Thursday, September 14, 2006

First Google Maps hacker honored in MIT Technology Review

Google Maps integrations with other data sources have come a long way. Today I call them "mashups" but in the beginning of this Internet phenomenon I referred to them as "hacks". Early on Google Maps hackers were exploiting open code in Google Maps even before Google had even released the API.

Paul Rademacher was the first Google Maps hacker. He received (and still does to this day) worldwide recognition for this HousingMaps mashup of Craigslist housing data and Google Maps. For this early innovation in Google Maps mashups Paul has been honored this month in the MIT Technology Review as a 2006 Young Innovator. Here is an excellent article summarizing why he has been chosen. Google subsequently hired Paul and since joining on his projects, as the article states, are "under wraps".

I had the chance to meet Paul in June and he's a quiet, focused and interested individual who always seems curious about things. Paul is the Vint Cerf of the Google Maps mashup world and he deserves this recognition as an innovator, and is an inspiration to everyone around the world creating maps mashups.
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