Monday, March 31, 2008

11 Great New US Google Mashups!

Great Tourism Mashup: VisitBigBend.com

Big Bend is part of the vast Chihuahuan Desert that extends from Central Mexico into Southern New Mexico and is named for the vast curve of the Rio Grande in remote southwest Texas. Tourism site VisitBigBend.com focuses on this area and has just integrated a great new Google Maps/Earth mashup into the site. It mashes up content from the site such as points of interest (photo spots, hiking, lodging, hot springs etc..) and suggested routes with Maps and Earth. In addition it mashes up NWS and Weatherbonk Weather, Panoramio Photos and Wikimapia locations! Very nice!
Seattle Safe Food Finder:

Dave Parsons (creator of RunwayFinder) has created a mashup that takes health inspection information for Seattle restaurants and combines it with Google Maps. Dave also points out that he got the Google Maps API working with the ExtJS Javascript library to provide some UI elements including: "A nice layout with tabbed/collapsible side bars, an auto-complete search box, and a tabbed main window". Check out Dave's blog post that talks more his experience building the mashup, as well as links to the source code.

NYC: Broadway2Day.com

Looking to catch a Broadway show tonight? Broadway2Day maps shows that are happening today through to the end of '08. Even limit searches to "Limited Engagements" or "Closing This Week". When you've selected show you want to see on the map, check the "Links" tab for quick Google Maps search links for Restaurants, Parking, Hotels, Bars and Banks.
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UK Google Maps Mashup Roundup!

Zoopla



Zoopla is a new UK real estate start-up that uses Google Maps to highlight the locations of properties. Zoopla's biggest innovation is their TemptMe feature. Any house owner can click on their house on the map and set a price that they might be tempted to sell at. So even if an owner is not planning to sell they can set a price for their house that would be too good for them to refuse. Similarly house hunters can click on houses not for sale and indicate a price that they would be willing to pay for that property.

Isango



Isango is a new site offering holiday tours, sightseeing packages and activity holidays to more than 50 countries across the world. Each location or vacation is illustrated with a Google Map of the area.

Hotel Pronto

Hotel Pronto searches for the best available deals for hotels. When it has found the cheapest hotels in your selected destination it displays the results on a Google Map.

Flextraffic



Flextraffic is a UK map of road works and traffic delays. You can search for traffic delays by region and the delays in that region are mapped and placed in a sidebar. Clicking on an icon on the map will retrieve more information on the severity and likely length of the delay. The map also includes a number of London traffic cams.

UK Missing Kids

The Missing Kids Map now includes the United Kingdom. The site uses Google Maps with information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to display a current map of the origins of missing children in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. If you rollover the name of the missing child or click on a marker on the map an information balloon appears with case details on the missing child.

Where is the Path

Where is the Path displays Google Maps alongside Ordnance Survey maps. The Ordnance survey maps are far more detailed than the accompanying Google Map and include things like public footpaths that Google omits.

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Friday, March 28, 2008

Wikis in Google Maps

Wikitude is a new Google Maps mash-up that allows you to search for points of interest listed in Wikipedia. The site takes advantage of geographical information contained in Wikipedia articles, which means it has over 350.000 points of interest in over 10,000 categories to draw upon.



If you search Wikitude by location you are presented with a Google Map that shows the points of interest around that location. If you click on one of the tagged points of interest a window opens on the map containing the Wikipedia article.

You can also search Wikitude by category. For example, if you search by caves, you can open a Google Map with all the caves geotagged in Wikipedia. As well as opening a Google Map each search also returns Google Earth kmz files and Point of Interest files for TomTom.

The site even includes a WAP interface. This means you can use your cell phone to find points of interest near by. The points of interest are then returned with directions on to how to find them.

Other Wiki Google Maps

  • Wikimapia - Wiki tagging the world on a Google Map.
  • Placeopedia - Connecting Wikipedia articles with the places they represent.
  • WikipediaVision - View edits to Wikipedia live on a Google Map.
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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Street View in the Google Maps API

Google have officially released 'street view' as part of The Google Maps API. As well as the usual documentation Google have created a number of fun demonstrations.



I've also created a demonstration that I've called A Street View Tour of San Francisco. This demo shows how to change the text on the page depending on the location navigated from the street view. So for example, if you turn into Lombard Street in the street view you can have a description of the location appear next to the street view.



Dual Maps are also early adopters of this new feature. Dual Maps allows you to view a street view alongside a Google Map and Microsoft's Live Map's 'bird's eye' view. Being able to view the map and the 'bird's eye' view alongside the street view.

New Street View Cities



In celebration of street view being added to the Google Maps API Google have expanded coverage of street view to 13 new metropolitan areas and a national park. Among the new areas are:

Via: Official Google Maps API Blog: Street View in the API (or, How I Spent My Summer "Vacation")

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Google Maps Driving Games

2D Driving Simulator



2D Driving Simulator is a Flash powered driving game that takes place on Google Maps. The game includes a number of driving locations, including the Googleplex and a number of major cities. There is a choice of vehicles including a car, van, coach or truck. The game also includes some nice details, such as turn signals and a large steering wheel.

GoogleDrive



GoogleDrive also uses Google Maps within Flash to create a similar looking driving game. Whilst there is no choice of car in GoogleDrive it does have collision detection. Unlike other Google Maps driving games GoogleDrive makes you actually drive on the mapped roads. This addition of collision detection does mean that GoogleDrive feels more like a game than 2D Driving simulator.

Ideally it would be good to see a game that included the vehicle choice of 2D Driving Simulator, the collision detection of GoogleDrive and the actual racing engine of Real World Racer

Real Road Racer was originally reviewed on Google Maps Mania last year. It differs from 2d Driving Simulator and GoogleDrive in that you actually get to race against other cars on Google Maps.

Another Google Maps racing game is the imaginatively titled Google Maps Racing Game. This one is perhaps the simplest of all, as all you can do is drive around on a Google Map using space to accelerate and the arrow keys to steer.

However Google Maps Racing Game also has a Google Earth option. You can get a good idea what the Google Earth option offers by watching the movie below:



More Google Maps Games

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NOAA Nautical Charts + Google Maps

US/Canada NOAA Nautical Charts + Google Maps:


The GeoGarage team has completed another "spatial image tiling" project that combines Google Maps with another type of map. In this case GeoGarage has overlayed NOAA nautical charts (US and Canada) over top of Google Maps with great user interface controls to fade the NOAA map in and out of prominent view. Peio Elissalde from GeoGarage explains the process:

"..After having been processed with GeoGarage spatial image tiling solution, about 1018 NOAA raster nautical charts (RNC/BSB/KAP format) are displayed with advanced quilting (mosaic image with removed borders for a seamless rendering of multiple charts), and transparency management via layer opacity sliders (for terrestrial maps and orthophoto overlay). The result is the user can access through Google Maps viewer to all the range of NOAA raster maps online, zooming in and out, panning in a continuous way for selecting the specified map scale automatically, by simply sliding the mouse."

(Related: Marine Maps)

Google Maps Mania writer Keir Clarke recently blogged about another GeoGarage project:
César-François Cassini's 18th century map of France which showcases this same transparency effect using historical maps.

More GeoGarage Google Maps examples (taken from the GeoGarage 'Examples' Page):
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March Madness Team by Team NYC Bar Map



Are you a die-hard Tarheels fan looking for a place to catch the basketball game in New York on Thursday? Brother Jimmy's Midtown is the place to be! Want to be with other UCLA fans and alumni during the Western Kentucky game? No problem! Head to M.J. Armstrong's on 1st Ave! For mapped location details for these bars plus the other 14 teams competing in the Sweet 16, Mapfaced.com has a created a new Google Maps mashup that will help you locate a bar in New York City to congregate with other faithful fans to catch the big game. The March Madness Team By Team Bar Map lets you choose your school from the list, then click the map icon to plot it on the map. Once you've located the bar, head over to another popular Google Maps mashup; New York City Bar and Subway Map to plot safe transit-based travel to and from the pub you're heading out to!

Related NCAA Basketball Maps & Links:
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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Australia Google Maps Mashup Roundup!

Australian Hazards Monitor Maps:
Current Weather - Recent Earthquakes - Bushfire Incidents - Emergency Incidents

Aus-eMaps.com has created 4 separate map monitoring tools covering weather, fires, earthquakes and emergencies. The data has been mashed up from sources such as the US Geological Survey, Australian Bureau of Meteorology or European Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System, and is published via geoRSS or WFS (web feature service). Other Google Maps based Australian mapping tools can be found on
Aus-eMaps.com.

Australian Post Code Boundary Map Tool:


TPG Internet Customer Line Speed Map:

Australian Internet Provider TPG has used Google Maps to display its ADSL customer's line speeds based on where the central offices are located throughout its network. Color zones indicate distances ranging from up to 1.5km's to 3 to 4.5km's away from the DSLAM serving the high speed Internet connectivity. More info can be found in
this article.. [Thanks to Amos Shapira!]

Panedia gets a facelift.. and more tours!:
A new look to this previously mentioned site that features nearly 4000 mapped virtual tours of Australia! ______________________

Mapping Rigged Elections

Sokwanele - Zvakwana (both words mean 'enough is enough') is a Zimbabwe peoples' movement, embracing supporters of all pro-democratic political parties, civic organizations and institutions in the country.



In order to highlight election irregularities ahead of the Zimbabwe national election on March 29th they have produced a Zimbabwe Election Rigging Map.

There are a number of categories of election rigging that can be turned on or off on the map. Despite the large number of different categories Sokwanele - Zvakwana say it is just a small number of the actual irregularities that have and are taking place. They point users of the map to their Zimbabwe Election Watch section, which has a more comprehensive database of the government's breaches.

The News Brought to You by Google Maps

MetaCarta's GeoSearch News

GeoSearch News brings you the latest news from around the world embedded on a Google Map. Whilst this is not a new idea, what sets GeoSearch News apart is the sheer scale of its news search and its ability to intelligently locate and place those news items.



Geosearch indexes more than 1,400 national, international and local news sources every hour in addition to direct feeds from the Associated Press and Reuters. It extracts location information from those stories and then places the stories on a Google Map. To establish the correct location of a news item GeoSearch does not just look at the first sentence but analyses the whole story and therefore is able to distinguish say Paris, France from Paris, Texas.

The news can be browsed via a number of categories, such as health, politics, sports, and world news. You can also browse via the map. Repositioning the map and zooming in on a location will update the search results to provide you with the news of that location.

Clicking on a news headline and that news story replaces the map on the page. The map can be brought back by clicking on a tab above the story. Click on another story and another tab is added. It is therefore possible to quickly navigate between various stories and the map.

This map quickly made it to my list of favorites!

More News Maps:


Via: Mapping News by Mapperz

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Google Maps Supporting Sustainability

LocalHarvest



LocalHarvest is a nationwide directory of small farms, farmers markets, and other local food sources in the US. The site uses Google Maps to help users locate local sources of sustainably grown food, and encourages them to establish direct contact with small farms in their local area.

You can zoom in on the map or use a search form to find the small farms, farmers markets and grocery stores that are near your home. By using the map you can reduce your food miles and support local businesses at the same time.

Beyond the Bottle



Beyond The Bottle is a project to map out public sources of water, such as water fountains and community wells. The idea is that instead of buying ever more bottles of water you can reuse your plastic bottles, refilling them at the mapped public sources.

The site includes a search engine so you can search for a map of your town. It also includes a form for users to add locations of water fountains that they know so the usefulness of the map should grow the more it is used.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

3D in Google Maps

3D Tube Map

The guys behind the Digital Urban blog obviously don't think that Google Maps are pretty enough because they have created an undeniably beautiful 3d map of the London Underground.



The map was created using CASA's free Image Cutter software, which helps create maps from any image.

This tube map doesn't include any real-time tracking of trains or fancy search facilities, in fact it isn't actually much use in helping you find underground train stations. In this instance it is a case of being just a pretty face.

But when you're this beautiful you don't need brains.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Live Video Mapping

Seero

Seero is a new video mapping service that allows users to broadcast live or on-demand video and track the locations in the video live on a Google Map.

They currently offer users the following features:
  • Broadcasting of live video and/or archiving for on-demand playback.
  • GPS position tracking in real-time and archiving of journeys for playback with video.
  • Exploring the world and discovering video through an innovative geo-navigational interface.
  • Geo-tagging of video clips to showcase the destinations where they take place.
You can get a good idea of what Seero offers from the following video:



If you want to know when the next live broadcast is taking place check out Seero's calendar of planned broadcasts.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The 21 Steps

"I was the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time ..."

Penguin Books has launched a series of online digital fiction called We Tell Stories. The series is a partnership between Penguin, alternate reality game designers Six to Start and six different authors. The authors were asked by Penguin to push the envelope and create stories that take full advantage of the immediacy, connectivity and interactivity that is possible on the internet.

Guess what - the first story takes place on Google Maps.



The 21 Steps by Charles Cumming is described by Penguin as "an adrenaline-fuelled adventure written and designed for Google Maps." The whole story is told via place marks on a Google Map as the reader follows hero Rick Blackwell in a conspiracy that takes him far away from home.

In a tale that pays homage to the classic '39 Steps' Rick needs to use all his skills to find out why a dying stranger seemed to know his name - and to stay alive as he is dragged from London to Edinburgh. The reader follows this tale on the place marks and then clicks on the 'next' button. An animated line then guides the reader to the next location on Rick's journey and the next part of the story. Readers can also navigate to the start of any of the 21 chapters by following the chapter links in the map sidebar.

If you want to now how Rick manages to hot-wire a rubber dinghy, crack a couple of codes, and subdue his opponents you will of course have to read the story for yourself.

You won't be disappointed, this is a cracking tale and a brilliant utilisation of Google Maps. And if that isn't enough for you, there is also a competition to win yourself a library of 1300 books worth over
$26,000.



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Google Maps Allows User Edits

Google has today opened up Google Maps to 'user edits'. Now anyone in the U.S., Australia or New Zealand, can edit a place on the map. For example, if you know that a business has moved location or has closed down you can change the information on Google Maps so that other users can benefit.

You can even mark that a business has closed to save someone an extra trip. To help protect the accuracy of edits users will still be able to see the original listing information and a history of the changes made.

As usual Google have released YouTube videos to introduce this new feature

Editing Places in Google Maps



Adding Places to Google Maps



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New Streetview Maps

Some Google Maps developers have quickly taken advantage of the addition of street view to the Google Maps API. Although the option to add street view images to Google Maps mash ups has not been officially released by Google it is available through an 'in development' version of the API.

Hotspotr



Andre Lewis' map of cafes with free Wi-Fi has added the option to actually view the mapped cafes in street view. When a street view is available a black tab appears telling you of the street view option. When you click on that tab the street view slides down and replaces the map. Now you can check to see if a cafe has interesting views before you even leave your home.

In slightly unrelated news, Hotspotr has also just added mobile options to its map via
LightPole. Lightpole is a new service offering mobile support to web sites and Hotspotr is one of their initial eight customers. This new service allows Hotspotr's users to access a mobile version of the site by clicking on a link on the Hotspotr site. Hotspotr users will be able to view a list of nearby cafes with Wi-Fi, based on zip code, map a location, save it in a list of favourites and share it with a friend. Users will also be able to add a comment about the location, all via cell phone.

Dual Maps



Dual Maps from Map Channels allows anybody to make an embeddable map that includes a Google Map alongside the Virtual Earth map of the same location. You can choose between the various options of either map service, which means you can have the Google satellite view alongside Virtual Earth's bird's eye view or the Satellite/Aerial View in both maps etc..

The maps are separated by a divider bar that allows you to view either map in the full area and there is also an option to view the maps in full screen. If that wasn't enough there is now a new option of adding a Google Maps' street view. If you choose this option a tag appears on the Google Map which when opened displays that location's street view.

Streetview Map



My own Streetview Map is a good example of how to call the street view option in a number of ways. On this map the street view can be opened by clicking on the map, by clicking on a sidebar link or by searching for a location. The map also includes a number of interesting street views.

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Newly Discovered Crater on Google Maps

A newly discovered crater can be clearly seen on Google Maps. The crater, which is 35km north of Newman in the Hamersley Ranges, in western Australia was discovered by geologist Arthur Hickman.



Hickman found the crater whilst exploring the satellite imagery of the area on Google Earth. The crater is 270m across but had not been previously discovered. Arthur Hickman has been rewarded for his eagle eyed discovery by having the crater named after him. It is now known as the Hickman Crater.

I wonder how long until the Hickman Crater is added to this Meteor Craters map.

This is not the first discovery made by scouring Google's satellite imagery. In 2005 Italian computer programmer Luca Mori found the remains of an ancient Roman villa when browsing Google Earth. The rectangular shadows of the villa can be seen on Google Maps.



After excavating the site the National Archaeological Museum in Parma found ceramic pieces that confirmed a Roman villa once stood there.

Via: Ogle Earth

Monday, March 17, 2008

Aliens find good yogurt using Google Maps!

Aliens find businesses with Google Maps:



After yogurt, it looks like Dad and the family will need to search for "Palo Alto Car Impound" on Google Maps!
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Read a magazine with the Google Maps interface

Zkimmer is a new concept that replaces regular map tiles with graphics to let you leaf through the pages of a print publication. Imagine tearing out every page of a magazine, spreading them all out and then taking a picture of it. Zkimmer uses a map tiling technique to convert these individual pages to let you browse them in the same way you browse Google Maps. Check out the the December '07 issue of Space Magazine to see how this all comes together:


The Google Maps API has been employed by many other developers in the past to apply the same Google Maps user controls to images and "alternative" maps. Examples include the World Of Warcraft Cards Sheet, A busy desktop and a Lord of the Rings Map to name a few. Maplib even allows you to do this yourself by simply uploading any image via the web to instantly create an alt-map or browseable image. Here is an example from Maplib: Corporate Connections.

More Google Maps API "alt map" examples found here..
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Live Deer Tracking

Last week Google Maps Mania featured the BBC's World on the Move map which is being used to track animal migration. I wonder if they will be interested in this White Tailed Deer Map?

This map show the movements of a white tailed deer in the suburbs of Pennsylvania. What is truly impressive about this map is the way in which the deer's location is being tracked. The map's creator believes that the White Tailed Deer Map is the first email to map tracker created using entirely free web services.



The deer wears a collar that sends an SMS text message to an email account. The email service is automatically set up to forward the message to a blogger account that then publishes the emails as blog posts. The RSS feed of that blog is then imported into Google Spreadsheets. Google Spreadsheets then converts the data into a KML which is then used to create the Google Map. The result is a fully automated map at no cost to the creator.

If you want to know more about the process there are more detailed instructions at the Google Earth Community.

Apparently the deer lives on private grounds so being tracked in this way will not help potential hunters.


Via: Ogle Earth

Sunday, March 16, 2008

World Water Week

The Tap Map

The Tap Project is a US campaign to celebrate the clean and accessible drinking water available as an every day privilege to millions, while helping UNICEF provide safe drinking water for children around the world.



Beginning Sunday, March 16 through Saturday, March 22, restaurants will invite their customers to donate a minimum of $1 for the tap water they would normally get for free. For every dollar raised, a child will have clean drinking water for 40 days.

The Tap Map includes a number of layers to help you find participating restaurants and explore some of the work that UNICEF is undertaking around the world to provide clean drinking water. The UNICEF layer in particular is very impressive, including a wealth of information, alongside photos and videos.

The Tap Map can also be added to your My Map collection here.

PlayPumps

PlayPumps International is a non-profit organisation that installs merry go-rounds that also double as water pumps when they are played on by children. The more kids spin around on them, the more water gets pumped and more they solidify themselves as sustainable sources of clean drinking water.



PlayPumps International has created a Google Map of some of their installations in South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zambia. Each point on the map provides details about the play pump and also provides links to more information so you can learn more.

Originally reviewed on Google Maps Mania in September 2007

Saturday, March 15, 2008

St Patrick's Day



Google Maps have celebrated St Patrick's Day by changing the streetview icon to a little green man standing on a shamrock. Although St Patrick's Day is normally March 17th the Roman Catholic Church are observing St. Patrick's Day on March 15th this year. However to confuse the issue even further Dublin's St Patrick's Day parade is taking place, as always, on March 17th.

Some Irish Maps To Get You in the Mood

  • IRELAND: Look Around! - LookAroundIreland features maps of castles, scenery, celtic and ancient monuments. Links to 360 degree virtual tours to give you a preview of each location.
  • Brú na Bóinne - a video map of a complex of Irish Neolithic chamber tombs.
  • Google Sightseeing - a collection of interesting Google Map satellite views of Ireland.
  • ProperPint - it wouldn't be St Patrick's Day without a drink. This map reviews and plots Dublin pubs.
  • Dart Maps - one of the first real-time transport maps. This map of the trains in Dublin will help you plan that pub crawl.
  • Just Routes - this map will work out your Dublin route via public transport (in other words leave the car at home).
  • More Ireland Maps

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Google Sky (web) - Update

One feature of Google Sky (web) that I didn't notice yesterday is that you can load KML overlays (user created files) onto the map by entering them in the search box. For me this could be the killer application of Google Sky.

One criticism I read in some of the first reviews of Google Sky was that it doesn't have constellation boundaries. Well this problem is easily overcome by adding barnabu's KML of Constellations.

To add a KML to Google Sky (web) all you have to do is cut and paste the address of the KML into the Google Sky search box.

Here are some Google Sky KMLs for you to try:
(right click on the links and cut and paste the address into Google Sky (web))
  • Constellations
  • Star Viewer - this is the video layer from my own Star Viewer. For some reason the YouTube videos don't seem to load but I include it here just as a general example.
  • London Planisphere - a horizon add-on for London. You can generate a horizon for your location at HeyWhatsThat
  • The Multicolor Sky - this file presents both multicolor images and an interactive redshift catalog from AEGIS. Each image---X-ray, ultraviolet, optical (Hubble), or infrared---gives us different information about the evolution of galaxies and massive black holes over the past 10 billion years.
  • Chandra X-ray Observatory - a tour of some of the amazing images captured by the observatory.
  • GALEX Showcase - the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) is an orbiting space telescope that will observe galaxies in ultraviolet light across 10 billion years of cosmic history.
  • NOAO Showcase
    - This gallery from the National Optical Astronomy Observatory highlights the diversity of shapes and sizes of 10 Local Group galaxies as well as the colorful glowing gas of the famous Large Magellanic Cloud.
  • VOEventNet - the sky is a dynamic place. VOEventNet connects you directly to the data feeds astronomers use to track gamma ray bursts and gravitational microlensing events.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Google Sky On-Line Launches



Have you ever wondered how to find your way to the Messier-32 Galaxy but have been unsure where to find directions? Well now you can look it up on Google Sky on-line.

Google Sky has been a service offered on Google Earth since August 2007 and was added to the Google Maps API at the end of last year. Now you can access the same data through the on-line version of Google Sky.

Google Sky is
a map of the night sky that includes imagery of millions of celestial objects. It includes a number of 'map types' so that you can view the universe in x-ray or infra-red wavelengths. The transparency of each wavelength can be adjusted via a slider so that you can see how different parts of the universe light up at different wavelengths.

The map also includes a number of 'layers' navigable from the bottom of the screen. These are the same layers that are available in Sky in Google Earth. With these layers it is possible to turn the constellations on or off, view the latest Hubble telescope imagery or even listen to podcasts from Earthsky.org. The 'Our Solar System' layer shows the positions of the planets in real-time, so should prove an invaluable aim for amateur astronomers.




Of course, being Google, the map also comes with a search facility. So if you are unsure how to find the Messier-32 galaxy you can enter M32 in the search box and Google Sky will take you there (you travel south from the Andromeda Galaxy and turn left).

Google Sky is truly universal as it is available in 26 localized language editions.
Google have also released this YouTube video introducing their new map.



This post from last week shows some
Google Sky maps produced using the Google Maps API.

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Google Maps Voice Map.. Now we're talking!

Record your voice to describe points on the map!

My own voice map demo

Here's something I've never come across - A do it yourself Google Maps builder that allows you to record your voice and associate it with a marker on the map! The My Vox Voice API has made all of this possible and the process to add a pin to the map and record your voice is quite easy (and fun)! Check out a demo by visiting The Google Maps Voice Recorder and select "Add Marker" to get started. Place the pin, then click the "Call in Audio" button. Call the number that pops up using your land-line or mobile phone and then enter the PIN number. After a short audio advertisement you're then prompted to record some audio about that map marker. Record the audio and complete the call. Keep an eye on the map marker you've created as you wrap up. It instantly turns into an audio player with your audio ready to be played directly from the Google Map. I decided to place a marker and give it a try for myself. I placed a marker on the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada and recorded myself describing this point of interest. The tool gave me a URL to share here on my blog! The entire process took a minute or so. These are great demos of how this technology can be used and I hope Google Maps API developers can find other cool ways to voice-enable their mashups using this API!

Related "Sound Maps": _________________

Has your Google Maps mashup won an award?

Are you a Google Maps geo-developer or My Maps creator that has had your mashup, My Map or tool presented with some sort of award or formal recognition? If so, we'd like to hear from you! We're planning a post that will showcase mashups that are award winners from all over the world! Don't let your mashup be left out! Please send submissions to: and include the name and URL for your Google Maps creation, along with a link to a page or blog post that describes the award that was presented. Looking forward to hearing from you soon!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Google Maps Street View Added to Maps API

It looks like Google Maps Street View has been added to the Google Maps API. The interactive 360 degree panoramic images that Google provides for a number of cities on Google Maps has, until now, not been available to developers to add to their Google Maps mashups.

The addition of Street View to the Google Maps API has not been officially announced but the Mapperz blog noticed some discussion about it on the Google Maps Group and have even thrown together a quick example Street View Map.

I've also thrown together a quick Example Map where the street view actually appears in the information window that opens when you click on the map. Both the Mapperz example and my own are based on examples and unofficial reference provided by The Blackpool Community Church Javascript Team

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Google Maps for Poland

Google Maps for Poland



Google today launched Google Maps for Poland. Polish speakers can now search Google Maps in Polish. Polish language support has also gone live for Google Maps Mobile.

Polish developers of Google Maps mashups will be pleased to hear that the Google Maps API also now provides local search for Poland.

Polish Google Map mashups previously featured on Google Maps Mania

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Documenting Human Rights Abuses in Kenya

Ushahidi is a website that is trying to document and report human rights abuses in Kenya. In order to achieve this aim it has a Google Map of reported abuses. Anyone in Kenya can report an incident that they have seen, and it will appear on the map. Ushahidi then works with local Kenyan NGO’s to get information and to verify each incident reported.

The map includes a number of different layers of human rights abuses; ‘riots‘, ‘deaths‘, ‘property loss‘, ‘government forces’ etc.



Ushahidi also has a Google Map with a time-line of human rights abuses. When you click on a date on the time-line the map updates with the incidents reported for that date.

Here is one report that was mapped yesterday,

“One person was slashed at Mauche belonging to the Kikuyu tribe. The Kikuyu tribe in revenge burnt down a car from the Kalenjin community at Kihingo trading centre. In the past four days the Kalenjins have killed 5 men from the Kikuyu tribe at Likia trading centre and closed down a road at Mauche. After the car burning early yesterday morning a few Kikuyu houses were set on fire.”

If that report upsets you as much as it should you can visit Ushahidi’s How to Help page.

Via: O’Reilly Radar

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GeoTag Yourself

MyLoki is a new website that lets you share your location with your friends via Google Maps. You can change your location at your own MyLoki page or (and this is the clever bit) you can download the Loki toolbar for your browser and update your location automatically.



The Loki toolbar can triangulate your location when you are in range of a WiFi hotspot and update your profile. You can then share your location with your friends in a number of different ways. You can share the address of your own public page. Alternatively, you can embed a map in your blog to show your last recorded location or add a map to your Facebook account.

Via: Techcrunch

Is Nanaimo the most mapped town?

Time Magazine have published an article on the Canadian city of Nanaimo entitled How Google Earth Ate Our Town. The article quotes Google Earth's chief technology officer Michael Jones as saying that the city has "mapped nearly every conceivable thing using Google Earth and Google Maps."

The city's planning department provides its citizens with a wealth of information about its buildings, property lines, utilities and streets through Google Earth on its website earth.nanaimo.ca. However the city also makes use of Google Maps. For example, Google Maps Mania reviewed Nanaimo’s Heritage Walk Map in August 2005.



Now the City of Nanaimo have integrated their Fire Incident Report with Google Maps. This Fire Incident Map allows the citizens of Nanaimo (or anyone else) to query the city’s Fire Incident Report and see the results on a map. The map shows the location of incidents and the apparatus that the fire deployment deployed.

If the hassle of querying a date seems too much trouble instead you can just look at the latest incidents on this full sized Google Map.

Via: Google Earth Blog

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Panoramic Photos on Google Maps

Panoramic Earth

Panoramic Earth maps 360 degree panoramas from around the world. Each panorama includes a local description and visitor reviews. One very nice feature of the maps is the direction finder that indicates your virtual view as you navigate the 360 degree panorama.

Panoramic Earth also provides the option of embedding the content in another web site.



360Cities.net

360Cities have recently redesigned their site of panoramic images. They have now mapped over 5,000 panoramic QuickTime Movies for 45 cities around the world, with 'many more to come'. The new home page of 360Cities has some 'Twittervision' style animation between the mapped cities.

Other Maps of Panoramas

BBC uses Google Maps to plot animal migration routes


BBC Radio 4's World on the Move program discusses and documents the annual migrations of animal species across the planet. Their website integrates Google Maps to let interactively you explore the migration paths of these animals. To find out where Alaskan Bar-tailed Godwits or Painted Lady Butterflies are spending their time, drag the timeline below the map to follow their migration route! (The Mapperz Blog has revealed that the source code for the polyline javascript is courtesy of Bill Chadwick) Mashup developer Nick Dunn explains how this mashup will get even better over time: "..Over the course of the year, both official and user-submitted sightings will grow and the maps will document both predicted and actual migration routes." Be sure to submit your own sightings to improve this mashup and stay tuned!
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Monday, March 10, 2008

MapJack Steal a March on Google


With rumours that the Google Maps' Street View car has been seen in Europe and Australia, small internet company MapJack has beaten Google by providing street view type images for somewhere outside of the US.

MapJack, like Google's own Street View, provides 360 degree interactive images for Google Maps. They have had San Francisco mapped for quite a while but have now added images of Chiang Mai in Thailand.

Perhaps it is just me but I find it a bit more exciting virtually strolling around Chiang Mai than down-town Manchester, New Hampshire. Here are a few of the sights that you can explore in Chiang Mai: