Thursday, August 18, 2005

Google Maps Mania - The Japan View

Google Maps Mania - "The Japan View"

nagoyan the earthhopper is our eyes and ears for what is happening in the Japanese Google Maps world. He's back to help Google Maps Mania readers understand all the great things happening in this language on the web. (I'm looking for Google Maps Mania correspondents in other local languages - Spanish, French, Portuguese and Mandarin/Cantonese.. If you're interested, drop me a line!)

Hi, this is nagoyan the earthhopper from Japan. We are in the middle of political madness by Koizumi's gamble here in Japan - he called unscheduled national elections of House. The Judgement Day is September 11th. I expect a lot of analytical Google Maps mashup would be coming up, like this sample...

Anyhow, here is today's edition of Japan View. - Display placename-included blogs with map was created by a company called New Wave of Niihama, Ehime, that collects blog entries which includes placenames and map them on Google Maps mashup. You can specify the area on the map and hit the button below, then the latest blog entries, collected by ping server and searchbot, that matches with numbers of pre-registered placenames are coming up. No need to trackback. You can subscribe RSS feed for specific area to know what's happening there.
This service might need some improvements in redundant search, as it collects all the proper names as well (like blog entries includes "John F. Kennedy" shows up around "Kennedy Space Center" - that's okay though), but it might be able to be applied to local news search etc. Very cool.

*See this flickr photo with detail notes.

Tokyo Art Event Map for Japanese, English and Mobile

Tokyo Art Beat is the undisputed source if you are looking for great art events in Tokyo metropolitan area, offering comprehensive and up-to-date listings with more than 200 events & 400 venue details, in Japanese and English via web, mobile and RSS feed. The author of filming location map, saya, volunteered to make another interactive map, which automatically distributes all the feeded event info on the map by categories. It surely has mobile version, which helps you when you are on the road and have some time - currently with link to small maps by MapFan. Her film location maps definitely has mobile version powered by Google Maps, like this.

Tokyo Art Event Maps

Google Maps -> Blog : Quick tool to display map in your blog

If your blog system supports iframe, this tool, Google Maps -> Blog, quickly helps you to generate HTML source with iframe tags to show up a Google Maps window with a push-pin and a note, even with local weather forecast. You don't have to get a Google Maps API key and tweak with the HTML templates. Below is a sample that I made less than 30 seconds. This tool is also backed by a JavaScript Class Library by tociyuki, which temporarily solves Datum Issue of Japan and Okinawa.

Map-tan : Unofficial mascot girl of Google Maps for fans

When Firefox1.0 was released, Japanese fans were so excited and created numbers of mascot characters named "Fireffox-ko", which means "Firefoxy Girl" (sample 1/2/3/4/5). So why don't we have one for Google Maps?
"Map-tan" ("tan" is some sort of hypocorism for small kid) is our unofficlal mascot girl of Google Maps for fans. She's got a placemark-shaped hat, in road-patterned dress with zoom-slider-shaped zipper, and Google art colored socks.
The illustration is courtesy of MIK Mikako, and originally uploaded to donadona's site, the author of GoogleMapsEditor. She would allow Google Maps fans to use this one.
We might need another one for Google Earth, which should be a boy, and somewhat 3D shaped...

Illustration by MIK Mikako

That's all for today,

nagoyan the earthhopper
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