Thursday, August 04, 2005

Introducing the Japan View

IN.. - A new regular feature on Google Maps Mania!

Since the launch of Google street Maps in North America, the UK and Japan we've had the chance to experience the great mapping app that Google has created for these locations, as well as what people are doing with the Google Maps API to bring us functional and useful "mashups". In an effort to keep visitors to Google Maps Mania up to date with the latest happenings in these regions I've added the first of many correspondents from these regions. Since it can be hard to get a pulse of what is happening in these regions unless you're plugged into what is happening or have the ability to read various languages, I will be assembling a team of people that will help us stay current with what is happening in each region of the world making use of Google Maps.

Nagoyen, or better known as "The Earthhopper" on Flickr.com, has provided great commentary and visuals on Google Earth and Google Maps from his Flickr and blog postings. He joins us now with his first of many updates from Japan to let us know some of the cool things are happening.

Take it away Nagoyen!

Hi, I'm nagoyan the earthhopper from Japan. Per Morpeth's request, I am happy to talk about what kind of unique Google Maps Mashups are happening in Japan for Google Maps Mania readers.. It will be once a week round up and I'll write up right away if I encounter a really good stuff here in Japan.

Google Maps and Google Earth got me since it's release, same as many of you, and I really want to take advantage of them to get more excitement for what I am interested - just like following every stages of Tour de France or tracking every move of Space Shuttle Discovery while watching NASA TV live...

So here we go for today's round up - "tracking back your blog entry to Google Map".

Hatena Map

Hatena is a unique provider of comprehensive web community service, including Hatena Diary (blog) and Keyword (like Wikipedia), Hatena Anntenna (web update checker), Hatena fotolife (like flickr) and Hatena Mobile etc. "Hatena" means sort of "huh...what?" in Japanese. Hatena released Hatena Map Beta to allow it's users to register their blog entry, keyword and photos on the map by dynamically generating trackback URL or geotagging on them. For blog, Hatena Map allows *any* blog users to trackback if the entry includes the link to it. Also, you can get the latest posting for particular area by RSS feed.

Hatena Map


TI-DA map

TI-DA Blog is comprehensive blog hosting service focused locally in Okinawa - the southern tropical islands of Japan, between Japan main islands and Taiwan. It has Google Maps mashup called TI-DA map that allow TI-DA Blog users to trackback their blog entries right on the map, via dynamically defined trackback URL on the map to create Okinawa-centric blog community. Sightseeing industry is huge for Okinawan Islands as they have world famous crystal clear ocean and beaches - it's divers' paradise, and very unique cultures and foods as well, so TI-DA map will be enhanced deeply coupled with it's e-commerce and affiliate businesses in near future. Currently Google Maps itself for Okinawa has datum misalignment issue and its satellite images are whitenoized. I guess it's because of security reasons of large US military bases there, just like Area 51 or the roof of White House), so I really hope Google to fix them quickly.

"Ti-da" means the sun in the Okinawan language.



* Click on screenshot to jump 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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