Technology amazes me just as much as it freaks me out.

I was in the Falmouth area on Monday trying to catch a train. Not to ride it, but to take video of it. I'm a railfan and over my vacation, I spent time going to get photos and video of trains and I knew of a great spot to see The Amtrak Downeaster zoom by on the way to Brunswick, but I needed to figure out how to get there, so I, of course, looked it up on Google Maps.

As I was looking at the route I saw something that got my attention and actually made me laugh a bit. The West Falmouth Crossing Hannaford Supermarket showed up on the map and beneath the label it read "As busy as it gets."

Google Maps

Well, that's good information to know if I was going to go shopping there. There's nothing worse than finding all the small shopping carts gone and you having to grab the big ones when you only have about 12 items. I found it very amusing that they use the term "As busy as it gets." It totally sounds like something an old-time Mainer would say: "Yeah bub! I went down to the Hannafids and I tell you what, it was as busy as it gets! Ayuh."

So how does Google know how busy Hannaford is? The answer is probably right in the pocket of everyone shopping. If you're in the store, your GPS on your phone is turned on and you have opted in to allow Google to see where you are, then you're helping them count the number of people at Hannaford and report it on Google Maps. Most people have opted in without even knowing it when they install Google Maps and accept their Terms of Service without even reading it.

Hannaford isn't the only business this works for so you may see lots of these busy statuses on Google Maps. Oh, and yes, I did get that video of The Downeaster. Here's a screenshot. The engineer even tooted the horn for me.

Jeff Parsons - Townsquare Media

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