above: Vatican City. Annie Dow.
below: Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates. Jocelyn Wiley.


  1. That's the camel race track. You can see the electronic jockeys on the back of the camels, complete with little caps & jerseys. They had to be made to look more human & sprayed with scent so the camel would accept them. During the race, they are remote-controlled by their owners, who race alongside the track in SUVs (where the red truck is), using the remote to make the robotic jockey whip the camel to greater speeds. The jockeys used to be small Pakistani boys who had been sold, often by their own families, into indentured labour in various Gulf states, until international public opinion forced a stop to that practice a few years ago. So the Vatican "world" image above is quite appropriate. Or ironic, depending how you look at it.

  2. I appreciate the detail of your post JW - it is important that we all do more than just take images from the places that we visit. It is important that we take the stories with us and share those also.

    On a technological side note, the new maps feature pin-pointing the photo locations is absolutely fantastic! While not as impressive as remote-controlled, robotic camel jockeys, it is a really interesting addition to 14 lenses. Kudos MM and DP.

  3. That's a great story JW. It is a wonderful example of how international public opinion can make a positive difference.

    I'm interested to know what the sculpture in Vatican City represents??

    I'm glad you like the new maps feature. That reminds me to tell you all that if you find any geography errors in my mapping, let me know. I can fix it or I can give you the flickr login if you'd like to map your picture to a more specific location. (Sometimes the map can't find certain locations, so I have to guess.)

  4. I believe the sculpture in the Vatican has the same meaning as the one that is in the UN headquarters, which is very similar. It is made from different weapons, as part of disarmament treaties (possibly the Cold War). I am not sure, but I think it's something along those lines.

    Correct me if I'm wrong.

  5. I took this from somebody's blog, link below:

    "This metallic sphere is one of a series of six located throughout the world - at the Vatican, Pesaro (Italy), Dublin, Berkeley (California), Washington, D.C. and this one at the United Nations, donated by the Italian government in 1991. I have read a number of interpretations of this work such as "the fractured outer surface of the sphere reveals a complex inner sphere that represents the harsh difficulties of the modern world at the end of the second millennium." Or from Lamberto Dini, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy "a sphere growing inside another sphere, as if a world torn asunder by the horrors of war and suffering could still give birth to another world: a more prosperous and just world, within an international frame of peace and progress for generations to come. What better image for illustrating the primary role the United Nations are called upon to play: a global quest to build a new world wherein all peoples can co-exist peacefully and develop in freedom.""

    i think, in context of the picture below, there is MUCH room for interpretation (and criticism).

  6. forgot the link, here:


    (this is me citing my sources jeje)

  7. Thanks Santi and Annie. I appreciate the information!


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