Monday, October 31, 2005

2 new Google Maps mashups: whales and plate tectonics

Puget Soundscape Map - Here is an interesting Google Map that tracks Brett Becker's journey throughout Puget Sound. He made the map while traveling around following Orca whales for 6 weeks. The map pins allow you to hear the sounds that he recorded. Read more about Brett's adventure here.

Google Map for Teaching Plate Tectonics - Hobart King, a geology professor at Mansfield University has created an interactive map for teaching and learning about plate tectonics. It features twelve plate boundary locations with clearly recognizable features such as volcanoes, linear lakes, faults or mountain ranges. The map will guide students to plate boundary locations and the selected features will help students understand their plate tectonic significance. Other maps from Geology.com include: Meteor Impact Sites and Highest Points in All 50 States.

US Google Sports Maps: Nascar, Soccer, Ironman

NASCAR Nextel Cup Tracks - Here is a Google Maps overlay of all 22 Nextel Cup Nascar tracks. The map locates the tracks using the Google Maps satellite view.


American Soccer Stadiums - Here is a map that shows all the US Soccer Stadium locations using the Google Maps satellite view.


Ironman US Triathlon Race Sites - The makers of the Golf Earth have created Triathlon Earth, a flash map that links to the locations for Ironman Triathlons in the US. You can choose between Google Maps or M$ Virtual Earth.




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Forget Web 2.0 - It's World Wide Wed

+ =
A marriage proposal using Google Maps

When Dave Garr decided to propose to his girlfriend Elizabeth, he wanted to do something more creative than just getting down on one knee. With 10 years experience in web marketing and user experience design for Apple, HP, AOL, and PalmSource he decided to put some of this experience to work in his marriage proposal. The result - http://www.daveloveselizabeth.com.

The marriage proposal website employs many web technologies, including Google Maps to display all the locations that are significant to Dave and Elizabeth. The big day started at the restaurant where they had their first date. While Elizabeth had her back turned to the window her family, including her 90-year-old grandfather, walked into view of the restaurant with a large banner that read "Dave Loves Elizabeth.com." Dave turned to Elizabeth and said, "I guess we better get you to a place where you can look at the site"! He then drove her to a nearby location with a computer and Internet access where Elizabeth had the chance to look over the website and Google Map in a final lead up to the official proposal. As Elizabeth browsed to the final section of the website, there was Dave pictured on bended knee holding a large bouquet of flowers. Moments later Elizabeth was rushed off to a location where Dave was positioned exactly as he was in the photo ready to ask the question in person.

..I've seen some pretty interesting uses of Google Maps but this one is one of the most unique. When you read through the DaveLovesElizabeth.com website you follow that same journey that Elizabeth did the day of the proposal. In addition to Google Maps, Dave also uses a music video, slide show and a greeting card to demonstrate to Elizabeth why they are meant to be. Interested in what she said to Dave's proposal? Read the full accounts of the day, including pictures, at this blog that Dave set up. It provides a complete a complete epilogue of "The World Wide Wed"


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Sunday, October 30, 2005

Google Maps Mania - Week In Review

Here is my selection of the best Google Maps mashups and tools from the past week:
All other mashups, games and tools that were mentioned:

Friday, October 28, 2005

Maplandia: A Google Maps homepage for every country


..Awesome new Google Maps World Explorer!

Since Google Maps has only launched street map data for Japan, China, Canada, USA, the UK and Ireland it can be difficult to locate cities and administrative regions from the Google world map for countries without this level of detail. Today, in countries which do not have street maps available, Google Maps presents vast patches of white where detailed street maps will eventually provide context to the map you are viewing.

Enter Maplandia. Maplandia helps to fill in the detail that Google hasn't had the chance to provide for these "non-street-mapped" countries. Using a directory-drill-down approach you can locate every administrative region in the world on Google Maps by geo-location, thanks to the great indexing that this site has done for you.

It, in effect, creates individual Google Maps country sites in every country in the world. To see what I mean visit Maplandia.com and choose a country from the list. When you enter the map, the page has been set up as a "Google Maps country site" unto itself!

Options on each country page include:

  • A search box for populated places in that country
  • A directory of administrative regions (cities)
  • A list of neighbouring countries
  • A link to Expedia.com travel services (this mashup has to make money *somehow*!)
  • HTML code for your blog or website to link to this country page (text link, image button and map search box)
Here are screenshots of the Maplandia Google Maps Country page for Norway:



Using the available satellite and hybrid views from Google Maps, Maplandia has instantly created a Google Maps homepage for every country in the world. It's absolutely brilliant. Now Fijians, Liechtensteinians and Samoans now have their own Google Maps homepage to call home! Hopefully this will help to satisfy the Google mapping appetite for those of you that do not have street mapping for your country yet..
Happy Google Map exploring!


(Other Google Maps Collections sites can be found here)

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HomeSale Prices + Google Maps = HomePriceMaps.com

Jan.11/06: Corrected this post (Removed references to Yahoo! Real Estate)

Here is a new Google Maps Real Estate mashup to add to the mix: HomePriceMaps.com. HomePriceMaps is a "freely browsable database of homesale prices" in places like New York, Philadelphia, Hawaii, Miami and more. It is a mashup of home sale price data integrated with Google Maps.

Take a look:

(**I have noticed that with Firefox 1.0.7 this mashup bogs my browser down a bit. I might suggest viewing and using this mashup using a recent version of Microsoft Internet Explorer instead of Firefox)

Google Maps Mania has an index of many more Google Maps Housing & Real Estate mashups found here.

Jobster.com adds Google Maps to job searching

+ = Job Mapping

Seattle based Jobster.com has integrated Google Maps into their job-search results pages. Give it a try:


Jobster joins career websites like Monster.com and SimplyHired.com who are all moving toward this new trend of "Google Mapping" where available jobs are located.

Google Maps Mania keeps a list of employment-related websites with Google Maps functionality here.


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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Jeep uses Google Maps in new ad campaign

+ +

Last month I told you about an interactive online ad campaign that was to integrate Google Maps, blogs and other web applications to promote the 2006 Jeep Commander. The campaign has gone live as of October 24th and you can view the website here: http://www.wearethemudds.com

The home page allows you to meet the Mudd family: Summer, Clay, Brock and Victoria. By clicking the Site Map link you can jump off to the "Virtual Geocaching" section. (At this point if you have a browser with a pop-up blocker enabled, allow pop-ups from this site to appear so you can continue.)


The next window uses Google Maps as the background with the new Jeep Commander positioned over the U.S. northwest. Click on Episode 1: "Meet the Mudds" and watch the first of 4 video segments in a Google Maps balloon zoomed in and positioned over the new Jeep Commander.


They have used the map in such a way that you can't really identify where the Mudds are. This was most likely to not draw any association with any one particular location in the U.S. It should be interesting to see how the Google Map background is used in the second episode of the Mudd's adventure.

The campaign will also use Google Maps in the following contest:
The Mudds Virtual Geo-Caching Contest
Visitors to The Mudds microsite will be invited to watch videos and use Google Maps to find geocaches that The Mudds have hidden, which contain bonus information about the family and a chance to win a 2006 Jeep Commander. Entrants are rewarded for their interaction with the site by earning additional entries to the sweepstakes with each interaction (i.e. downloading content, send-to-a-friend, etc.).
(If you're not familiar with geo-caching, Jeep has provided the following link.)

More details about the campaign can be found here. Stay tuned to this Google Maps ad mashup to see where the Mudd family is heading in their swanky new wheels!


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EBay Real Estate + Google Maps

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Tuan Le has added has created 2RealEstateAuctions.com which mashes up Google Maps and EBay Real Estate listings in a unique way. The home page of the site automatically displays the top 100 real estate auctions on eBay with the highest bid count and regional top 50 lists:





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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Google Maps meets AJAX web-chat

The use of Google Maps is getting more and more interesting. The gang at TheMidnightCoders has developed a way to integrate a web-based AJAX chat client with Google Maps. Enter a room, and start tapping out messages to others. As you type, a pin automatically marks your present location on the world map. Each time someone in the room enters a message, a balloon with chat-text appears over the person talking.

Here is the technical description from TheMidnightCoders:

"..This example demonstrates bi-directional messaging between heterogeneous (Flash and AJAX) clients and WebORB Message Server. The server performs additional processing to geolocate chat users, injects necessary information in messages so users can be plotted on the map."

This is a great example of Google Maps breathing new life into an existing web application (web-chat). I encourage you to try this out:




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Google Maps U.S. fast food mashup: 27,478 locations



If you're looking for a fast food fix and want the location of the nearest McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King or Jack in the Box, you can "super-size" yourself with this new Google Maps mashup. It lists 27,478 fast food outlets in all U.S. cities across 49 states (excluding Alaska).



The visual that this map creates shows the staggering number of fast food options that are available to the American public with only 4 chains represented... Would you like fries with your mashup?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Third Google Maps article from Jason Gilmore on Developer.com

For those of you creating Google Maps mashups in the U.S., Jason Gilmore has added a third article to his Google Maps series on Developer.com. Titled "Build Your Own Geocoding Solution with Geo::Coder::US", this installment shows you how to download the U.S. Census Bureau TIGER data and use the Perl module 'Geo::Coder::US' to build your own local coordinate repository.

Previous articles in this series include:

Seattle 911 calls on Google Maps

Here is a new mashup called Seattle911.com that displays the most recent 911 fire calls which have been placed in that city. The call type indicates what level of emergency it is and the pins on the Google map tell you what part of the city units have been dispatched to. Seattle911 is a mashup between publicly accessible data from Seattle.gov and Google Maps, using the Google Maps API.



There are other related Google Maps mashups tracking police calls and crimes in other US cities found here.


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Google Maps news and blog-post roundup

News:

Innovative Web-based software challenges Windows
23-Oct/05 - USAToday

Google Earth digs deeper - MAP SERVICE IN TALKS WITH COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE DATA FIRM
18-Oct/05 - Mercury News

Kayak Adds Google Maps To Hotel Search

18-Oct/05 - WebProNews.com

Wikipedia Meets Google Maps In Web Site
13-Oct/05 - TechWeb

New Google™ Maps Keeps RentalHouses.com Ahead of the Pack
9-Oct/05 - RentalHouses.com

Blogs:

Mash-up ecologies: the case of google-maps

20-Oct/05 - http://netpublics.annenberg.edu

Google Open to Talks with Kalam
20-Oct/05 - http://keyar.blogsbyindia.com

Ning ... as an embedded framework

12-Oct/05 - http://ono.cdlib.org

Bounty hunting on Google Maps

BountyNetwork is a mashup which allows you to put out "bounties" or listings for services or items on pretty much anything you want, then tag that bounty to your local community on a map. The focus is on "providing you with a platform for user-to-user commerce, meaningful recommendations based on your location, and the ability to expand your search areas based on what you're looking for."

Here are some example "bounties" that can be found on this Google Maps mashup:

Wanted: 2 Tickets For Wizards Vs. Orlando Nov. 5th
Wanted: Free Standing Wine Cooler
Wanted: Artist To Do Oil Portrait Of Infant

Monday, October 24, 2005

Australian Google Weather map updates

The Australian weather map over at TheWeatherChaser.com has gone through some significant changes since the last time I mentioned it. John Barratt, the weathermap mashup creator has introduced hundreds of new markers to explain many different Australian weather observations. Some of the icons include webcams, ship tracks and live radars. A technical overview of some of the specific changes can be found in John's blog post found here.



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Spanish report: Global Spanish effort and Illustrating Bilbao

Luistxo Fernandez is our eyes and ears for all the great things happening in the Spanish Google Maps world. He is one of the correspondents here on Google Maps Mania helping English speaking readers to be aware of other mashups and developments being made on the web in this language. Here he is with his latest installment:

Some Spanish notes written by Luistxo from Tagzania..

LasRutas.com, ("The routes") is an effort to build a big Spanish-language base of Google Maps. At the end, it's a place where you can mark different places, and every spot admits comments. However, it has some added features as a tool to measure areas, so this probably may evolve into a more elaborate thing.

Las Rutas

A Basque company, Alianzo, has launched Bilbao.bi, a mashup devoted to comment, tag and illustrate (with Flickr pictures) the city of Bilbao, in the Basque Country (Spain).

bilbao.bi

Finally, a very interesting blog about map-related things, Tecnomaps is a professional blog launched by CDYS, a Spanish company that develops commercial blogs, among other things. Tecnomaps covers Google Maps, Google Earth, web-mapping at large and GIS things (with great technical expertise, I might add).

12 new Google Maps mashups for USA cities

New York City Drink Deals - Mapping specials for beer, liquor, wine and food in NYC.

MapHistory - Historical Google Map for the city of Philadelphia.

New York City ZipCars - Map Zipcars (urban time-slotted rental cars). Maps also available for Boston, Washington D.C., NYC and San Francisco

Chicago Real Estate search - over 90,000 MLS listings (when logged in) and also includes Yellow Pages listings as well.

Parks in the San Francisco Bay Area - Livingcue.com is a new Google Maps-based community site. So far it contains listings to parks in the Bay Area.

Hotels from the strip in Las Vegas - Provides locations, information and photos about the hotels that are dotted along "The Strip" in Las Vegas. (Had some difficulties with the info-balloons in Firefox 1.0.7)

US Urinals - You read it right. Find out more about the urinal you're about to visit.

Hang Gliding Flight Parks - Park listings for the U.S.

Detroit Women's Lifestyle locations - Includes mapped women's lifestyle locations for Metro Detroit (Click on FAQ, then View Locations Map).

Sunday, October 23, 2005

View top US golf courses on Google Maps

Here is a pretty nifty US golf course explorer put together by BunkerShot.com. It mashes up Google Maps (and VE) satellite data from some of the best US golf courses into a great Flash viewing interface:


Other Google Maps "golf" resources:

Golf Courses: WA, OR states
Golf Courses - Sydney, Australia
GMapGolf Game
US Frisbee Golf Locations
Golden Gate Park "Disc Golf"



Technorati Tags: [Google Maps], [golf]

New Google Maps game

Here is a new web-based Google Maps game called "Brewster Jennings Protects America: The global spy hunt game". It's based on the same concept as the educational PC game "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" and puts you on a timed mission to find US locations on a Google Map based on the clues that are given.



..Keep track of the changes and developments for this game with the Brewster Jennings blog.

This is just one of many Google Maps games that have been developed for web-gamers. Other good titles include:
Google Maps Mania keeps a growing list of Google Maps games here.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

New York City mayoral race mashup

+ = Mayoral Maps Mashup!

The popular OnNYTurf New York City transit mashup has included campaign information for mayoral candidate Freddy Ferrer. It includes places where people can volunteer for the campaign team plus Freddy appearances, including an upcoming date with former US president Bill Clinton:

Google Map for the New York City Marathon

Brian Timoney has created an interactive Google Map for the upcoming New York City Marathon which is being held on November 6th. The map allows you to toggle options such as race route, start/finish points, mile markers (kilometre markers for the Canadians!), toilets and road closures. Brian cites his reasons for adding the portable toilet locations:

"...In 1998 I was running the Philadelphia Marathon and around Mile #9 I really wanted to know where the portable toilets were. Sure enough, for the next 3.5 miles I was in a state of bewilderment and increasing discomfort before finding solace and comfort in the facilities of Fairmount Park... So, hell yeah, the bathrooms are posted on this map!"
Check out Brian's creation here... especially if you're a runner in this race!

Friday, October 21, 2005

UK and Ireland petrol prices on Google Maps

With the price of petrol in the UK and Ireland reaching record levels, some new Google Maps mashups will help you to find the station that has the cheapest:

MapEire: Cheap Petrol in Dublin - This mashup shows petrol prices for stations that have been submitted within the last 7 days. Stations are laid out on the map and when you click on them detailed information about the station pops up. You can change this information easily for future visitors to the map as well. MapEire contains information for Dublin carparks as well.


PetrolPrices.com (free reg. required) - This is a petrol price listing website that has integrated with Google Maps to show you the stations with cheap petrol around the UK. The site requires free registration in order to serve you relevant information about your location and the map even displays the icons showing you the station logo (BP, Shell, Murco, Total, Elf, Gulf etc...)



North American readers: Check out the "Cheap Gas" mashup.

Now playing: New York Movies on Google Maps!

New York in the Movies is a Google Maps mashup which displays the locations of hit movies and shows that have been filmed in New York City. The database is searchable by neighborhood, movie and actor. The location page includes a defaulted Google Maps satellite view, with pictures and information. Use this mashup to find where that great scene was filmed so you can add it to your list of attractions for your next visit to the Big Apple!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Google Maps and XBox 360 Mania!

+ = Mania Mashup

Gamers all over the U.S. and Canada are salivating at the new Microsoft XBox 360 console set to be released in North America on November 22nd. A neat map at Google Maps-powered Frapper has enabled XBox 360 fans to find locations of where the new units are on display to be test driven! Simply walk up to the map and click on the pin that are nearest to you, or add your own pin to the Frapper map. Most of the locations on the map are Wal-Mart locations where in-store demo kiosks are set up to show off the product. A very cool convergence of two "manias".




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Technorati Tags: [Google Maps], [XBox 360]