Saturday, August 06, 2005

Google Maps Mania - The Japan View

IN.. Google Maps Mania - The Japan View


The Earthhopper is back to show us all the cool things that folks are doing with Google Maps in Japan!

Hi, here is another round up from Japan - on "Google Maps and mobile phone"

Google Local with Google Maps officially for mobile phone

Google Mobile is so popular for long time in Japan, as Japanese society is way too much depending to mobile phone network. Just in case if you don't know the heat, those are good readings:

Japan: A Future Mobile Society?
Japanese mobile phone culture
Mobile Media Japan

So it was no surprise that Google added Google Local with Maps for Google Mobile on Jul 20th, immediately after local Google Maps introduction for Japan.

So just like on your PC, enter any keyword and address or just town name, it returns list of shops or offices with click-to-call phone numbers, as well as Google Maps with push-pin placemarks - on your mobile phone screen.

Google Local and Maps for Google Mobile
(Screenshots are courtesy of pedz at "secondo me...")

Imagine - this screenshots are from a most popular mobile phone in Japan - just one out of tens of millions.

Google Local in Japan is backed by NTT's Townpage - the largest yellowpage listing nearly all of shops and businesses in Japan.

Google Local is a global service, then I searched "Books near Palo Alto, CA" from my mobile phone, then it surely lists bookstores there with maps - unfortunately, click-to-call phone numbers are does not work without prefix for international call.


nikinin.com to neighbors via mobile phone diary community with Google Maps

nikinin.com is a diary community provider dedicated for au mobile phone users. au is the 2nd largest mobile phone providers with the best growth rate these days, and most of their recent phones are with built-in GPS.

So people easily attach current GPS location info into their email with photo attached, and send it to post their diary, then the entry automatically comes up as a placemark on a Google Maps mashup titled "Neighborhood Diaries" at nikinin.com.

nikinin.com features Google Maps Mashup

In the map page, nearest 20 entries from the selected one are mapped out and listed, and also indicates how far it is from in what direction.

Now you can search your neighbors to neighbors on Google Maps in this fun community. Obviously the map covers the whole globe, just like Hatena Map and TI-DA map, but again it is made in Okinawan Islands.


A Google Local/Maps Mashup directly connects location info inside WILLCOM mobile phone

WILLCOM is PCS mobile phone provider with reasonable flat rate both for voice and data. WILLCOM has open up APIs for developers to use the location info inside the phone, defined by PCS stations around which are everywhere, to develop cutting-edge mobile geo-apps. Also, the popular phone model like from Kyocera, AH-K3001V, has built-in Opera browser.

Now you know what was hacked...

naokki, a developer, did a cool quick hack to create a Google Local/Maps Mashup for WILLCOM mobile phone to directly couple it with current location info - just where you are right now.

Google Local + AIR EDGE PHONE Hack
(note: displayable on PC but search is functional only on WILLCOM phone)

So at anytime you are in the town, hit the bookmark on the phone, enter what to search, you get info of shops etc around you with maps right away - without entering where you are.

There is another URL to give location info to the webpage beforehand - good to bookmark on the phone.

Now there are lots of mobile phones work as a credit card or electronic purse, train pass.... that's all you need when you leave home - in Japan. I am pretty much sure more of Google Maps mashup are coming up for mobile phones.

* Click on screenshot to jump to the flickr photo with detail notes attached.

Thanks,
nagoyan the earthhopper

Interested in contributing as a Google Maps regional contributor? The criteria is simple - you must be able to comment on Google Maps related in activities in languages other than English. You must have passion and interest for all things Google Maps and maintain your own blog which contains Google Maps related postings. If you think you fit the bill, drop me a line by emailing the address listed under "Contact Info".
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