Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Map your community with Google Maps!

The ability to easily create an online map using the Google Maps API is certainly changing the way that we find information in our community, but let's face it, not everyone can pick up the Google Maps API and start making an online map. Here are some new and existing Google Maps creation tools which require no coding or technical knowledge to build a map or share information about your local community:

"Local".. lets you map your world - Frappr is the popular Google Maps site that lets you create your own Google Map for your website, group or club. (That reminds me, have you placed a pin on mine yet?) Frappr has introduced a way for registered users (free) to mark locations and share places in their community on a Google Map. Small community or campus newspapers, or radio stations could use this service to share points of interest with listeners or readers, or community groups could map projects they are engaged in throughout their region. This is a great extension of the social networking app that Frappr has already released. Check out Frappr Local:

Yelp is Google Map-tastic in San Francisco - Yelp is a website that allows real people to review local restaurants, clubs and other businesses in their community. Yelp has just added a new service called Yelp Map-tastic where reviews from the Yelp review database are plotted on a Google Map. Featuring only San Francisco at this point, there is no doubt that other cities in Yelp's list will find their way to a Google Map soon. Check out SF Yelp Map-tastic:


Sharing places in NYC - I mentioned community mapping app yesterday but it does deserve another mention for their user-submitted map pins. This feature gives the ability for anyone in New York City to share information about a particular point among other events and information pins that are present on the map.

Here are some existing do-it-yourself Google Maps creation tools that will foster the same community sharing concept as these new tools which have been mentioned above:
Now get out there and make a map for your community!

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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

5 New York City Google Maps Mashups!

Interactive NYC Transit Map - Greg Brail has created a Google Maps version of his long standing Interactive New York Subway Map. It's very simple.. you click on a starting point and an ending point, and it calculates the shortest subway route between those two points and displays them on your map.

Gothamist NYC City Guide - The Gothamist has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to Google Maps. Regularly featuring the lastest Google Maps for NYC, they have taken it upon themselves to create their own Google Maps project; "Gothamist Maps" is "the best way to see what's going on and where right now." It features Yahoo!'s events from around the city, user content from and allows for user submitted markers as well! (More information here)

Update: has gone Local! - The previously mentioned NYSee Google Maps explorer for NYC has changed it's name to Alkemis Local. The interface has been cleaned up and makes filtering content on the map easier. The map aggregates traffic cameras, Yahoo! Traffic, Weather, Local Picks, Flickr Images and Fandango Movies. A truly awesome Google Maps powered resource for NYC!


NYC Buildings on Google Maps - has released a Google Maps interface for New York City Apartment searching. The search tool allows you to filter listings by the number of bedrooms, location and price range, while the search results are plotted for you on a Google Map.

Central Park Birding Locations - Here is an interesting outdoor urban Google Maps mashup showing the locations of various types of birds in Central Park. Info balloons show pictures of the birds as well as referencing the page numbers from the book titled: "Birds of Central Park"


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Google Maps Hurricane Digital Memory Bank

A team of developers at George Mason University's Center for History and New Media has created a unique Google Map that will help to preserve the historical events of this summer's Gulf Coast hurricanes. The Hurricane Digital Memory Bank acts an interactive map-based explorer to the stories, images and memories of the 2005 hurricane season in the Gulf Coast. More from the website:

"..The Hurricane Digital Memory Bank will help historians and archivists collect, preserve, and write the history of this devastating hurricane season. It also seeks to foster some positive legacies by allowing the people affected by these storms to tell their stories, which will become part of the historical record and remain accessible for a wide audience for generations to come."

Visit the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank:

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News and blog-post roundup


How Do I Get to Brooklyn? Google it!
Columbia Spectator - Nov.29/05
Online maps market: MapQuest - 71%, Yahoo! Maps - 32%, Google Maps - 25%
ZDNet - Nov.28/05
Fotki Inc. Puts Forward a Cool Ability to Browse Photo Albums
PRWeb - Nov.26/05 - Million Dollar Homepage Meets AJAX
NewsWireToday - Nov.25/05
Google attracts developers
ITWorld - Nov.23/05
Google offers free net access for flyers (See: Google Space) - Nov.23/05
Treasure Map - by Wynn Quon
National Post - Nov.17/05


eHub Interviews MapBuilder (Search for more Google Maps content from here)
eHub/ - Nov.26/05
Question: Google Maps and Old Versions of Safari
The Map Room - Nov.25/06
Google Leading Web 2.0
Baz Web Development - Nov.25/05
55 Ways: You Can Write a Chapter Using a Wiki
Google Blogoscoped - Nov.23/05
BlogBuzz: Web2.0 Validator
(Seeing lots of chatter about this tool!)
Web 2.0 Design Principles - a Case Study - Nov.17/05

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Monday, November 28, 2005

Google Maps Online Holiday Shopping Tools

+ = Smarter Online Shopping!

Dubbed "Cyber Monday", today is meant to be the busiest online shopping day for the holiday season in the U.S. - Here is a short list of the known Google Maps-powered shopping tools that will help you to make smarter online (and offline) purchases...

Froogle ZipCode Search - Froogle is the shopping search tool from Google. On the one hand it lets you comparison price a product, then link off to the e-retailer's website to make the purchase. Froogle also plots these items on a Google Map when you enter your zip code and even shows up to date inventory lists for each retailer so you know if you should visit the store or look elsewhere. Froogle makes you a smarty-pants holiday shopper.

MapBid: Ebay + Google Maps - lets you enter the item you're looking for, your zipcode and the range of miles from that area you're willing to drive to get the item. For example you can search for a digital camera within 10 miles of your zipcode.

Precision eBay Search Tool - In addition to zip code searching, you can also search by the amount of time left in the auction of that item. Countries that are supported include the U.S., UK, France and Germany.

eBay Searches near U.S. College Campuses - This eBay search tool lets you narrow down your item search to the area around a specific U.S. College Campus. A great search eBay + Google Maps search tool for college students!

Google Local - Google Local is the local business directory that is bundled together with Google Maps. It's the GrandDaddy of all Google Maps mashups since it plots all local businesses for you through a quick keyword search. Search for retailers in your community before setting out with your holiday shopping list. Google Local is available in the USA, Canada, UK & Ireland, Japan and China.

Apple Retail Store Finder - Looking for an iPod or a new laptop to give as a gift this year? If you decide not to purchase online check out the Apple Store Finder for the retail store in your area (includes US, UK and Canada).

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Sunday, November 27, 2005

Sunday Google Maps Assortment..

Starbucks Challenge Google Map - Google Maps is being used to hold world coffee monolith Starbucks to its word: promising to serve fair trade coffee.

Car game on a Google Map - A person in Japan has created a small java app that lets you control a small car over a Google Map. The accompanying text is in Japanese, but the controls are [space] to accelerate and [left/right] keys to steer. More info here (Babelfish could be used to translate?) It would be cool to create options to switch to satellite views for this game and actually have some fun driving around your community! Anyone have some time? :) [via]

1976 short film mapped out on Google Maps - "C'├ętait un rendez-vous" is a 9 minute short fim that was shot from the front bumper of a Ferrari as it screams through Paris. The entire film can be viewed here (Quicktime is required). Someone has "Google Mapped" the route the car takes in the film.. [via]

Washington D.C. Boundary Stones on Google Maps - Mark Zimmermann is attempting to chronicle U.S. history on Google Maps: "...The District of Columbia is a diamond-shaped square, ten miles on a side. In 1791-92 Andrew Ellicott, with Benjamin Banneker and colleagues, slashed through the wilderness, surveyed the bounds of the Federal City, and placed marker stones every mile along the edge. Many of these forty historic stones yet survive. My self-imposed quixotic mission: visit them, photograph them, and record their GPS coordinates." Check out his map and read more details and view photos of the stones here. This is another great example of how the Google Maps API is being used to allow others to explore and discovery history in a visual format.

A very Google Maps Christmas Card
- Barry Crawford has finished his 2005 design for his Google Maps Christmas card. This year, he has included directions to the North Pole via "Google Maps" (sorta)! Check out the card here.. Pretty good Barry! :)

Cool Google Travel Map - Austrian media student Max Rebol is a world traveler. Check out his nifty Google Map (complete with fancy frame) for places he has visited.

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Detroit Indian Community Google Map

Metro Detroit Indian Community Google Map - is a new community-based Google Map for the Indian community or for those looking to experience what the Indian community has to offer in Metro Detroit, USA and bordering Windsor, Canada. Features of this community map include local traffic reports, the latest news from India and EBay auction searches based on your location. Employing APIs and feeds from Yahoo!, Google and eBay, this is a great community map!

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Thursday, November 24, 2005

4 new UK Google Maps mashups!

London Tube Lines on Google Maps - Jonathon Scott thought it would cool to create a map which showed all the London Underground lines running over it. The map really isn't usable as a transit mashup, since stations are not displayed as markers. Leaving stations out was due to the worry of load times (read more here), but I truly hope that someone takes it on to create one for London. As the OnNYTurf NYC transit map shows, it is possible to use the Google Maps API to include many station stops.


View full screen London Panoramas in Google Maps - Digitally Distributed Environments has made some improvements to their map of London Panoramas. Now, in addition to the bubble-sized image view you can also enlarge the panorama and view at full screen view (using QuickTime). Check here for the map, and here for more details. mashes up with Google Maps - is a takeaway and restaurant search that is now integrating with a Google Maps search interface. The integration is a tidy map panel in the restaurant search result displaying, on a Google Map, where that restaurant you have selected is located.

UK Motorsport Venues - Here is a very simple Google Map showing all the main motorsport venues, links and events.


Do you know of another UK-based Google Map mashup? Please comment to this post to tell others about it!

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The world's surf is up on Google Maps!

+ is a new world wide surf report engine that allows you to click on any world location on a Google Map and instantly get tons of data for the nearest coastal weather station to that point. Data is pulled from the NOAA and graphs are provided showing current wave height, period and wind speed. At the bottom there is extensive forecast that will help you plan your surf outing for the days ahead.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Follow the Volvo Ocean Yacht Race on Google Maps!


Laust Ladefoged has created a great Google Map to track the current standings in the Volvo Ocean Yacht Race. The race is currently in its first leg which runs from the west coast of Spain to Cape Town South Africa, and is what the map is currently showing boat positions for. Links take you to zoomed in positions on the map for the leaders, fleet and the current leg to make viewing easier. The race website shows all leg previews so you know where the boats are headed next on this round-the-world journey.

Vigo, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa:

I'll put this link in the Current Events section along the right side category listing so you can follow the race. This is great sport application for the Google Maps API, and could become the mainstay in following long haul yacht races on the web. Jef Poskanzer created a mashup of boat positions for the Transpac Long Beach - Honolulu Sailboat Race a while back and it's good to see it has been put to use for this race as well. Perhaps we can look forward to following the America's Cup on a Google Map in the near future!

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World Weather/Time mashup adds Currency

GChart, the Google Maps world time and weather mashup, now provides world currency information. Single-click on the map or enter the city/country to get information about the local currency, with conversions back to the US Dollar, Euro and Japanese Yen.

Also: [ World Weather ]

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U.S. Google Maps Mashups - Boston, Philly, Minneapolis, Toldeo, Athens, S.Cal

Google Maps + Open Guide to Boston - Here is a great Google Map for the city of Boston. Featuring a wiki style of viewing and editing, you can also set your own user preferences for browsing. The map features Boston highlights and transit stops from a simple and easy to use interface


Google Maps + Philadelphia Bicycle Routes - The Philadelphia Bicycle News has created two Google Maps which show bicycle routes for the city. "Bike Lanes and Trails" show recreational paths and a "Commuter Routes" Map helps those with a bike get to the downtown core. More details here.


Minneapolis/St. Paul establishments and events on Google Maps - is a new establishment and event site catering to the Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota area. The establishment database interfaces with Google Maps to provide locations of restaurants, bars/clubs, theaters, cinemas etc that match visitors' search criteria. Custom colored map icons on the Google Map reflect establishment types (restaurant, bar, etc..) Here is an example of the Google Maps integration:

Other Maps:
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More Google Maps Real Estate Tools

Google Maps + Seattle real estate websites = - EZAtlas is a new real estate mashup for the city of Seattle. Although it's not yet complete this map will show you many listings, posted visually for you on a Google Map

New Google Maps Real Estate Tool for San Francisco - displays Single Family or Condo or Townhouse housing listings for San Francisco. It's not apparent where these listings are coming from, but you can link off the MLS link to view the home.

Using for D.C. urban design (or real estate?) - The 'Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space' blog shows how can be used by urban planners or real estate professionals to show building projects, properties or new developments. Take a look at the blog post and map.

Update: - This popular Google Maps real estate tool has expanded its features to include zipcode search and has updated its "Info Windows" to include localized links listing homes for sale, mortgage quotes and realtor listings in the area. Finally, how data markers are loaded has been redone to speed up performance times.

Other Google Maps Real Estate Tools and Mashups can be found here.

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Google Maps Mania News and blog-post roundup


Get a Reg logo on Google maps and win $10,000
The Register - Nov.22/05
The eye in the sky sees all
Christian Science Monitor - Nov.23/05
EBay drops some API fees for developers
ComputerWorld - Nov.14/05
Making The Case For APIs - Nov.18/05


Important Trends in Geomatics
Darren Cope's Blog Nov.20/05
Google Maps the new weblogs?
MicroContent Musings - Nov.19/05
Web Mashups - data hyperlinking
Greg's Head - Nov.18/05
UN predicts 'internet of things'
Smart Mobs - Nov.18/05
CERT Community: promising homeland security empowerment tool - (Frappr) - Nov.16/05

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Google uses Maps for Froogle, AdWords

Google has announced the integration of Google Maps to two of their services recently:

Google Maps + Froogle + U.S. Zip Code Searching - Google is trying to make searching for gifts easier this holiday season by creating a Google Maps mashup for its Froogle shopping tool. Enter the item you are searching for, followed by your U.S. zip code, and search results are "Google mapped" for that location. The map will display shops where you can purchase that item, and for what price. ABCNews reports that Google is also hoping that merchants will submit merchandise lists to Google Base so that Froogle can pull these product inventory lists and include them in its index. Try the new Google Maps Froogle search tool here:


Google Maps + Google AdWords - The Google AdWords team talks about how you can now make use of Google Maps to target your customers using their online ad program. From the AdWords Team: "...Here at 37° 25' 22", -122° 5' 6", we wanted to make it easier for you to set up customized location targeting. So last week, we put Google Maps into AdWords, allowing you to visualize cryptic coordinates or just pick a specific location on the map to determine the location you'd like to target." (More details here)

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Multi-line address searching for Google Maps

Hanford Lemoore has created a great search tool that the Google Maps search interface is missing: multi-line address searching. It's dead-simple, but definitely needed: It's a tool that allows one to copy an address on several lines (copied from a website or email), like this:

123 Fake Street

Monolux, CA 92001

..And paste it into ONE text box, then view the location on Google Maps (or Yahoo! Maps). You can find the tool here:

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Monday, November 21, 2005

Google Maps BestBuy XBox 360 Inventory Locator

+ +
= BestBuy XBox 360 Inventory Locator!

The XBox360 is here and the Google Maps API has been called into action to help gamers locate the inventory supply for Best Buy stores across the U.S. - To use the tool simply enter a zip code to get the Best Buy locations and inventory for that area:


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