an outstanding arrest warrant on a theft charge in Phuket province where he allegedly stole a diamond ring in December, 2018.

Cotting faces charges of theft and overstaying his visa and will be prosecuted and deported, immigration authorities said.

ไชยยศ ไชยพฤกษ์ covered the story in Phuket last year. Here’s one of the photos from that post…

Swiss man accused of overstaying visa and theft charges | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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Phuket

What to do if a pet tests positive for Rabies

The Thaiger

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What to do if a pet tests positive for Rabies | The Thaiger

PHOTO: PR Department

An announcement about animals in a Rabies Outbreak Zone.

These are things that pet owners must do when it has tested positive for rabies.

• Pet owners must follow Animal Epidemics Act 2015.

• No person may move an infected animal or carcass specified in such announcement into, out of, through or within such zone unless they have written permission from the veterinarian who is responsible for such area.

• Anyone who does not follow the guidelines shall be fined up to 40,000 baht or jailed up to two years.

In any event, follow the guidelines of your local vet and consult the authorities in such a situation.

A district livestock development office in Phuket province has announced a Rabies outbreak zone in the Chalong area yesterday.

Read more about the establishment of the ‘zone’ HERE and a response from the Soi Dog Foundation HERE.

 

 

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Phuket

Soi Dog Foundation responds to Rabies outbreak zone in Chalong

The Thaiger

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Soi Dog Foundation responds to Rabies outbreak zone in Chalong | The Thaiger

Following the announcement form the Phuket Livestock Development Office that a rabies outbreak zone was set in Chalong area yesterday (January 17), Soi Dog Foundation Co-Founder, John Dalley, explained about the incident as the dog, which was indeed infected with rabies, was sent to Soi Dog Foundation for treatment after it was found very sick. It is the first dog which was found positive for rabies after several years in the one and only ‘Rabies Free’ zone of Thailand – Phuket.

A district livestock development office in Phuket province has announced a Rabies outbreak zone in the Chalong area yesterday.

Read more HERE.

“A dog was brought into Soi Dog by our dog catchers after it was reported to be vomiting and unable to stand,” said John Dalley.

“It received treatment for several days but did not respond, and symptoms of staggering and being unable to open its mouth, and head tilted to one side led our veterinary staff to suspect rabies as these are classic symptoms.”

“The dog was euthanised and its body sent to the Government testing laboratory. The result indicated that the dog was positive to rabies, the first positive case seen in a dog on Phuket for many years.”

Right after the rabies was detected, Soi Dog Foundation has worked closely with the local Livestock Development Office in order to control the situation.

“Soi Dog are working closely with the Department of Livestock to vaccinate all dogs within a 5 kilometres radius of where the dog was picked up. Soi Dog will focus on strays and the DLD on owned dogs.”

He urged that people shouldn’t be panicked about the situation but be always aware about the importance of vaccination if they get bitten (or scratched or licked on an open wound).

“There is no cause for alarm. We see numerous positive cases in dogs in Bangkok, but no human cases have occurred there in the past 12 months. The traditional picture of a rabid dog foaming at the mouth and attacking people is not a true picture, as with this dog. Anybody being bitten by a dog at any time should always immediately wash the wound with soap and water and go along to their local clinic or hospital to receive the necessary injections.”

John also mentioned about the message that Soi Dog Foundation has been trying to tell government, entrepreneurs as well as people in general that importing unvaccinated puppies to the safe zone like Phuket can be the cause that brings rabies back in the area.

“Although this is likely an isolated incident it should be noted that Soi Dog has repeatedly, over the years, warned of the dangers and requested successive governors to stop the hundreds of very young puppies being imported to Phuket each year for sale at markets and pet stores, but nothing has ever been done. We hope the new Governor will take action. These puppies are generally coming from uncontrolled puppy farms in rabies endemic areas.”

“Puppies cannot be vaccinated against rabies until they are at least 12 weeks old and are reliant on the mother’s immunity providing she has some. The case of a puppy seller in Chatuchak market dying from a bite from a puppy shows the danger.”

“In addition, removing vaccinated sterilised dogs from the street increases the chances of rabies spreading. The World Health Organistion, The Food and Agriculture Division of the United Nations, The World Organisation for Animal Health and The Global Alliance for Rabies Control have issued joint statements advising that the way to eliminate rabies in humans is to eliminate it in dogs first as much cheaper and more effective to do that.

If 70% or more of dogs in a country are vaccinated and strict controls on entry imposed, then you will eliminate rabies.

If you remove vaccinated dogs and put them in a pound, then you are reducing the number of dogs on the street that are vaccinated which allows for others to take their place that may not be vaccinated.”

If a member of the public sees a dog that is staggering or unable to stand then they can call the Soi Dog Helpline on 076 681 029.

Soi Dog Foundation responds to Rabies outbreak zone in Chalong | News by The Thaiger

Rabies control in Chiang Mi last year

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