A long time ago, I posted a map showing the location of public drinking fountains in Venice. I was busy at the time and didn’t have any time to take it further.

But now I’ve found a few minutes and have, as I promised I might, created a set of points for use in Google Earth or, optionally, on a portable GPS unit. They’re the locations of 73 functional (last time I checked) drinking fountains in Venice. You can download them by clicking on the following links:

KMZ     KML     GPX

If you have Google Earth installed, the KMZ/KML files should open in it automatically. The GPX file is for use with Garmin MapSource, a piece of software that accompanies many Garmin map products.
If you don’t have it, you can get it for free, although Garmin would have you believe otherwise.

Once you install and run MapSource, it’s a simple matter of opening the GPX file, then using the “Send To Device” menu option to transmit the fountain locations to your Garmin unit (attached by USB to your computer, of course). They’ll appear in your “Favorites” list on your GPS device.

I’m sure there are other ways to use this dataset. I envision myself wandering around Venice, GPS in hand, and using it to find the nearest fountain whenever I get thirsty. Users of smartphones, especially those with GPS or other location-aware capabilities, will probably be able to use
the points in a similar way.

One other fun thing I noticed in Google Earth recently: they’ve added a significant proportion of Venice in the form of photorealistically textured 3D buildings. I have no idea who (or, probably more accurately, what company) has collected this data and assembled it for use in Google Earth. After all, it was hard enough to get Venice mapped for Street View, and I imagine that the usual 3D laser scanners and things don’t really work so well in a pedestrian-only environment. Regardless, it has been done. Not every building has been modeled, and there are textural glitches and other problems, but on the whole it looks really good. I highly recommend downloading Google Earth, turning on the “3D Buildings” layer and trying it for yourself. The images accompanying this post, by the way, are screenshots demonstrating the Venetian 3D models available in Google Earth at the time of writing.

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