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 (dead link removed)

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

More Google Maps Games


NOAA Nautical Charts + Google Maps

US/Canada NOAA Nautical Charts + Google Maps: (dead link removed)

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)


    Thursday, March 20, 2008

    Live Video Mapping

    Seero (dead link removed)

    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.

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


    Sunday, March 02, 2008

    Bike Routes in Google Maps

    Following last week’s post on Google Maps Saving the Planet an organisation called Google Maps Bike There (dead link removed) contacted us about their campaign to get bike routes added to Google

    Here is how they describe themselves on their website,

    " was created to ask Google to help us make the world safer for bicyclists by adding bicycle routes to Google Maps."

    Google Maps presently has 'Drive There' and 'Take Public Transit' options. Google Maps Bike There would like Google to add a ‘Bike There’ option. Here’s how they imagine it would look:

    Google Maps Bike There have started an online petition for those who support their campaign.

    UK Public Footpaths

    The implementation of bike routes for UK users would be hindered by the fact that Google Maps does not include public footpaths in its UK map coverage. Local government authorities in the UK have to keep a ‘definitive map’ of public rights of way. This ‘definitive map’ records public footpaths and bridleways that are ‘public rights of way’. Nearly all maps printed in the UK include these public footpaths as a matter of course. Google Maps for some reason does not include public footpaths.

    For example, the Google Map below looks very sparse compared to maps produced by the UK Ordnance Survey. The UK Ordnance Survey Map of this area is covered with dotted lines showing all the public footpaths (although you will have to take my word for this as the Ordnance Survey protects its copyright very closely and does not allow us to show you the map).

    Gavin Brock has produced an Ordnance Survey Overlay for Google Earth which enables you to view public footpaths in Google Earth. Unfortunately the kml of the overlay doesn’t appear to work when loaded into Google Maps.

    Saturday, March 01, 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