Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Google Maps Mania in China

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Streets and placenames for Google Maps in China - Hua has contacted me to let Chinese Google Maps Mania readers know about a great application he has created for the Chinese Internet community. It was designed to help Chinese Internet users who don't understand English to use Google Maps. He combined the Google Maps API with the mapping API from Chinese map site 51ditu.com to create a tool that lets you match the Google Maps satellite view of china with street and road maps. It will also allow you to match placenames like cities and towns. As far as Hua knows 51ditu.com is the only local Chinese mapping site that provides an API for users to create tools/mashups. Hua gives an interesting overview of the 51ditu name: "By the way, something might be interesting: "51" has similar sound as "I want", " ditu" is the sound of "map", it means "I want maps". And "52" has similar sounds as "I love"." His maps have been built using Google Pages and can be found here:

Chinese Google Maps Viewer
Chinese Google Maps Viewer (Interface is in English)

Learn about Chinese Geography - China-Profile (.com) has put together a collection of Maps links with many that include map pins with comments that explain landscape and geographic features in China. It's a great way to learn about China using Google Maps:
Map Overview 1
Map Overview 2

Currently Google Maps provides satellite mapping in its base mapping service. Google also released Bendi.Google.com some months ago, which resembles the local business search tool available in Google Maps (previously called Google Local). Google Bendi includes map search results from a company called MapABC.com. Here is a sample search from Google Bendi using "coffee" in "Beijing" to let you see these maps. Also of note, the blogger behind Googlified has noticed that Google Maps takes Chinese characters in the search field and displays these characters on the in-map search results.

Other Google Maps links for China:
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