Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Google Maps Mania - The Best of Europe (March - May)

My name is Robert de Heer and every month, I will be posting a shortlist (call it a hit-list, top-list or whatever ;-)) of new interesting European mashups. As an introductory post, below you will find 9 mashups that appeared since March on the web.

1) Bordeaux (FR) - where does my wine come from?
- Always handy to know: you drink a nice glass of Chardonnay, but uhm, where is Chardonnay situated, and what are the characteristics of the wine? No worries, now there is "', helping you to get all the details of the French wines. Santé!

2) Firenze (IT) - Best tourist places in Italy - Planning to visit Italy? Take a look at This website offers basic details and info on touristic places within dozens of Italian cities. Not too sophisticated, but still a handy one-stop-source if you’re looking for quick and limited tourist information. Interesting however, is how this guy tries to generate revenue: in each map, he insert a Google Ad as a text-balloon. Check out this example, never seen it before.

3) Charleroi (BE) - strange places for airplanes - The Dutch and French sometimes make fun of the Belgians, like the English are making fun of the Irish. But we actually DO sometimes have a genuine reason to laugh. Check out this link, showing all the airfields that Belgian has. So far so good. But what does an airplane do in a school? Check out this and some other examples on this special Google Map.

4) Aberystwyth (UK) - cheap houses in the UK - Never heard of this place, Aberystwyth, but it exists in Wikipedia , so I guess it must exist. If you want to live there, you’re fortunate, because house-prices there are extremely low. How do I know? Because I checked out, a website that displays using heat-maps the cheapest and most expensive areas to buy a house in the United Kingdom.

5) The Hague (NL) - where to park my car? - Check out the image yourself, a nice way to solve parking problems ;-)

6) Dutch LandRegister website - In the Netherlands, the official Land Register has made an custom beta-version of a maps application. Using Google Maps, they created an extra layer showing the exact boundaries of real estate in the entire country. When visiting the website Find Your Own House (, one can enter his house-address, and sees directly the boundaries of all real estate in the neighbourhood, including not just area boundaries, but also the boundaries of the houses themselves.

7) Googlelittrips - I guess everybody knows the Odyssey by Homer. A great story, which takes place around the current Greece. The website Googlelittrips has made this and several other stories available in Google Earth. It’s a great way to bring old stories to life!

8) No more soft-drugs - The Dutch political party CDA (christian democrats) launched a website enabling voters to display on a map where one can find coffee shops (selling soft drugs) nearby school areas. As it’s the political program to ban coffee shops nearby schools, the party is actively calling for more information on hazardous areas for school kids.

9) Where is Sarkozy? - In addition to an earlier post on about the French presidential elections: the website of candidate Sarkozy produced a map displaying his whereabouts since 2002. This is what I call openness!

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