Monday, July 31, 2006

Google Maps sites to share and explore the world!

TurnHere.com shows you the world through video and Google Maps - This is a cool site that marries Google Maps with descriptive video to provide tourists (and locals) with an opportunity to learn about cool neighborhoods. The films are unique in that they give an insider's view of parks, restaurants, bars, art galleries, open air markets, bike routes, and more. TurnHere has even teamed up with Google Earth to provide users of the program to be able to link to TurnHere videos. This new feature flags the locations of TurnHere films and allows users to view short films about the area that they are surveying. Here are some example videos (see Google Maps panel): San Jose & Hamakua Coast.

MyOutdoors.net lets you map your outdoor activities - Here's another DIY Google Maps tool entry with journal integration that lets you detail a walk, hike, run or pretty much anything taking place outdoors. The Google Maps waypoint interface is pretty cool allowing 3 separate options to browse the activity you are viewing. Image uploading and full text search of each journal entries is in the works further making this a great site to just explore as well.


Stickymap lets you create "wiki" style maps- Developed by 3 Yale grads, StickyMap is an interactive "wiki" style map website allowing users to annotate map content by creating graphical points of interest. It allows its members to create markers, edit and remove content, and explore new areas. A handy feature allows you to link directly to a view within the site. The site has just started up so it definitely needs users adding content to make it a useful site for exploration, so get going! To check out heavily described areas see New Haven, New York, Boston and Washington DC, USA.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Greenpeace France GE Google Maps Censored by French Court

Greenpeace France has been ordered to remove a Google Map from its website revealing the locations of genetically modified cornfields -- information which the EU apparently requires the government of France to make public. Greenpeace France complied with, but will likely appeal, the censorship order. They also carved a giant crop circle X into one of the fields, making its location visible from the air.

Greenpeace International is now hosting the map from its servers in Amsterdam:
http://www.greenpeace.org/censored-map

Read more here..

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Cambodia's first Google Maps Mashup

+ :
Before the recent satellite imagery update to Google Maps several countries were limited from creating maps mashups due to low resolution imagery and no street maps. This situation is changing with this last update and Cambodia is one of those countries that is now visible for the mashing!

Phil Lees writes to Google Maps Mania saying "With the recent update to various Google Maps across Southeast Asia, Phnom Penh in Cambodia has changed from an unrecognizable blob to an actual city. In response, I've started Cambodia's first mashup: "Mapping Phnom Penh's food" -- From what I can see, this mashup is much more than just food and drink for one of the world's most interesting cities, it also includes many other Cambodia places. There is a Cambodian Beer Map, and a street food map and other categories (see "::map" in the list) of food and drink choices around Cambodia. The cool part is that each of these map pins links to a blog post from Phnomenon.com that gives great info.

This is a useful mashup for those backpackers and tourists visiting Phnom Penh. Based on the limited choices for maps-based Cambodian travel info, this is a great resource for everyone visiting this country!

Related Google Maps resources for Cambodia:

Wikimapia: Angkor Wat (amazing new imagery) and Cambodia
Tagzania: Cambodia tags
Flickr Images: Cambodia
Technorati blog posts: Cambodia

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Google Maps Miami Vice Movie Mashup

+

Upcoming Hollywood movie Miami Vice has made use of the Google Maps API to let film goers experience the culture, crime and history of the city that the movie is set in. It's a great mashup with unique info windows and a very cool "auto-zoom" feature that can be toggled to bring you to the map pin location automatically upon clicking. [via]

Related:
Internet Movie Database: Miami Vice (2006)
Check out more Movie mashups here

Google Maps for Mobile now includes a traffic mashup

The Google Blog informs us recently that its Google Maps for Mobile
product now includes a feature that lets you map real-time traffic in various parts of the US from your mobile phone
. From the Google Maps for Mobile site: "See where the congestion is, and estimate delays in over 30 major US metropolitan areas." On the maps red shows congestion, yellow or orange shows moderately busy traffic patterns, and green means there are no present traffic situations. In this latest feature release Google is making a traffic maps mashup part of the standard product offering for mobile mapping.

Google Maps for Mobile lets you search Google Maps street and satellite maps for directions and business search from your mobile device. To try it out point your phone or mobile device to: www.google.com/gmm to install it instantly, or if you just want to try the app out from here on the web, there is an awesome interactive demo that gives you a test drive from your web browser. Full details on supported devices and other info can also be found here. I personally use this on my Blackberry and I love it. I've used it on a number of occasions when trying to find roads or to locate businesses near where I work and it works very well.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Airplane pollution and Airport Parking Google Maps Mashups

See how much CO2 your next flight puts into the air - This Google Maps tool calculates the amount of CO2 a flight from any two points puts out, per passenger. I ran a quick search for Detroit to LAX and my CO2 emissions would be 1,546 lbs! Your flight gets plotted on a Google Map while the tool tells you how you're polluting. :) [Via ProgrammbleWeb]

Find Airport Parking near all US Airports - Before you board that flight and contribute those thousands of pounds of CO2, you need to find a place to park the other object that pollutes your environment.. your car. (oh, and save some money too!). If time permits, instead of using the main airport lot, look for a place to park using About Airport Parking (.com). In addition to providing links to security and general airport delay status, it Google Maps the locations of lots in the area near the Airport you're visiting. Here is an example for LAX. A great idea for a mashup!

Mashup of North American, Japanese baseball stadiums

It's summertime in the northern hemisphere and that means baseball.. and lots of it. World Ballpark Tour uses Google Maps to plot the locations of all of the baseball stadiums in the US and Canada from the major leagues to the AA level of the minors. It also includes locations for Japanese stadiums. Tabbed info windows give interesting facts and information for each stadium. This accompanying article will help you to learn other "baseball type stuff" you can find using Google Maps.

Google Maps mashup for the Middle East Conflict

In an attempt to help those affected by the conflict in the Middle East, Koolyoom.com has emerged as a Google Maps mashup (of other mashups) to help war victims. It features a Frappr Map that allows you to "localize yourself for your family and friends", a news panel with war related news feeding in, and a Google Map of significant points within the region. This map of points could be significantly improved by adding some descriptions to the info-windows and perhaps link to a Google News search result page for that point. The site also links off to the Maps view of the KML file (see "Conflict Map") I posted about a while back. This KML file should definitely be opened up in Google Earth rather than Google Maps since only the first 100 points show up when viewing it using Maps.

...Once again Google Maps is a vital web ingredient to help in yet another aide situation.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Google Map of Botched Police Raids

Botched Police Raids since 1985

In another example of Google Maps aiding in journalism (or spotlighting an issue), The Cato Institute has made use of Google Maps to illustrate the issue of botched police raids. The map plots deaths and raids of innocent people, injuries and deaths of police officers, nonviolent offenders and also unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people. Filter data by state, years (as far back as 1985) and types of incidents. There is some good background detail and tips for using the map.

[Via Laurence Timms]

New US Google Maps mashups for summer

Find a Pick-up Game with this mashup - PickUpGame (.com) is a Google Maps based tool to find basketball courts, tennis courts, softball/baseball fields, golf courses, pool halls & bowling alleys in your city. The purpose of the map is to help you easily find these places for easy pick-up games. With 31 cities live more are being added daily.


Adirondacks Mountain Region: Birding Sites Map - If you're near the Adirondacks region this summer you'll want to check out this superb bird watching mashup to find the featured areas of a lot of different types of birds. Amenities such as Visitor Centers are also mapped. To view the Google Map integration click "Search By Map". Google Maps API enthusiasts will want to just check out the great design work that has gone into this mashup.

New York City Farmers Markets - The New York City Coalition Against Hunger has used Google Maps to plot the locations of all NYC farmers' markets. Markets are also color-coded to show which accept food stamps as well as all free summer feeding sites for kids, color-coded depending on who operates them. Check out more of the Coalition's Google Maps that are helping the cause on the groups' website.

Park Reviews - Google Mapping various state parks
Garage Sale Maps - Share your yard sale or cruise for more
Golf Courses - Browse US golf courses
Reedy Creek Greenway - A greenbelt in North Carolina [via]

Sunday, July 23, 2006

10 Google Maps Mashups with worldwide reach

GeoWalk mashes up wikis, photos, news and more - Here's a cool mashup that combines Wikipedia, Flickr and Google News with any point on a Google Map that you click on. That's right, double click anywhere on the Google Map and GeoWalk will provide you with the closest Wikipedia entry to that location, tagged Flickr photos and news as well travel and weather for some locations. This mashup is also available in German language. [Via ProgrammableWeb.com]

Askmen.com poll results on Google Maps - Created by Virender Ajmani, this is a mashup of polling statistics from AskMen.com that lists the top 99 women from around the world, according to the site visitors. Those in the top 25 also contain a video from YouTube.com. Sort through the list using the buttons found along the top of the map.


Other worldwide Google Maps mashups:

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Google Maps Sights and Vids

Google Maps Sights:

Cirque Du Soleil Tents in Vancouver [via]
Sinking ship off the shores of Kuwait [Via Digg]
Swastika shaped building [via]
Too close for comfort? - Virender Ajmani annotates the locations of 5 aircraft taking off from Atlanta's airport noting how close each one is to the other as they take off... or are they all the same plane? (Close the info window to move to the next plane)


Madurodam Miniature City in the Netherlands
Where's Jesus? Can you see it? (Luistxo from Tagzania)
Rockefeller Center is about to collapse!
New "Collections" site: http://www.satelliteviews.net/

..Check out the "Collections" links for more Google Maps satellite imagery finds!

Google Maps Videos:

"The guy behind Google Maps" -->

(If the clip is not displaying, click here)

"Google Earth - Has it gone too far?" -->

[Via Earth-Maps]
(If the clip is not displaying, click here)

More Google Maps videos: YouTube, Google Video

Friday, July 21, 2006

More ways the news and media are using Google Maps

More examples of how news and media are making use of the Google Maps API:

:
Frugal Traveler on the Road


The New York Times Travel has created "Frugal Traveler on the Road" which uses Google Maps to help you follow the journey of a travel writer setting out to "hopscotch the globe using low-cost carriers, buses, trains, ferries and your travel tips."

:
Showing the path of a prison escapee


The Sydney Morning Herald's Stephen Hutcheon has used the new DIY site QuikMaps to show readers of the article "Sydney prison escapee rams police" what path the convict took after breaking out. Why don't more news organizations do this sort of thing?

:
Road Trip 2006


"C|Net News.com packs the gadgets and hits the highway" - This Google Maps mashup tracks roving reporter Daniel Terdiman as he makes use of gadgets and chronicles tech along the west coast of the US. Lots of great articles, videos and photos.

Did you get a chance to read my series on How Google Maps is used in News & Media? If not, check it out:
How Google Maps is used in News & Media - Part 1
How Google Maps is used in News & Media - Part 2

Google Maps in context

Online map services can't keep up with Boston Big Dig detours
Boston Globe - Jul.20/06
Mashup Camp 2: A Tie for Best Mashup
ProgrammableWeb - Jul.17/06
Levels of the Game: The Hierarchy of Web 2.0 Applications
O'Reilly Radar - Jul.17/06
Visionary Markets with Mashup
Arkansas Business Journal - Jul.17/06
First DIY Google Maps site Mapbuilder.net turns 1
Mapbuilder Blog - Jul.13/06
Google erases Malta
The Register - Jul.12/06
Google Maps' and Google Earth's looks diverge
OgleEarth - Jul.11/06
Details about SnowWeb Australia July 28-30
Snow Web - Jul.11/06
Vietnam Wikimapia
Noodlepie - Jul.11/06
Google Maps Saves The Day
Lockergnome - Jul.10/06
Google's strategy: no need for instant marketshare, yet
BloggingStocks - Jul.10/06
Go forth and API
Vitamin - Jul.2/06

Google Maps API: Speed improvements, custom cursors & geocoder updates

:
Jess Lee, Product Manager of Google Maps, has just posted about some changes to the Google Maps API over on the Google Maps API Blog. Highlights include:
  • Significant speed improvements in removeOverlay() and clearOverlays()
  • Custom mouse cursors
  • Accuracy in the geocoder response
  • Simple geocoder response
..Read the full post here
Other API Resources: Google Maps API Docs, Google Maps API Group

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Google Map of Israel Lebanon Conflict (using KML)



UPDATE: Due to the large number of placemarks, not all locations are visible in Maps making this look like a biased map - To view all locations for this map be sure to open it up in Google Earth.

Stefan Geens of The OgleEarth Blog points us to a KML file that geographically documents events that have taken place in the past week on both sides of the Israel - Lebanon border. Excited to finally test the KML to Google Maps functionality I tried to bring up this Google Earth KML file in Google Maps.. and it worked! To view it, simply copy this link, then paste it into Google Maps... Here is the result. I agree with Stef - this overlay has amazing accuracy and will help you to explore where the conflict is taking place in both Google Maps and Google Earth. For more about this overlay view the info page that it is linked from.

New Google Maps US Zip Code Mashups and Tools


Map helps you see neighoring zip codes - Maps.Huge.Info has long had a great list of Google Maps based boundary and zip code tools. Geo Developer John Coryat has informed me that he has improved his zip code map to use a custom tile layer which covers the US from zoom level 5 to 17 with potentially millions of tiles. When you search a zip code you see all other zip codes close by - give it a try!

County and Zip code Boundary Maps - Here is another zip code mashup of census.gov data and the Google Maps API (V.2.57) that lets you enter a zip code and plot the county lines that zip belongs to and also the zip code boundary. There is no restriction on the number of hits/second on this so have at it. Also, the polyline XML files are available for download for any given zip code.

Other US Zip Code Google Maps Mashups & Tools:

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Google Maps + 10 Fastfood Chains = Fast Food Maps



Back in October I posted about FastFoodMaps (.com) that visually plotted the locations of 4 fast food chains in the US. The 4 chains included McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King or Jack in the Box and came to a total of 27,478 stores! This surprised me since it was only 4 big chains.

If FastFoodMaps was only a large size mashup before, it has definitely been super-sized with the most recent update! Its creator Ian Spiro dropped me a line to let me know about some of the improvements he has made:

- Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, KFC, Carl's Jr., Hardee's, and In-N-Out and has been added to the listings of McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King or Jack in the Box locations
- Somewhat more accurate geocoding of locations

- The interface provides statistics about the current screen / zoom level

- You can turn off layers of data.

- Animated map pins that bounce! :) (This is the first I've seen this on any mashup)


The total number of Fast Food stores in the US based on this database?
Just over 50,000!

The city with the most locations is Houston, Texas with 480!

The reason I think this mashup is unique is that the geo-plotted data means something different for everyone visiting. For some it will be a way to locate their favorite fast food chain on a Google Map, while for others, the littering of pins on the map will put them in disgust due the number of available fast food chains dotting the US landscape. No matter how you look at it, it's a powerful mashup and interesting topic (along with some great Google Maps API work!).

..Would you like fries with your mashup? :)

Think this story is cool? Digg it!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

UK Google Maps Mashup Roundup Part 2/2

London Hotels Mapped by Tube Station - TubeHotels.com plots the locations of hotels close to all tube stations in London. Search by station or specific hotel name and results get plotted on a Google Map. Each hotel in the list shows how far it is from the closest tube station. Very handy. More information can be found here..

London Land Grab on Google Maps - London's Capital Radio has a clever way to raise money for a good cause from their website using Google Maps - Let people "own" a London landmark by pledging a few pounds for virtual ownership. On LondonLandGrab (.com) you can adopt tube stations, pubs and schools (and more) as your own and lay claim to them. Check out what people have adopted on the map!

London Blue Plaque Places - The Wikipedia definition for blue plaques reads: "In England, a blue plaque is a sign attached to a house where someone famous once lived (or sometimes where a notable event took place) to commemorate that fact." This Google Map plots the photographs of 13 locations of these blue plaques (and estimates there are 747 to go!) [Via Gridskipper]

UK Local Knowledge Directory.. Mapped! - KnowCal.co.uk has created a way to interact with its local business directory on a Google Maps interface. Create an instant mashup up all locations of all Nightclubs, Nurseries or Nail Technicians by selecting the alphabetical list or sort through sub categorized ethnic restaurants, Shopping or Tourist activities. This is a true database mashup!

Monopoly Pub Crawl
UK Classifieds + Google Maps
EventSites - UK Web 2.0 site employing Google Maps
UK Climbing Experiences [via]
UK GeoJobs [via]
Old London Town - Crime/History Map

Other Great UK Google Maps Mashups:

Traffic & Transportation: London Tube Journey Planner, GTraffic, PetrolPrices, BBCTraffic News, Traffic Incidents, Speed Cameras
Real Estate: Nestoria, Zoomf, OnOneMap, UK Property Search
Shopping/Eats: SuperHighStreet, eBay UK Search Tool, UK BiteFinder
UK Info: 5 day UK Weather, UK MegaMash, Library Map UK, Mapping UK schools to postcodes, UK School Map, Pubs of London
Places: London UK Places Google Sightseeing, Interesting Satellite Locations, Panoramic Images of London, UK Dr. Who Taping Locations, TV Map UK
Sport/Leisure: Professional UK Football Grounds, BBC UK Sport Map, UK Motorsport Venues, Nike Run London Route Finder UK, UK Local Walking Routes, UK Orienteering

Check out Part 1 of the UK Google Maps Mashup Roundup!

Google Maps Mashosphere Trend: "Book Maps"

There is an emerging trend coming out the "Google Maps Mashosphere" lately that sees a small collection of book and literature related Google Maps applications quietly being created. I'm calling them "Book Maps". It's an interesting marriage of books and maps, facilitated by the Google Maps API and some mashup creativity. The topics of these new maps mashups range from online book browsing tools, maps to find books (shops and libraries) and even maps that geo-plot characters and events from works of fiction. I've assembled all the maps I can find (new and existing) so you can explore this phenomenon for yourself...

TopCityBooks is a geo-lense on Amazon.com - This mashup uses Google Maps to assemble the most popular books from the world's biggest cities in the world. Pins are spread around the world Google Map for 150 cities and lists the most popular books from the Amazon database in 8 subjects. For example, when you click on the pin for Boston you learn that the most popular book in the History category is "Johnny Tremain (Yearling Newbery)" while "Phantom Gourmet Guide to Bostons Best Restaurants" ranks as the top title in the Travel category. Other categories include Literature, Art, Cooking, Entertainment and Business. This is a unique way to geographically browse for book titles using a Google Maps mashup! [Found via ProgrammableWeb.com]

The Google Maps Atlas of Fiction - A great book maps concept which is best described from the site itself: "..Even writers of fiction often set their stories in real places. From Dickens' London to Joyce's Dublin to the New York of Edith Wharton and Henry James, great writers have borrowed the associations and resonances of real-world places to lend color and depth to their works. The Atlas of Fiction uses the Google Maps interface to show these locations. You can use it to get new insight into the geography of your favorite writer's works; or you can see what writers have drawn inspiration from your own home town, and maybe even your own street."

Bookwormz maps indie bookshops - Bookwormz is a new mashup of a user driven database that contains listings of independent bookstores throughout the USA. To see it in action, enter the infamous US zip code "90210". Contains details of the shop and provides links to Google Maps directions and user comments. Enabling the satellite viewing toggle option would make this service even better for people looking to visit these shops. [Found via ProgrammableWeb.com]

Littourati Blog - Blog description: "Literature often describes places we are curious about, regardless of whether we know them or not. This blog maps the journeys laid out in selected books and offers reflections corresponding to the various stops. Happy traveling!" This is facilitated by this Google Map (and the Littourati Blog)

Data Mining 101: Finding Subversives with Amazon Wishlists - This blog post maps publicly accessible Amazon Wishlists to plot readers of various controversial titles. It's a very thought-provoking post.

Library Maps:

Find a Library in the US and Canada
UK Library Map
San Francisco Library Map
Chicago Library Map
An Illinois Library system Google Maps routes

((Do you Digg it?))

Monday, July 17, 2006

UK Google Maps Mashup Roundup Part 1/2

Nearby is a great UK info-mashup! - Nearby.org.uk is a site with heaps of UK (and Ireland) location based information. They have taken this information and created a customizable mashup application with a huge list of on-demand information layers you can overlay from various UK sites. Example site-feeds include info from wetroads.co.uk, cavedatabase.co.uk and Ports.org.uk to name a few. Also features Google Earth integration. (NOTE: This mashup works best in Internet Explorer)

BlueGhost features Weather, traffic and rail info - BlueGhost UK Info was born out of the BBC Backstage Project and features real-time various information overlays for the UK on Google Maps. Toggle national weather, traffic and rail alerts on the Google Map. Interestingly, this is the first mashup code I've seen making use of the new zooming feature recently added by the Google Maps team. [via]

Google Maps ADSL Availability Checker - Here's a mashup that combines an ADSL availability checker with Google Maps. Type in a UK postcode and a map is displayed showing the distance from that post code to the local telephone exchange. This distance is then used to calculate the maximum speed of an ADSL connection and a list of broadband providers in the area. Start here if you want to reference a postcode. The above link shows an example result.

Other UK Google Maps Mashups:

Green Brighton - vegetarian and vegan restaurants, organic veg boxes, recycling centers, permaculture gardens and meditation classes.
UK Handbag Theft Map - (Only works on Internet Explorer)
Crawl Planner
UK Speed Cams
Tap Water Quality for fish tanks
UK Knickers Map - More info here
Exeter College Campus
Mapperz - An excellent maps blog that covers many UK-based Google Maps sites as they are launched

Check out Part 2 of the UK Google Maps Mashup Roundup!

Overheard in New York + Google Maps = Overplot

+ =

Do you ever take part in or overhear an interesting conversation that you'd like to share with others? If this conversation has taken place in New York City there is a neat website called Overheard in New York that lets you submit this conversation for a possible mention on the blog's dated posts. Mihai Parparita, over at Persistent.info realized that "each quote has a pretty precise location attached to it". Mihai put his Google Maps mashup skills to work. "The result is overplot, a Google Maps API-powered visualization of all of the quotes I could get my hands on." Read more information about how Mihai created this mashup here. Overplot is a pretty fun mashup to cruise around on and a lot of these "overheard conversations are pretty funny. Here are a few good ones: "Tourist mom (In Times Square): Do not touch any of these people; they'll pull out a gun and shoot you." or.. "Tourist man (at Empire State Building): This building is going to be really tall by the time I get done with it." Enjoy!

For more New York City Google Maps mashups check here!