Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Google Maps Mashup Roundup for Denmark

Mashups in..

Soren Johannessen has joined the Google Maps Mania team as country correspondent for Denmark. Soren holds a Masters degree in Library and Information Science and sees Google Maps as an interesting way of providing information. He maintains a blog, together with fellow Dane Esben Fjord focussed on IT, Web 2.0 and Library 2.0. Here is his first post:

The Copenhagen Metro [København Metro](subway) - A Google Map of the Copenhagen Metro System (A KML file for Google Earth is also available)

Danmarkskortet over biblioteksblogs [Denmark map of libraries] - An index of Librarians or Libraries which have a weblog in Denmark. A KML file is also available for Google Earth.

Gennem byen sidste Gang (the last trip through town) - A famous Danish poet Dan Turell wrote a poem "the last trip through town" just before his early death- In this poem he describes which last route he will walk through Copenhagen, before he dies. This has been visualized on a Google Maps the route and some waypoints with pictures from Copenhagen. This one also has a KML file for Google Earth which is available.

Start you holiday at the library (Start ferien på biblioteket) - A world map which danish travellers can click on a marker (country) and a hyperlink goes directly into the Frederica library database and search for travelbook for that country.

Danish Geotracer for Danish addresses - an example for the address "Istedgade 89" in Copenhagen looks like this.

Google creates "Summer of Green" using Google Maps

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The Google Maps Team has teamed up with The Earth Day Network to create a Google Maps mashup aimed at pointing tourists in the US toward "environmentally friendly activities, attractions and amenities." Dubbed "Summer of Green", the site features audio and video tours of 5 US cities, creating a local map for each. The info-windows for each attraction appear to be mashing up video clips from Google Video and display, upon clicking, in a way I haven't yet seen in any Google Maps mashup. The site incorporates Google Maps' directions feature and also a way to search Maps for other locations. According to Elinor Mills in the C|Net article linked below, Google is planning to announce the site today. Update: Google Blog Post: Map your way to greener travel

Check out more information about this mashup:
C|Net News (By Elinor Mills): Google's first mashup goes green
OnNYTurf Blog: A Googly Green Summer

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

New US Google Maps Mashups (8): ASU, pets, Sirius and more

Arizona State University (ASU) Adds Google Campus Map - James Fee over at Spatially Adjusted tips us off on the fact that ASU is now powering their campus map with the Google Maps API. Still in beta, the map shows the various campus, park and center locations with custom map markers.

Pet Flight Incidents.. Mapped - PetFlight is a Google Maps mashup run by Chris Nichols that combines airline reports about pet injuries, losses, or deaths that happen during transport and FAA's 5010 airport data. This data is displayed on a Google Map so you can browse incidents by each airport. This Ruby on Rails app also uses blog posts to inform pet owners of recent happenings. The airport with the most number of incidents? George Bush Intercontinental/Houston with 3 pet deaths.

A Sirius Google Maps mashup - Mike Wheeler has created a map that tracks the positions of the satellites used by Sirius Satellite Radio. He notes that this is useful for aiming your home antenna. The map also shows the location and approximate coverage area of the 200+ ground repeaters Sirius uses in urban areas.

More new mashups:

Monday, May 29, 2006

World Google Maps Mashups: Earthquakes, Da Vinci Code, FIFA World Cup

World Earthquake Map - This Google Map mashes up locations of the most recent world earthquakes taken from the GEOFON Extended Virtual Network (GEVN) and plots it on a world map. Color coded pins show the last 3 earthquakes (red), quakes in the last 24 hours (yellow) and beyond 1 day (cyan). More earthquake, volcano and hurricane mashups can be found in the Weather & Earth section.


Da Vinci Code Trip Planning - Want to plan a trip to significant Da Vinci code novel/movie locations in England, France and Scotland? Budget Travel Online can help! Check out the link to their special Google Maps here. Related: Google Maps Mania Da Vinci Code Post


FIFA World Cup Rosters - This Google Map mashup displays all teams vying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, along with the clubs each of their national players are currently playing with. A timely mashup to match with the lead-up to the World Cup starting in just a few weeks! [via] Related FIFA World Cup Posts: FIFA News Mashup & FIFA World Cup Scream Map

Other Google Maps mashups covering world locations:

Worldwide Drum And Bass Forums - More info here.
Kelley Direct Business School Alumni Map - A great example of how the Google Maps API can be used to map school alumni members. [via]
Personal Wine Consumption Map - Mapping the wine you drink!
MapMyHotel - US cities, London and Dublin

JobLoft.com Google Maps Canadian Jobs

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Chris Nguyen and his team based in Mississauga, Ontario are 4 Toronto grads that are trying to change the HR industry using Google Maps and other Web 2.0 technologies. JobLoft is a Canadian jobs site focused on employment opportunities in retail, food services and hospitality. The list of employers pretty impressive. This small startup has the interest of Hiring Managers at Best Buy, Blockbuster, Harry Rosen, Hooters, and the Cara Group (Swiss Chalet, Harvey's, Second Cup etc..) and more! JobLoft uses Google Maps to plot jobs based on your local postal code while employing AJAX programming, RSS feeds and tagging to make this site different from other jobs websites. Google Maps based jobs sites have not been all that common (even in the US job market) so the vision Chris and their team have for their new web 2.0 startup is commendable. Everyone, regardless of being in Canada, should check out this great jobs-mashup! (Quick City Links: Toronto, Montréal, Ottawa, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary)

For more, check out an interview with Chris on BlogTO.com

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Google Maps + Bono = Google Bono

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Want to catch a glimpse of Bono in Dublin? The Bono Probability Positioning System (Google Bono for short) can help! Here is what Google Bono professes to be: "..The Bono Probability Positioning System version 2 Google Bono (beta) utilizes Dublin's extensive surveillance camera network in conjunction with facial recognition software, Google Maps and advanced probabilty techniques to allow visitors to determine the probability of seeing Bono in any of the most probable locations in Dublin's city centre in real time." A pretty funny FAQ explains all the ins and outs of this "tool". :) Good fun. [via]

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Saturday, May 27, 2006

New Google Maps Games: CyberNations & Google Maps Quiz

Cybernations - Here is a description from the site: Welcome to Cyber Nations, a nation simulation game built around Google Maps. Create a nation anywhere in the world and decide how you will rule your people by choosing a government type, a national religion, ethnicity, tax rate, currency type, and more in this new geo-political, nation, and government simulator. Build your empire by purchasing infrastructure to support your citizens, land to expand your borders, technology to increase your nation's effectiveness, and national improvements to build your nation according to your choosing. [via]

Google Maps Quiz - Look at the satellite image and click on the map to guess where that location is. Google Maps Quiz instantly tells you how wrong you are since guessing right seems near impossible! :) Cool little game.


For more games based on Google Maps check out the Games category here on Google Maps Mania!

Google makes Aussie and Kiwi street maps official

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Google software engineer Patrick Jordan has posted to the Google Maps API Blog to make street level mapping on Google Maps official for Australians and New Zealanders. From the post titled: "Aussie Maps! Kiwi Maps! Beauty Mate!":

G'day, and welcome to an exciting new world of proper online maps for Australia and New Zealand, which we added in the nick of time for our Open House event at the Google Sydney office. Google Maps doesn't yet support full address search or business search in Australia or New Zealand, but we wanted to give API developers a head start on building cool AU/NZ mashups. The Aussie and Kiwi maps are automatically available to anyone who uses v2 of the API, so please upgrade if you're still using v1.

If you see any bugs in the new maps, please let us know via the discussion forum or our feedback form.


Google Maps Mania broke this news back on 18-May and this blog post is the first official word from Google since that date. The Sydney Morning Herald (as well as their blog) and The Age in Melbourne both picked up on the news tip from Google Maps Mania to let Australians know about the availability of this new mapping layer and mashup possibilities that are now here. Attempts to contact The New Zealand Herald and other Kiwi media outlets didn't yield any response. If you're interested in starting your own mashup, check out the Google Maps API page to get started and be sure to drop me a line when you've finished your mashup so I can let others know about it here on Google Maps Mania! That goes for any of you that see new Aussie and Kiwi mashups - let me know! :)

Friday, May 26, 2006

You've never seen Google Maps like this

UBrowser lets you view Google Maps in 3D - I found a really cool browser app through the Random Good Stuff Blog yesterday and proceeded to spend about an hour turning my view of the Google Maps page into all sorts of things. With UBrowser you can turn flat webpages into cubes and balls, as well as make it animate into waves as you use it. The cool part is that all the Google Maps controls still work in this so you can zoom and move around the map while in this view. I took some snaps of the fun I was having down below. For fun, bring up the place you're from, switch to ball view and voila.. you've just turned your home town into its own planet! :) To have a play, head over to the UBrowser site, download the zip file and extract it to a folder on your computer. Then, bring up Google Maps and have some fun!



Google Cartography - Description directly from the page: "..Google Cartography uses the Google Search API to build a visual representation of the interconnectivity of streets in an area. This application takes a starting street and finds streets which intersect with it. Traversing the streets in a breadth-first manner, further intersections are discovered. Eventually a connected graph is produced showing the interconnectivity of streets flowing from the starting street." Example cities include New York City and Melbourne, Australia. It doesn't use Google Maps but does act as an interesting companion to using it. Check the "Give it a Try" section if you want to try to run this on a city of your choice. [Via Gridskipper]

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Wiki + Google Maps = Wikimapia

WARNING: The Google Maps tool/mashup/app that you are about to read about is extremely cool. Please be seated and clear time from your schedule before proceeding. :) It also seems to only be viewable in Firefox presently..

Wikimapia is a new project created by Alexandre Koriakine and Evgeniy Saveliev aimed at "describing the whole planet earth". They have created an excellent way to accomplish this goal. Using a mixture of Google Maps satellite imagery, a "wiki" editing mechanism and tagging, Wikimapia lets anyone add or edit a description for any place on earth (without registering). It also provides a new, unique way of browsing Google Maps satellite images. Here are some examples:

Egypt pyramids:

Male, the capital of Maldives:


Wikimapia presents itself in a multilingual fashion with interface controls available in English, Russian, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Portuguese languages! Honestly, screen captures from this site don't do it justice.. Get in and have a play and you'll realize the full potential and how nice and easy it is to use. This one gets the "awesome" label from Google Maps Mania for top notch interface, great idea, and concept stikiness. The only thing lacking is the Internet Explorer interoperability.

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Google Maps news and blog post roundup

(Update: Added Google Earth Blog story..)

If you ever wanted insight into what adventures geo-developers are having when they pick up the Google Maps API to create a mashup, these two articles are perfect. WeatherMole.com's creator Jenny Shank talks about her mashup from start to finish in these two very well written articles:

Weathermole.com: The Making of a Mashup, Part 1
Weathermole.com: The Making of a Mashup, Part 2

Frank Taylor over at the Google Earth Blog shows us how Google could have the same image quality as the new images in Microsoft's Live Local by doing a little photo processing:
Microsoft Imagery Update for UK

Australian street level mapping in Google Maps caught the attention of the Australian press this past week. Here is some coverage:
Sydney Morning Herald (May19/06) - Also appeared in The Age (Melbourne) Sydney Morning Herald Mashup Blog Post (May 19/06)

Here is an excellent article from Eric Pimpler at Directions Magazine that gives a comprehensive overview of all the changes now available in the Google Maps API Version 2:
What's new in Google Maps2? (May 22/06)
Be sure to also check out his previous article:
Introduction to Developing with Google Maps

ProgrammableWeb's John Musser and Google Maps product manager Bret Taylor are quoted in this excellent mashup article in New Scientist Magazine:
'Mashup' websites are a hacker's dream come true

Google Maps SVG Support
Ajaxian Blog - May 11/06

Google Maps ranking #3 behind Yahoo! Maps and Mapquest
Hitwise Blog - May 19/06

Pigs and Pilates: Google maps regional passions
Times Online (UK) - May 21/06

Yet another location-based tool: Plazes
StephensonStrategies.com - May 19/06

RH Internet Report: Google and Yahoo! Maps
Red Herring - May 15/06

Integrating Google Maps with Yahoo Geo-Coding
Pandora Squared - May 14/06

The Scotsman.com on mashups
Scotsman.com - May 15/06

Google moves into virtual worlds
CNN - May 12/06

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Google Maps Subway Mashup for Lisbon, Portugal

With the recent introduction of street maps for most countries in Europe, Google Maps has taken on a whole new meaning in this part of the world. In Portugal André Cid Proença has created a great map of the Lisbon Subway network (Metropolitano de Lisboa). The mashup includes subway lines and stations with the location of the exits mapped as well. André has also included the decorative tile artwork that symbolizes each station in the map info-windows. Take a look:


This mashup joins just one other known mashup using the Google Maps API:
VisitPortugal.com + Google Maps
..If you know of more mashups from Portugal not mentioned (In English or Portuguese), please post a comment with the title and URL! :)

Australia & New Zealand Speed Cameras on Google Maps

RoadWatch (.com.au) claims to be a site that saves your time, your license and your life by mapping out locations of speed and red light cameras. RoadWatch admin Ant Burnett was so excited when street level mapping became available for Australia and New Zealand that he changed the camera locator to use Google Maps. Many new features are being added to this mashup, and he is seeking feedback to improve it. [via]

Australia Camera Search

New Zealand Camera Search



Do you know of a Google Maps mashup from Australia or New Zealand? Please let me know by posting a comment to this post or by dropping me a line.

X-Men + Google Maps = X-Planet

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What do you get when you take the Google Maps API, mix it up with a major Hollywood film and some awesome Flash design? You get X-Planet, the new movie website for X-Men: The Last Stand. Created by Australian firm SOAP Creative, X-Planet uses Google Maps to let fans pin themselves to a map and assume the identity of an X-Men mutant. The resulting map is an mashup of hundreds of X-Men fans from all over the world. Add your bio info, MySpace or blog URL and your powers as a mutant. There is a cool photo scroll bar along the bottom of the map that lets you browse "mutants".



This is one of the most engaging Google Maps implementations I've seen. If you have a fast machine and a big monitor, choose full screen and high detail for this mashup and prepare to be blown away. This is also a *VERY* good way to include fans in the movie going experience. I went to the site not all that interested in X-Men, and now I'm curious to see what some of the labels and characters mean in the movie.

Related:
Worldwide release dates for X-Men: The Last Stand
Official Movie Website
More TV and Movie Maps Mashups

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Yahoo! News + Google Maps

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This latest "News Map" uses the Google Maps API and mashes it up with the Yahoo! News Search API. The resulting application is really quite simple, and fun to buzz around on. If you're a news junkie, this is likely the quickest way to read news, by country. Click on the country from the Google Map and the news displays in the right hand panel instantly.



Related:
News Maps Mashups
How Google Maps is used in News & Media - Part 1
How Google Maps is used in News & Media - Part 2

Watch Google Maps Mania on Call For Help

Here is my second of three appearances on the G4TechTV show - Call For Help. In this segment I talk about the steps to take to start to build your own mashup with host Leo Laporte. (Shockwave required):



If you can't see the video, click here to view it on YouTube. To check out my first (green) TV appearance on Call For Help, watch here.. The third segment will air in a few weeks.

Google Maps: Hollywood's Hottest Hotels Exposed

HotelChatter.com has created a unique "Google Star Map" you can use if you're heading to check out the Hollywood sights. Hollywood's Hottest Hotels Exposed spotlights some of the most popular (and scandalous) hotels in TinselTown. To learn why, check out this excerpt from The Chateau Marmont map marker:

"..Stars have been told if they must get into trouble to do it at The Chateau Marmont. It's where John Belushi died from a drug overdose, Jim Morrison of The Doors jumped out of a window and Led Zeppelin rode their motorcycles through the lobby. Most recently, Lindsay Lohan has spent almost half a million dollars staying at the hotel while her house is being renovated. Jessica Simpson and Maroon 5's Adam Levine touched hands under a table in the bar. Plus Scarlett Johanssen and Benicio del Toro totally had elevator-sex here. With all this celebrity history, itÂ’s only fitting that celebrity hotelier and Uma Thurman man-toy, Andre Balazs now runs and own the place."


Related:

Hollywood Sign (Google Satellite Image)
Gawker Stalker
Spotted.At Celeb Map
Celebrity Maps
Natalie Portman Map

(Sorry Adena, I know how you hate this stuff!) ;)

Monday, May 22, 2006

Real-Time Google Maps Satellite Tracker

Real Time Satellite Tracking is a Google Maps mashup that takes the current position of many orbiting satellites and plots their locations directly on a Google Map. You can check on the location of the satellite that your DIRECTV service is connected to, and see where The International Space Station and Hubble Space Telescope currently are. It has listings for many different types of satellites such as GPS, Military and Amateur Radio along with all kinds of information about each orbiting object. I'm amazed at how fast they move!

One of my favorite Google Maps mashups is the Dartmaps mashup which is very similar to this. It displays the real time locations of commuter trains as they chug down the tracks in Dublin, Ireland. These, to me, are the best kinds of Google Maps mashups.. Real things, in real time.. On a map!
[via]

Missing Children Alerts on Google Maps

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Map of Missing Children Alerts

Integrating location based information with Google Maps can make browsing that map a powerful experience. The scope and number of points of information and what they represent really bring home how big an issue really is. This next Google Map is exactly this. As with many maps I have reviewed on Google Maps Mania this API integration takes publicly accessible data (from MissingKids.com) and makes this data browsable on a Google Maps interface. The result is a map that locations of missing children alerts throughout the US, by state. Geo-developer Virender Ajmani reminds us that May 25th is the National Missing Kids Day as declared by former president Ronald Reagan. Please take some time to browse through this map, and also send it around to others you know so that it can perhaps make a difference in helping to find some of the children that are included on it.

Related: National Center for Missing & Exploited Children