Google Gets Nosey, Provides Treasure Map For April Fools

By David Veldt - 04/01/2013

When I was a kid, April Fool's Day marked the glorious day that I would pull my favorite pranks on my unsuspecting dad. My favorite was putting a rubber band around the sink sprayer. Simple, yet highly effective---especially considering his plethora of creative curse words.

Some people---or companies---can afford to be a little more elaborate. When it comes to April Fool's Day, nobody does it quite like Google.

Being a Michigan man and seeing a commercial about Detroit and Motown this morning, I decided to look up a map of Hitsville, USA to see where it was in relation to the rest of the city. When I went to switch from satellite to map view, I noticed a new option---Treasure. Intrigued and excited, I wasn't let down when I switched to the new view.

Google Treasure Map Detroit

I would describe my reaction to this new view as nothing less than "giddy." I wildly explored the maps like Jim Hawkins; zooming in on my hometown, my current neighborhood and a few more adventurous locales.

Certain areas---if zoomed in close enough---show a telescope icon which bring you in for an old-timey street view through a grainy telescope lens. More on the storied tale of Google's Treasure Maps can be seen in the excellent video below.

I was admittedly disappointed when I found out that the treasure map was one of Google's April Fool's Day jokes.

Well, jokes on you, Google. I love the treasure map. Please keep it.

Google Nose

I decided to look into what other tomfoolery Google was up to, which brought me to Google Nose.

This one is something people have often joked about, and Google did a pretty good job of integrating it into their regular products. Not only will you see a link to Google Nose on the homepage, but once you perform a search, a link to Nose Beta is seen alongside Shopping at the top of the SERP.

"Smelling" items is as simple as searching them, clicking "Smell" and transmitting the scent. Ever wonder what fear actually smelled like? A simple search will now give you a whiff.

Google Nose Fear

I'm still playing around with some of the features and looking for others, but I'm a fan of this year's "pranks." The day is still young, and several other sites are known for their April Fools Day traditions, so I'm curious to see what they have in store.

Meanwhile, I'll be applying tinsel to my girlfriend's windows so they look broken. Classic.

Update: For more up-to-date coverage of all the pranks rolled out by Google today, including the closing of YouTube, check out Search Engine Land.

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