Thursday, December 18, 2008

Text to Google Map Converter

UMapper

UMapper, a great Google Maps creation site, has unveiled a new feature that allows users to create maps from any text or just from the url of a website. Instead of adding points manually to UMapper's map editor you can now simply paste text and UMapper will generate points from the entry for you. UMapper, in partnership with MetaCarta, translates the text to geo-locations and adds them to your map. Once a map is created you can customize it further.

The process also works for URLs. Once you enter a URL to a web page, UMapper will extract all of the points from that page and add them to a map. This option is best for mapping news stories, existing blog posts or any other content involving large amounts of data.

The embedded map below was created by just adding the web address for Google Maps Mania. It took about four seconds to create and shows all the locations mentioned on this page. At the moment there is no information added to any of the markers but I could easily use the UMapper map editor to add information to the markers if I desired.



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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amazing idea, although there is much to be done. I tested with my blog (in Greek) and 4 out of the 7 markers were wrong. (not in the wrong place, but they weren't geographic locations, eg. "mandigo" theme of wordpress was pointed in a place somewhere in Africa)

Keir Clarke said...

Geocoding is never an exact science and UMapper acknowledge the service is not 100% accurate. You can see there are some geocoding errors in the map I embedded.

However it is very easy and quick to use the UMapper map editor to change any mistakes in the geocoding.

Alf said...

Really nice stuff. As Keir points out geocoding can be a tricky part indeed but nothing that cannot be overcome. A good idea from UMapper easy and simple. I like it.

Andrei said...

Guys, thanks for your comments. The big challenge is to make the engine smart enough so it understands which words to geocode and which to skip and we are currently working on it. The good news is that you can still update the map manually after it has been created.

More you use it, more data we have to play with.

Cheers,
Andrei