Monday, June 05, 2006

Australian & New Zealand Google Maps mashup roundup!

On your bike with Australian Google Maps Mashup: Bikely - Bikely is a new Google Maps mashup that helps you to find and share the best cycling routes around Australia. Just select a route from the list on the main page, and a Google Map illustrates the route for you. You can share your own bike route by joining Bikely and mapping out a route that you'd like to show off to others. [via]

New Zealand Google Maps street and placenames - Mayo is a simple Google Maps placename explorer for the country of New Zealand that is taking full advantage of the introduction of street mapping. Entering keywords like street names, city and village names will narrow your search only to New Zealand Google Maps content. Results are text listed, as well as pinned on the map. An example search might be: "Hobson St" which lists all occurrences of this street name in New Zealand. I especially like what takes place when you "hide" the search result screen. Convenient page linking and email linking is also built in.

AUS-eMaps Google Maps - This new mapping application based on the Google Maps API will help you perform placename lookups in Australia, enhance your viewing of Google Maps satellite images and also let you build your own free maps (both Google and non-Google topographic).

It has been 19 days since street level mapping arrived for the Australian and New Zealand landscape in Google Maps. The number of new mapping applications created using the Google Maps API and marrying Australian based information has been slow to get off the mark. This surprises me since the Google Maps application is Australian born. First, let me offer up my thoughts on this:

Aussies and Kiwis may not know how easy this is to do! :) In short, here is what you can do to start mashing up data and creating your own online Australian or New Zealand Google Maps mashup... To take the "programming route" and get your hands dirty with javascript and code, head to the Google Maps API page and take a read through the documentation that is available. The instructions are extremely easy to follow and even folks with no previous javascript knowledge can use examples they provide to start creating a Google Map of your own. I know there are armies of indie coders out there that have the knowledge to pick up the API, hook onto a database and start mashing (so what are you waiting for?!:)). In addition to the official Google page, this link can supplement the Google Maps API docs as well. You can also clone Google Maps apps that have already been built on the Ning platform and apply them to the Australian or New Zealand webscape.

If raw code isn't your thing but you have the mapping itch, head over to one of the many Do-It-Yourself Google Maps sites like Tagzania, CommunityWalk or Wayfaring to start building a Google Map of Aussie and Kiwi information using the great user interfaces provided. If you have a list of information in an Excel file or even scratched down on paper, you can instantly add labels, photos and information to each of these points and have a Google Map mashup for this topic going in no time. Google Maps Mania and the many mashup examples and resource links can help you in this process. Good luck, and be sure to drop me a line when you have your mapping creation built!
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