Friday, September 02, 2005

Google Maps Mania - A 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 - French, Portuguese and Mandarin/Cantonese.. If you're interested, drop me a line!)

This is nagoyan the earthhopper from Japan.

First I'd like to express my deepest sympathy for all of the people and communities impacted by Hurricane Katrina. Just watched ABC's World News Tonight and got heartbroken to see the situation that there's not enough help. I've personally visited New Orleans a couple of times (for business and pleasure), and can't suffer with the reality when I remember such great and warm hospitalities in the city of Big Easy. Hope all will get enough support around the world ASAP, and we believe you can surely live strong and get over this disaster for the future, and bring back smiles like this sooner.

On the other hand, in Japan, September 1st was our National Disaster Prevention Day (huge earthquake hit Tokyo and killed more than 142,000 people on this day back in 1923), and most of us joined the drills and reconfirmed what's prepared. It's extremely important to prepare to the best of our ability BEFORE the disaster strikes. Now another big Typhoon #14 Nabi is going to hit us soon - Digital Typhoon provides KML to track it on Google Earth.

So here we go for today's edition of Japan View.

District Map with Realtime Ballot Counting for Upcoming Lower House Election

As I stated in previous Japan View, we are in the middle of political war over post office issue - unsung Japan's largest bank and insurance business owned by Gov, as Lower House election was officially announced toward the judgement day - September 11th, and everywhere get noisy. Web portal giant @nifty (a Fujitsu company) opened special pages for the election featured a Google Maps mashup listing all 1100+ candidates over the nation in each district icons. Orange icons represent districts where dog fights are going on, such as Hiroshima District #6, where the internet entrepreneurial maverick Takafumi Horie, CEO - another web portal giant, is jumping on and taking on veteran wily old fox Shizuka Kamei.
The Map will be updated with realtime ballot counting information on September 11th, fed by Jiji Press, taking advantage of AJAX technology.

Lower House Election - Hot District - Google Maps

Showing My Way - Driving Directions and Railroad Transfer

We know it's standard for Google and other webmap services in US, but not ready yet for Google Japan, even other Zenrin powered Japanese maps like goo Map provide the functionality. It's pretty common technology for long time for super-duper Japanese car navigation systems and other geographic related products, so the company with GIS technology goes experiments with Google Maps. Tokyo Gas Engineering's webmap service, GeOAP is backed by their GIS server and implemented with SOAP and Microsoft .net technology, now it tests Google Maps to display calculated driving directions between any 2 addresses in Japan (less than 25km distance). It shows very precise directions, no surprise. I hope Google Japan buys this kinda technology to provide the service right away, and eventually and possibly include high level standard API to control driving directions in future expansion of Google Maps API. That will open door for easy development of way great Google Maps mashups for sure.

GeOAP - driving direction
Driving from Shinjuku to Meguro

For complicated railroad transfer in Tokyo, Ksc, who made movie theater location mashup with his own Google Maps API extension libraries, created another experimental mashup to calicurate to search best route of JR lines in Tokyo.

JR Route Search in Tokyo - Google Maps
Take JR train from Sugamo to Kinshicho, transfer ar Akihabara Social Map Looking for New Local Advertisement Model

Cirius Technologies, who provides mobile and social network services, launched beta, a social mapping service to let users add markers and share information.

It uses QR code, the defacto standard to transfer info to cameraphone, to make it easy to display the same location in the map on your mobile phone.
Show QR code and use cameraphone as reader to transfer location info will add functionalities such as layer sharing with particular friends, adding marker from mobile phone etc.
Cirius says they will be introducing new local advertising models and solutions on this social map and mobile location information service.

That's all for today.

nagoyan the earthhopper
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