Thursday, March 30, 2006

Pray in the direction of Mecca using Google Maps

Naveed Chaudhry has created the Google Maps powered Qibla Locator to help Muslims around the world pray in the direction of Mecca each day since doing so, according to the Muslim faith, is obligatory. This mapping tool makes it really easy to find this direction. It uses spherical trigonometry to account for the shape of the earth to find the shortest distance between Mecca and the desired point. The direction is then shown on the Google Map as an overlay. To use the map, double click your location and click "go". Zoom in to see the polyline drawn over the map that shows you the direction you should be facing.

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Yankee Stadium Plan Map

Yankee Stadium Plan Map - OnNYTurf has created a Google Map for the proposed site of the new Yankee Stadium. The map takes you through a detailed before and after plan of the proposed site. Check out Will's write-up about the map here and more background here.

Other OnNYTurf Maps: NYC Subway Map, Atlantic Rail Yards

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

9 new Google Maps mashups for the USA

To get back into the swing of things and caught up on new Google Maps mashups here are 9 new maps for the USA:

NCAA Final Four Map - Shows all teams and indicates the final 4
Historical Final Four Map - A look at the Final Four from 1939
TheaterDude - US national movie theatre finder
SuperVegan - An NYC vegan restaurant map
Phoenix Food Map - A map of "food worth eating"
DateMashup - "Find love with Google Maps"
Geo Whitepages - Search for friends and family in the US
Iditarod Checkpoint Map - For legally blind entrant Rachel Scdoris
Iowa Sex Offender Map - Searchable sex offender database

Google Maps Mania is back!



I've returned from my 2 week business trip and holiday! On Monday afternoon my family and I flew from Paris back to Toronto after enjoying a week in Paris, France and Lisbon, Portugal. This completes my 5 city tour through Australia, Sri Lanka, India, France and Portugal. Although the weather wasn't great for the holiday portion, we made the most of it and really enjoyed two great cities! I would highly recommend visiting both. I've updated and completed my map of the journey and I'll post the rest of my pictures to Flickr soon.

Regular updates to Google Maps Mania will now return! :)

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Saying goodbye to Mumbai.. Google Maps Mania returns Mar.28!

(If you're new to Google Maps Mania, see the list of Google Maps mashups and tools here..)

What a day! All of my senses were given a workout today as I explored the city of Mumbai, India. A friend of a friend was my local tour guide showing me essential Bombay - from the Haji Ali Muslim temple to picturesque Gateway to India situated directly beside the Taj Hotel. The sights were great but the journey around the city was even better. I swear everyone has this spatial sense of sound about them. Drivers know by the sound where another vehicle is, pedestrians know where cars coming from behind them are and it culminates into a roadway mashup of sheer volume. There are taxis, people, dogs, trucks, buses, 3-wheeled rickshaws, cows pulling tanks.. Mumbai is definitely a city on the move. I was amazed at just how much activity there was in every shop, alley, upper storey window and sidestreet. You are forever just taking in the buzz of life that is all around you. I love this place. Some might call it smelly and out of control, but all of this makes Mumbai unique. It has the most activity I have ever seen in a city.

I've updated my Flickr Photo Set with the pictures from today and I've also updated my Google Map of the trip to show the location I'll be arriving to later tomorrow.

I'm wrapping up the business portion of my trip tonight when I'll catch a flight out of Mumbai tonight. I'm meeting my wife and my son in Paris where we'll spend the next week between there and Lisbon, Portugal for our holiday. Regular maps updates will resume after March 28th!

See you then!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Stop #3: Mumbai, India

I've updated the Google Map for the trip I'm currently on to show my present location - Mumbai, India. I've also posted a lot more photos to my Flickr Photo Set, if you want to take a look at what I've been up to. I'll post more details later.

If you're new to Google Maps Mania, check out my list of Google Maps mashups here. I'll be resuming my regular frequent updates of Google Maps mashups and tools when I return on March 28th.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Gawker Stalker: Realtime New York Celebrity Map

Just saw this Google Maps mashup mentioned on BBC World here in my hotel, so I thought I had better let other Google Mappers out there know about a mashup getting some major press play. Gawker Media has put up a Google Map that shows the realtime locations of celebrities in New York City. The Google Maps mashup is called Gawker Stalker. Users can email their sightings to a gawker address and those tips are then mapped out for other users to follow. Some are calling it the killer celeb tracking app, while others (A PR Agent was interviewed on BBC World) say that it pushes the personal privacy envelope.


Related: Celebrity Maps

[Thanks for the tip Nick!]

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Stop #2: Colombo, Sri Lanka

More pictures have been posted, along with a short clip of me crossing the street earlier today. This is a definite risk and exercise in patience and nerves. Check my Wayfaring Map for where I've been so far and my present location.

Waking up this morning I checked online for what the weather was going to be doing in my first day in Colombo. Lots of sidewalking was on the menu, running between several meetings in the main central business district so I was wondering what I was in for. In keeping with my Google Maps theme I checked out the Weather Underground mashup that conveniently has a weather station right near my hotel (See: Cinnamon Garden). It read 81F first thing this morning and now at 5pm in the afternoon it's cooling off to 91F -- Yes, hot! Let's just say that Colombo has been a bit of an adjustment after the pleasant, peaceful Melbourne that I just came from. Colombo is busy, noisy, smelly and active... all things I can deal with, but just takes some adjusting to. I'm sure I could do it much easier by heading to one of the beaches that this place is known for, but I just don't have the time.

Here are some other Google Maps tidbits I've dug up related to the country and city I'm currently in:

Geonames.org: Sri Lanka - Contains a map of place names and "geo" spots in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka World Heritage Sites - Takes a bit of panning and zooming. Take a look at the UNESCO World Heritage sites that have been designated in Sri Lanka
Colombo Airport - I've used Tagzania to tag the first Sri Lankan location on this Google Map DIY site! I was hoping to tag a few more spots around the city but I'm told there are very few "landmarks" to take in.

I've also picked up a few postcards today - one of which will be sent to Henry's "Postmap" to kickstart his cool Google Maps idea! :)

Stay tuned for more pictures and updates. I'll be changing cities yet again tomorrow night.

Day 2: Melbourne and traveling to Colombo.


(Check my current position here..)

I've now got pictures posted over on Flickr and a video on YouTube for those that might be interested..

The second and final day in Melbourne started for me on St. Kildas Road in Melbourne for the first of 4 meetings. The office tower I was visiting brought me to the 14th floor of an office tower that overlooked the park where the Melbourne Grand Prix will be held this March 30th. For a city that boasts the most days of sunshine in the southern hemisphere, the host that was introducing the view to me seemed embarrassed by the grey overcast skies that hung over the gorgeous skyline before me. Melbourne is a beautiful place that regularly ranks high on the "world's most livable cities" lists. My favorite part of the city is its great cafe culture. As I order up a coffee to get my Tuesday midday caffeine fix, the whole experience, from ordering to drinking just feels right. The atmosphere around me is upbeat and comfortable as I dive in to enjoy a hot cappucino piled high with froth and cinnamon. My final meeting of the day brought me to the center of the city and the perfect place to round out my short visit to one of the world's great cities. Upon finishing, I sat for a few minutes along the Southbank area and just took in the now blue skies and chatter of tourists that were starting to infiltrate the city for the start of Commonwealth Games. Flags for the event that were on every possible lamppost were lapping in the breeze and the city was coming alive. I took the long way back to my hotel to soak up my final few minutes in Melbourne before setting off for the airport. I was composing this entry as I was cruising over central Australia last night. I'm now in Colombo, Sri Lanka after switching planes in Singapore. During the flight when were just clearing Australia, the pilot announced that we were going to pass over Ayers Rock on the right hand side of the plane. Unfortunately I was on the left, so resigned myself to looking at desertscape instead. Moments later a rock formation came into view so I snapped the photo. Here in my hotel in Colombo I just used Google Maps to try to identify what it was I was looking at and it turns out the formation I was looking at is quite close to Ayers Rock. In this link you can clearly see the formation I took the picture of and the lone rock to the right is Ayers Rock. Kind of cool.

As mentioned at the top of the post there are heaps of pictures that I'm starting to assemble if you want to check out what I'm seeing. I've also posted a video clip I've taken with my digital camera to YouTube.

Some Australian Google Maps Mashups:

2006 Commonwealth Games Google Maps Mashup

Andrew Harris has gotten around to converting his Google Earth overlay for 06 Commonwealth Games events venues to a Google Maps mashup! The games kick off today in Melbourne, Australia.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Google Map of Europa, icy moon of Jupiter

Peter Pesti is the chap that created the NASA world-at-night Google Map. He had this to say when he saw my Google Mars post yesterday:

Hmm, Google Mars?! This is a call for tango! :) So here is Europa, the icy moon of Jupiter,another possible place for life in the Solar System:http://www.cc.gatech.edu/~pesti/europa/This is based on a 1.0 km/pixel (0.62 mi/pixel) resolution NASA image of Europa (Galileo and Voyager 1 & 2 data).

Google Mars Map

Google has used the Google Maps API to create a map of planet mars. Google Mars joins the previously released Google Moon. More information here..

Monday, March 13, 2006

Google Maps Mania Stop #1: Melbourne, Australia

Updated incorrorect Route Map link (You do not need to login to view the map!):

Check my Route Map here:


So I've finally arrived at my first stop down here in Melbourne, Australia! The journey was a long one - equaling 32 hours door to door. I've tried my best to stay up as long as I can today to attempt to kick the jetlag. I joined various teams competing in the 2006 Commonwealth Games that are being held in Melbourne this week. I sat next to the Grenada swim team (1 person) and was surrounded by Jamaican marathon runners and netballers. There aren't any Google Maps mashups for the event, but check out information on a Commonwealth Games Google Earth overlay created by Andrew Harris of Melbourne.

I landed today in to feel a "cool" 16C day here in Melbourne. A storm had apparently moved through last night that brought the temperature down from a hot and steamy 37C yesterday!! Give a tap on the area around Melbourne on the GChart world weather mashup to see the present weather for the start of the games.. Also, be sure to check out the Photo Google Map that has a few shots from the plane ride down. I'll post more photos in the coming days of Melbourne and other locations I'll be visiting.

While I was looking at the below in-flight tracker picture on the 13+ hours I was on the plane from LA to Melbourne today, I thought of how cool it might have been to have a Google Map or Google Earth screen to look at instead. This would allow passengers to explore the landscapes below them and in the process add another dimension to the flying experience. Something for Google to think of.

I'll be shifting to a new city tomorrow night, so stay tuned for a post from my next location!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Google Maps Mania hits the road!

The next few weeks on Google Maps Mania will be a bit different than normal. I'm taking a short break from posting my daily roundup of Google Maps mashups, news and tools and instead I'll be using them! I'm traveling for my job (with a short vacation along the way), and while I'm doing this I thought it would fun to bring you along with me. For my round-the-world journey I'll be making use of as many of the Google Maps mashups that I've reported on over the past several months to detail my trip and show you pictures along the way. It should be fun and I hope you'll find it interesting to follow along. Don't worry, I'll be resuming my normal posts after March 28th, so if you have mashups you'd like to submit, please continue to post a comment or drop me a line.

I've started my Trip-Map over on Wayfaring.com:

This map will include map-note pins and waypoints for every leg of my trip. I'll also be using other Google Maps mashups and tools to display tagged photos so you can see where I am and what I'm up to.

There isn't a whole lot to tell you about at this point other than the fact that I'm still at home, due to depart in approximately 5 hours. I'll post my next update when I reach my destination, a day and half from now.

Hope you enjoy the trip! Stay tuned!

Big pile of Google Maps Mashups 2/2

India:
Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore Maps using the Google Maps API. More info here.
India vs England Cricket Series Mashup

Australia:
Lookup Australian street addresses

Iran:
Iran Nuclear Facilities

Italy:
Italian Software Houses - a joint venture between SUN Microsystems Italia and Venice International University.
Friendster-like site + Googlemaps
Viaggioadagio

Ireland:
ProperPint
AA Roadwatch Mashup

Global:
World HangGliding
International AIDS Candlelight Memorial Map
Global Auction Guide (includes Google Maps)

Friday, March 10, 2006

Big pile of Google Maps Mashups 1/2

Straying from the normal posting style here on Google Maps Mania, here is the first of 2 mashup posts to catch-up on the backlog. This catch-up is in preparation for my upcoming trip. Stay tuned tomorrow for: "Google Maps Mania Around the World" where I'll be starting my 2 week journey around the world. I'll be showing my trip on a Google Map and making use of various Google Maps mashups and tools to show you all about where I am on while on this trip.

New U.S. Mashups:
The Big Gay Guide
Portland Schools
200 Hindu Temples
TurnHere.com
Fugitive Finder
NYC Camera Shops
Targetto
LA Hikes
Coaster2Coaster - All Coasters in the US!!
Boston RSS Alley
Friday Night Hangout (UTA)
OSURents.com
Minnesota DryCleaners
America Public Media Programs
U.S. Fencing Clubs

Canada:
Alkemis Local Montreal
Alkemis Local Ottawa

North America:
CharityDrives.org
Nearctic Spider Database

Other:
Atlas of Fiction- Real places mentioned in great works of fiction
Banned Books
Library Book Route Map
8by1
BuddyPing - Flickr + del.icio.us + Google Maps
Dude Where is My Used Car - EBay Motors
Travbuddy.com - Travel blogs with Google Maps
Mr. BeastMap - Scottish Band (Check the "Where's Mogwai" button for realtime location of the band's bus!!)

(many of the above mashups were found on ProgrammableWeb's Google Maps feed)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

4 great new Google Maps apps: packages, people, social, news

Google Maps Package Tracker + RSS - This new Google Maps tool will let you track any UPS, FedEx, USPS, and Airborne/DHL package on Google Maps and also lets you publish it into a personalized RSS feed! Sweet.[Via LifeHacker]

U.S. Person Maps - Here is a cool new Google Maps tool that lets you search the U.S. whitepages directory. Naturally all results for your person search is Google-mapped.. hence: PersonMaps.com - It's great for looking up old friends in different states or cities, finding relatives, etc (Read it: Stalking).

Flagr is Google Maps Sharewhere - Flagr is a new visual social bookmarking app that uses Google Maps as its canvas. It gives the ability for people to "bookmark" the real world and add pictures, all "Flagr'd" to a nifty Google Maps interface. Some nice programming in this new Web 2.0 social mashup! [Via AlwaysBeta]

GeoNews World NewsMap - This new world news map takes RSS feeds from Google News, BBC and CNN and plots the geographical locations on a map. There are facilities to comment on the stories, look up the places in Wikipedia and the CIA world factbook.

Toronto, Canada Google Maps Mashup Roundup!

Here are some new and existing Google Maps mashups for the great city of Toronto, Canada:

New TTC Map - David Pritchard has extended his transit map collection to include Toronto. This new Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) mashup joins his Vancouver map to provide a comprehensive Google Maps-based transit map for the Toronto subway system.



Alkemis Local Toronto - Alkemis originally hit the scene with its New York version and has now exanded to include Toronto. Although Alkemis Local Toronto doesn't have anywhere near the NYC Alkemis bells and whistles (it should remove the non-relevant sections from the left column), it does feature traffic cams and data aggregated from del.icio.us, Flickr, Yahoo! Video and more. Drag your map view around the lake a bit to also find webcams for the Hamilton and Niagara region.

Photos of Toronto posted on a Google Map - EnvisionToronto.com has the same feel as Flickr and lets people post and tag photos overlaid on a Google Map of Toronto. The map is the thesis project of 4th year University of Toronto student Ahmed El-Khuffash. Users can signup for their own accounts, and post pictures on certain locations on the map. As it's still a work in progress Ahmed wants folks to test it out and provide feedback to him!

Toronto Portal includes Google Maps integration

A mystery in Mississauga is solved with Google Maps

Other Toronto Google Maps Mashups:
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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

America's Cup Google Maps mashups: City of Valencia

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Unofficial America's Cup blog ValenciaSailing.blogspot.com has made use of the Google Maps API to help tourists coming to the Valencia, Spain. Two separate maps feature locations of hotels and top attractions in this 2006 America's Cup host city.

Valencia Hotels:

Valencia Attractions:

(These maps are also located from the top right column of the blog)

Featured during the event are the Louis Vuitton races and then the big America's Cup races. If you're in the city, this Google Map mashup will also help you locate WiFi access! :)

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Google Maps News and Blog Posts

Places mentioning Google Maps Mania this week:

Futuretense - American Public Radio: The power of Google Maps
(Listen to an audio stream of my interview with host Jon Gordon in Real Audio)
Developers line up for Google
EWEEK - Mar.7/06
Boob tube meets online maps as TV fans get creative
Elinor Mills of CNET News.com reports on the TV Maps phenomenon - Mar.6/06
Technology: Time For Your Mash-Up?
Newsweek - Mar.6/06
Google spawns travel map mash-ups
The Times UK - Mar.1/06


News and Blogs:

Massive crater found in Egypt/Libya see: news story [via]
StuffISendToMyMates.Blogspot.com - Mar.7/06
Google Maps idea: Google Maps Micro
MostlyMuppet.com - Mar.6/06
GarbageScout: great model for cameraphone/Google Map mash-up
StephensonStrategies.com - Mar.3/06
2 men and 2 camels on Google Maps
The World According to Google - Mar.3/06
Cool Postcard idea with Google Maps (see link from this page)
Digg.com - Mar.1/06
PacMan on Google Maps [via]
JustinFlavin.com - Feb.27/06
Google Maps vs. the Rest [via]
ShortFlip.com - Feb.27/06
Mashup Beyond Google Maps
geospatialsemanticweb.com - Feb. 24
Best quote from MashupCamp
eBizQ - February 23, 2006


Location Intelligence Conference 2006 - April 3-5, 2006 San Francisco Theme - "Profiting from Location Intelligence"

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Google Maps World Mashup Roundup



A few new Google Maps mashups with a global reach..

World Race Tracks - All F1 Tracks mapped on Google Maps
F1 2006 Map - All 2006 F1 Tracks
World Motocross Map - MXearth is a depository for Google Maps/Earth satellite imagery of motocross tracks from around the world
Skype World User Map - Shows locations of Skype users
PillowsAndPancakes - A World Bed and Breakfast directory site using Google Maps [via]
VCarious.com Travel Guides - Community-based world travel site using Google Maps
LicketyTrip.com uses Google Maps - Last-minute vacation rental listing site
WFMU Marathon Donation Map - Independent freeform radio station from NY maps worldwide pledges

U.S. Backcountry Google Maps

BackCountryMaps.com is a new Google Maps mashup that combines an enormous amount of information and mapping layers with some excellent user interface design. It aims to map out backcountry locations and store user submitted trip reports. The Google Maps API has been used to import 5 mapping layers that include the Google satellite view, USGS aerial and topographic overlays and Nexrad weather, all among popular backcountry location markers. You can also submit your own waypoints and trip reports and view resort and traffic web cams. Check out the "Featured Maps" tab for the CO Snotel Station Map, CO Avalanche Fatality Map and watch for the completion of the CO Backcountry Vlog Map. A programmatic note, this mashup uses ruby on rails and mysql and has some nifty tabbed info-windows! The mashup creator also wants me to pass along the invitation to anyone who would like to contribute! An awesome mashup! :)

Monday, March 06, 2006

Brooklyn's Atlantic Rail Yards Google-Mapped

OnNYTurf has mapped a controversial area of Brooklyn, New York: The Atlantic Rail Yards. The map does a great job to show the planned areas of re-development and helps you envision what will be there. Here is an excerpt from the OnNYTurf blog post about the map that describes the debate: "One of the main arguments Bruce Ratner and his supporters make for his plan is that the area, around the Railyards, is blighted. By this he and his backers rationalize that Ratner should receive government backed loans and be able to use Eminent Domain to grab private property around the yards so he can build a sports complex and a dozen or so towers, some which would include affordable housing". Check out the map here, and more information on the situation here. (This map was created using the new OnNYTurf map engine: Bitweaver)

Also on OnNYTurf: New York Subway Map

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Sunday, March 05, 2006

Oscar winners on Google Maps!

In the spirit of the Academy Awards Virender Ajmani has been busy putting together the "Academy Awards on Google Maps" mashup. It plots Oscar winning Best Actors and Actresses from 1928-present and their birth cities on Google Maps. The mashup gives a look into what cities put out the big winners and lets you learn a bit more about past winners. Be sure to explore some of Virender's other mashups including the Fortune 100 Companies and The Apprentice contestants mashup!

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Saturday, March 04, 2006

American Idol + Google Maps

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= The Idol Tracker

Are you a fan of American Idol? If you are, you might be interested in this Google Map that has been created over on Wayfaring.com called Idol Tracker. Mike Tatum built the Idol Tracker because he wanted to see where "idols" fan bases exist. He writes: "I think common wisdom is that everyone votes locally until the very end. I'm hoping people will track their favorite idols so that I can see where their fans are around
the country."

Here is how it works:
  • Sign up for a free account at Wayfaring.com (Aside from this map, you can also make your own Google Map with this account)
  • Visit the Idol Tracker Map
  • While looking at the Idol Tracker main map, click on your favorite idol number or name in the right side list of waypoints (names).
  • Now check that the map title displays as the "Idol Name" and not "Idol Tracker" to be sure you're in at the right place.
  • Click the "Trackers" tab
  • Click on "Track this map" and you are now tracking your idol (leave a comment as well!)
The result will be a way for viewers of the show to see the popularity of each American Idol and also see where each of the contestants is from! This is a creative way to marry a cool Do-It-Yourself Google Maps tool with an insanely popular tv show!
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Friday, March 03, 2006

Google Maps UK London Tube Journey Planner

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= London Tube Journey Planner

TubeJP is a great new Google Maps mashup for the tube subway network in London, UK. Enter your departure station and your destination and the tool will tell you the best route to take, via what stations and the specific zones you'll pass through. Reference the Google Map of the stations to determine how to follow the suggested route. It's very similar to the Google Transit Planner for Portland, minus the route mapping.


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Thursday, March 02, 2006

New Google Maps Mashups: Golf, Libraries, Maui, NFL

Golfnation.org shows satellite views of holes - GolfNation.org has put up part mashup, part Google Earth hack for the cities of Atlanta, Salinas, and Tampa. When you click on the city (take Atlanta for example) there is a Google Map of all the courses with address info and a link from the info-window to detailed course info. They have then taken Google Earth screenshots of EACH of the holes on what resembles a scorecard layout for the entire course! This is a great use of two Google mapping technologies, presented on the web.

Google Map of Chicago Libraries - Cyris Labs has created a very functional Google Maps mashup for the libraries that can be found in Chicago. You can filter the map by Public Branch Libraries, Public Regional Libraries, Public Main Libraries, Specialized Libraries, Academic Libraries and Religious Libraries. You can also search directly for a library [via]

Big Maui Real Estate Map

NFL Football Stadium Map

Other Maps:
Grand Rapids Security Cameras
Video Game Legislation Tracker [via]

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Amazing Race 9 Google Maps mashups!

A Google Maps map is the perfect fit for an international TV show like The Amazing Race (airing right now in North America). It features global locations and drives interest to view those locations after the show. A few folks have started establishing Amazing Race 9 Google Maps mashups to let people to just this, while keeping current with the show as it progresses. Check these out:

Chasing Racers on Jaunted.com - Jaunted.com ("The Travel Guide in Real-Time") features an Amazing Race 9 mashup that has lots to explore. It features satellite maps of the starting point for the racers, links to places that they visit and captions from the show posted on Flickr. Here is more from this Jaunted blog post: "This map will update every week in the days after the show. Send along tips, rumors, gossip, locations and spoilers to our map editors, become a member and comment on the stories below, and add to the Jaunted-Flickr photo pool to get in on the fray. Enjoy."

Amazing Race 9 on JoeMap.com - The folks at JoeMap.com have set up an Amazing Race 9 map with satellite plots of every place on the show. So far they have the exact locations pinned for: Starting Point For Amazing Race 9, Denver International Airport, Campo De Marte Airport, Estadio Do Pacaembu, Guarulhos International, Airport, Hotel Unique and Viaduto Santa Efigenia (all locations from episode 1). This map will continue to update and allow you to further explore all the locations the racers pass through! JoeMap has also set up a photo album of all the contestants on the show that can be found here.

Get more show details from The Amazing Race 9 Website

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