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Baltar's House

It's easy to take the Internet for granted, now that we're so used to it -- it's easy to use it without reflecting on how much it has changed our lives, in ways large and small.

My son Cameron and I have been catching up on Battlestar Galactica -- I had heard so many times that it was the "best show on television" that I finally broke down and bought the DVDs of the first season to give it a try. Having watched it through most of the second season at this point, yes, it might well be the best show on TV, and is certainly up there with the other three shows I watch, 24, House, and Rome -- but that's not the point of this post.

In the show, one of the characters has (and returns to in his imagination) one of the most beautiful homes I've ever seen. It's modern but not austere, tastefully decorated, but the star is the view -- floor-to-ceiling windows throughout with wonderful sights of the ocean and islands in the distance. Battlestar Galactica is filmed in Vancouver, and from time to time I'm able to pick out locations there. When we saw the house, I said to Cameron that I thought it must be along the Sea to Sky Highway, just north of Horseshoe Bay, maybe 15 or 20 miles from downtown.

A decade ago, that would have been the end of the discussion. Now, though, fact-checking is just a search away. As it happens, fans of the series have created Google Earth files (here and here) detailing shooting locations for the show. One of them uses frame captures from episodes and helpfully lines up the views in Google Earth with the views from the shows. As it turns out, the house in question is indeed along the Sea to Sky Highway, six or seven miles north of Horseshoe Bay, just south of Village Beach Park. I've driven past it at at least a dozen times on my way to and from Whistler, though it looks as if it's well hidden from the road. Here's a screen capture from Google Earth showing the view:

Baltar's House

A minor thing, to be sure, but it reminded me of how much the Internet has changed how we think -- that we can learn virtually anything we want to know, and behave accordingly. I think we don't reflect on or appreciate that often enough.


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