Sunday, June 29, 2008

US Google Maps Mashup Round-Up (6/08)

Obama Events
Upcoming Barack Obama events tagged on Google Maps. The event details come from barackobama.com and can be sorted by state.

"Sorry there are currently no events planned for Guam."

Outalot

Outalot is a location-based guide that makes it easy for those in New York City to find nearby restaurants, bars, shops, and movie theatres. It's available online, on iPhones, and on other mobile phones.

TravelSkoot

TravelSkoot allows allows users to plan a day's adventure on Google Maps. If you are planning a pub crawl you can list all the destinations, including the times for each bar, and then send the map to your travelling companions.

TravelSkoot is mobile-friendly so you can send your skoots to your cell phone. The site also generates the shortest route between all the destinations, so theoretically it should be easy to crawl from one bar to the next. That is of course dependent on how easy you can focus with your beer goggles on.

Border Wait Maps
Border Wait Maps is a great idea for a Google Map mash-up and should prove invaluable to anyone who has to regularly cross the US-Canada border. The site maps the average wait times as measured by US Customs and Border Protection and Canada Border Service Agency at 22 crossings along the Canada-US Border.

The map shows the current wait times and lane information for both commercial and non-commercial lanes at these crossings - in both south-bound and north-bound directions.

Ride the City

Ride the City is a website that helps you find the safest bike route between any two points in New York City. You can enter your start and finish points and Ride the City will map a route that maximizes the use of bike lanes and greenways.

Via: Google Maps 'Bike There'

RepairPal

RepairPal gives independent and unbiased auto repair estimates, user ratings and reviews based on 23 billion unique estimates from 276,000 auto repair shops and dealerships.

You can view repair shops in particular locations on a Google Map and then read customer reviews and receive independent estimates.

Charlotte Zoning Maps

Charlotte Zoning Maps is a Google Maps mash-up of information about Parcel /Zoning in the Charlotte area of Mecklenburge County, NC. The Google Map tiles have been replaced with zoning maps of Charlotte. It is possible to zoom in and click on individual addresses in the town and receive information about its zoning.

Thirsty Hiker
Thirst Hiker is a map of brew pubs in the north east of the United States. The brew pubs are rated and tagged on the map. The colour of the tag reflects the rating that it has been given (red is good and yellow is poor). A link to recommended hiking information, photographs and brew pub descriptions can be accessed by clicking on the tags.

Pulte Homes
Pulte Homes is another Google Map tool for finding homes around the country. You can search for homes based on price and size. Houses are then tagged on the map with details and an accompanying photograph.

NJ Bus Map

NJ Bus Map is a Google Map that shows all the NJ Transit bus routes. Each route is colour coded and a legend in the sidebar provides information about the stops on each bus route. You can adjust the opacity of the colour coded routes and you can search the map for specific locations.

SEPTA on Google Maps
SEPTA on Google Maps has tagged every stop for the SEPTA, PATCO, and NJ Transit Atlantic City line stops on a Google Map. Clicking on a tag opens a search box that allows you to find directions to that stop from any other point.

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Friday, June 27, 2008

Mapping the Northern California Wildfires

Wildfires have been raging in Northern California recently and in response a number of Google Maps showing the spread of the fires have been released.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has released this MyMap tagging the locations of all the fires.

The MODIS Rapid Response Project at NASA/GSFC has released satellite imagery which is available as a KML overlay, which you can download and display in Google Earth.

California Fires 2008 is another Google MyMap pinpointing the fires across the state. KSBW have embedded the map on their website so it might have been produced by them. The map includes a key for the colour of each placemark marking a fire (blue is smaller; red is largest).

California's Office Of Emergency Services has produced yet another MyMap of the fires. Their Significant California Fires - June 2008 is also embedded in their website.


View Larger Map

The California Active Fire Mapper pinpoints blazes across the Western US, and allows users to zoom in on different cities.

Via: Google LatLong: Mapping the Northern California wildfires and SearchEngineLand

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Some Friday Google Maps Fun

A user on Seero tracked Steve McQueen's classic car chase from Bullit on Google Maps. Press play on the video below to watch the chase scene and at the same time follow the location on the map.



If anyone wants to produce their own Seero map of a movie car chase Popular Mechanics has posted videos of the top ten movie car chases of all time. Their top car chase is this one from Ronin



If you are interested in mapping this car chase on Seero the location is the French Riviera.

This one is less fun than dramatic. A user of Virtual Globetrotting found this amazing street view of a burning house in Little Rock. If you navigate around the street view you can see at least two fire trucks fighting to handle the flames.


View Larger Map

Whilst we are on the subject of street view Gizmodo report that the Google street view car has been spotted driving around the Microsoft campus. They say that it "wasn't just covering regular roads, they were going in-between buildings and getting as many angles as they could of the campus." Apparently the Windows Live Maps team were laughing and yelling at the street view car as it drove around.

As it is Friday you might want to have a look at MapFaced. MapFaced allows drinkers and diners to build, browse, and rate mashed up crawls of New York City.



Each crawl contains a number of bars and/or restaurants for you to visit and each establishment is briefly reviewed.

Cipper is a fun message map. Cipper enables you to share your message with other users worldwide. Simply write a short message (Twitter style) and pin it to the Google Map.



Clickpoint is a find the location game built on Google Maps. You are given a close up satellite view of a location and you have to try and find the location. The game keeps a record of how many clicks it takes you to find the location. Warning: this game wouldn't work for me in the latest FireFox browser - so I would use IE if you have it.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

BBC Comments Maps

The BBC has become a heavy user of Google Maps in recent months. The rise in Google Maps seems to be part of an experiment by the BBC to geo-tag readers' comments where appropriate. Recently the BBC have posted the four maps below with a message attached saying "part of a trial to find new ways of showing comments."


Broadband Speed Map - this asked readers to test their broadband speed and map their location.

Tannker Driver Strike Map - a map asking for readers' comments on a strike by tanker drivers in the UK.

NHS Map - a map asking for views on the UK's National Health Service.

Festival Season Map 2008 - a map asking for comments on the summer's music festivals.

Mapping comments in this way is a useful experiment. It can be interesting reading comments based on the location of the writer and noticing geographical differences in readers' responses. Comments on websites often become most interesting though when a debate starts up. However a debate needs the comments to be displayed in a linear and chronological order. For a good example of this see the comments in the post below where I lose an argument with a Google Maps Mania reader.

There is no reason however why the BBC can't tag readers' comments on a Google Map and display the comments in a sidebar as well. Visitors to the BBC could then choose whether to follow the chronology of the comments or use the map to read people's comments in particular geographical areas.

Viewing Sports Stadiums on Google Maps

SportingSights

SportingSights has a huge collection of geo-tagged sports stadium. The site seems to have collections for most major sports. Each stadium is shown on Google Maps but there is also the option to view the stadium in Virtual Earth, Yahoo Maps and Multimap.

MapGameDay

MapGameday is a website aimed at college football fans to help them share special places around their favourite school with other fans. Users are able to share their favourite hotels, restaurants and tailgate locations.

The site includes a number of Google Maps, such as the college football recruiting map and team travel maps. The team travel maps show the distance that College Football Teams travel for road games, both in and out of conference. Whilst the college recruiting map shows every division one school and their recruits.

MapGameDay also allows you to view the college football stadiums in 3D via the new Google Earth browser plug-in.

Golf Nation

Golf Nation has added Google Earth Browser plug-in views to their comprehensive list of golf courses. They have also added the option to embed any of the golf course maps in your own website or blog. Each course has all eighteen holes tagged and each tag contains information about the hole's par and length.

EarthSwoop

Google Earth Hacks and Google Earth Blog have teamed up to create a web site that allows people to share and view 3D locations using the Google Earth plugin. Combining Google Earth Blog's vast knowledge of Google Earth and the thousands of kml files in existence with Google Earth Hack's experience of creating Google Earth and Google Maps collections is an inspired idea. This site should prove to be very popular

Whilst EarthSwoop is not exclusively devoted to showing 3D sports stadiums some of their early collections do exactly that. Try the tour of NFL Stadiums, or MLB Stadiums.

SatelliteSights.com

SatelliteSights.com is a new community-driven satellite image sightseeing project. Users can submit interesting views they have found on Google Maps. The site already has thousands of interesting satellite images from around the world, submitted, researched, and maintained by its users.

Again SatelliteSights is not devoted to just mapping sports stadium but it does include a big 'sports' section of satellite views.


You can find many other Sports related Google Maps Mashups in the right hand column of this page under 'Sports and Events'.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Who is Searching for Sex?

Google Trends Map

Last week Google announced the release of a new layer to Google Trends. Google Trends for Websites is a tool that lets you see how popular your favourite websites are.

Using Google trends you can compare how popular different search terms or different websites have been over a given period. For example, here is a comparison of Google Maps and Virtual Earth.



As you can see Google Trends produces a very useful graph for each of your searches. It also produces a list of the top ten cities where search for the trend has originated from. But strangely, for Google, they haven't mapped that geographical data.


So step forward Mibazaar and their new Google Trends Map.



Mibazaar's Google Trends Map shows you a graph of the search results over time and lists the top ten cities where search has originated from but it also includes a handy Google Map so you can visualise where search is emanating from.

Which is of course hugely addictive because you can find the answer to many of your burning questions. For example, who is looking for sex? Well according to Google Trends the citizens of Elmhurst, IL are searching more than most. The citizens of Phoenix, AZ however are more interested in searching for 'eight legged freaks' and in Southfield, MI they seem most concerned about finding 'cheap gas'.

Sorry, I've got to go now as I have to play with this some more.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Map Your Moods on Google Maps

I love this mash-up so much, I wish there was a way of mapping my love. Oh wait, there is and via these very mood maps.



I Feel London and I Feel NYC are community sharing maps for London and New York but with two simple but inspired differences.

The first difference is that users don't get one map to tag their favourite places. No - users get a set of maps; 'naughty', 'romantic', 'sophisticated', 'chilled', 'energetic' and 'hungover'.

Do you see the idea? You tag your favourite places depending on your mood.

Maybe you have a favourite diner that you like to visit for a quiet Sunday breakfast when you're feeling slightly the worse for wear from the night before. Well why not share it with the world on the 'hungover' map? Perhaps you know the perfect spot by the river to watch the sunset with a loved one - that is what the 'romantic' map is for!

The second difference is that both I Feel London and I Feel NYC are Google My Maps. This means that anyone can take the code for any of the maps from the Google Maps page and embed them on their own blog or website.

The only problem I can see with this idea is that Andy Whitlock, the creator of I Feel London and I Feel NYC, will have to respond to every invite request to the maps personally. I asked Andy how he would cope if he was suddenly inundated with thousands of requests. Luckily he seemed only too happy to try.

I truly think Andy's concept for these maps is brilliant, I just hope he doesn't start cursing me the next time he opens his in-box.

Andy Whitlock also runs a blog now in colour, where he explains the concept behind 'I Feel ...' a little better than I can.

Update: It seems I missed a trick her. As Andy points out in the comments once someone has been invited they can then invite others. That should make the job easier.

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Google Map Maker

It is getting hard to keep up with the pace of developments from the Google Maps team. Today's huge development from Google Maps is the ability to edit Google Maps.

Google Map Maker is a new service that allows users to contribute and edit map information for certain regions. With Google Map Maker users can locate, draw, label and add map features, including:
  • Borders and regions (states/provinces, districts/administrative regions, cities, neighborhoods, etc.)
  • Road networks
  • Places of interest
  • Local businesses
  • And many more features like railways, waterways, events and reviews


In effect Google Map Maker is borrowing the concept of OpenStreetMap for collaborative mapping (the big difference to OpenStreetMap is that any submitted data will not become open source but will become owned by Google). As such any submitted content may be edited by other users or moderators .

Google Map Maker is separate from Google Maps and any additions you make to the map will not appear immediately on Google Maps. However it is clear that Google hope to get useful mapping data from the community and say that "at a later time, this content may be published in Google Maps for others to see and use."

Currently editing is available only in these countries:
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Cyprus
  • Grenada
  • Iceland
  • Jamaica
  • Netherlands Antilles
  • Pakistan
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Vietnam
To help users with this new service Google have produced a Google Map Maker Getting Started Guide and a User Contributed Help Site.

Via: Google LatLong Blog
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Monday, June 23, 2008

Every US Military Base Identified on Google Maps

SeeAndAvoid.org

What kind of organisation would create a Google Map mash-up identifying the location of every Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine military installation in the US? A map moreover that allows users to zoom in on any military base and examine a detailed satellite image whilst at the same time providing information on the types of planes and squadrons based there.

Well the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), that's who. SeeAndAvoid.org, according to the U.S. Defense Department, "offers a centralized, credible website for civilian pilots and military safety officers. The site offers reciprocal information and education on airspace, visual identification, aircraft performance and mutual hazards to safe flight, with the ultimate goal of eliminating mid-air collisions and reducing close calls."

When the Pentagon forced Google to remove 'street view' imagery of US military bases last year who knew it was because they wanted to map every military base for the world themselves?

Via: AllHeadlineNews

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Google Map of Wisconsin Road Closures

WisDOT Road Closures due to Flooding

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation's State Traffic Operations Center and Emergency Operation Center have created a Google My Map showing road closures due to flooding. Apparently the map has had over 1.4 million visitors and received more than 300 comments. Many of the comments are from residents leaving additional information about road closures.

The WisDOT map is just the latest example of how collaborative mapping can help communities in times of trouble or emergency. In October last year
KPBS Online created a fire map of wildfires in San Diego County that included up-to-date news on the spread of the fires and the location of evacuated areas. In the video below staff at KPBS talk about how their fire map was quickly adopted by the community (skip to 6.51 for the San Diego fire map part).



Via: Google LatLong: Map of Wisconsin road closures

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Geocoding Added to Google Maps Chile

A Chilean website Panchovera.com has spotted that Google Maps in Chile now has geocoding, which means that Google Maps can now find addresses in Chile. Panchovera has more details on the update (in Spanish).

These Chilean Google Maps mash-ups will benefit from this latest update from Google Maps:

GeoTurismo.cl - a tourism mashup for Chile

Portalinmobiliario - Chile's first housing mashup.

Santiago Metro Mashup - Here is a great transit and photo mashup for the city of Santiago Chile.

You can check which countries have map directions, geocoding, map tiles and business listings on Google Maps on this handy spreadsheet (although geocoding for Chile doesn't seem to have been officially confirmed yet).
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Crunchbase Database on Google Maps

Crunchbase Maps


Techcrunch have today announced the release of a Google Map that tags all the technology startups from its Crunchbase directory.

You can browse the Crunchbase map by city, state, zip code, or country. You can even map all of the results within a certain range (e.g., all the startups within 10 miles of Sydney, the 165 companies in Manhattan, or the VCs on Sand Hill Road).

Techcrunch give an example of searching for Yelp. If you want to see where the company is located and what other startups are nearby you can click on the 'map' link next to Yelp’s address and its headquarters will show up among its 50 closest neighbours, including Kongregate one building over and Slide just a few blocks away.

Google Maps on Mobile Round-Up - June 23/08

The Google Mobile Blog recently published a post on how Google enables Location-aware Applications for 3rd Party Developers. The article explains how Google "expect to see an explosion of mobile applications that use location technology."

Here is some of the early shrapnel from that explosion:

This morning Techcrunch have announced that Plazes, the location based social network, has been acquired by mobile phone company Nokia. Plazes SMS is a great service that lets users inform friends of their location and tie the information into other Plazes services. Nokia, at least, think it has a future as they have now bought the company.

TakItWithMe
TakItWithMe is an amazing new service from EarthNC for uploading Google My Maps and Google Earth geo content to Garmin and other handheld devices. Anyone familiar with using Google Maps or Google Earth can easily transfer online map content including points, routes, geo search results, and Google Earth files to their Garmin GPS device of choice with the simple click of a button.

Here is EarthNC's video explaining their new service,



Winksite
Winksite enables users to create a mobile site and community that can be shared worldwide on any phone. They use Google Maps to show users' current locations. Users can use the map to check the locations of friends and to check which users are in proximity to their current location.

InstaMapper
InstaMapper allows users to track GPS-enabled phones in real-time and see their location on Google Maps. Locations are updated every few seconds and tagged on a Google Map with a small red-dot.

Socialight
Socialight lets users create virtual 'sticky notes' tied to specific locations and share them with their friends. The mobile version is accessible on most cell phones and can be found at m.socialight.com.

WHRRL
Whrrl promises to enable you to connect with your friends from your mobile using Google Maps. You can tag and share locations. Whrrl will also let you post photos and messages from a mobile phone.

MapWith.us
MapWith.us is an auto-geotagging product that will enable you to send photos and messages straight to your Google Map from your Blackberry. With MapWith.us you can find maps of your current location, share photos and news and build a network of friends.

SundayMorningRides.com
SundayMorningRides.com is an interactive community portal for motorcycle riders to access, explore, plan, and share ride tracks via Google Maps. From an SMR mapper, users can interactively explore over 950 road, adventure, and long-distance rides worldwide with geographically referenced points-of-interest, motorcycle relevant services, imagery, videos, rider reviews and weather updates.

Mobile GMaps
Mobile GMaps is a free application that displays Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Windows Virtual Earth and Ask.com Maps and satellite imagery on Symbian and Java J2ME-enabled mobile phones, PDAs and other devices. MGMaps can connect to a GPS receiver over bluetooth or use internal GPS features on some phones in order to automatically display the map for your current position.

Google GPSMapper
GPSMapper allows anyone to track a GPS enabled cell phone using Google Maps. There are currently two versions of the GPSMapper. One will run on any OS with PHP and MySQL and the other will run on windows with .NET and MS SQL Server. Both projects use java (J2ME) on the cell phone.

Findbyclick
Findbyclick is a community mapping site that lets users tag and share their favourite places. Findbyclick Mobile is a small application that runs on mobile phones. With it you can search for all content available at FindByClick, submit new points of interest, update information about an existing point of interest, fix the location of a POI or delete an obsolete POI.

J2ME Map
J2ME Map is a mobile application that allows you to browse the entire Google Map database, switch between satellite or map view, zoom in and zoom out, search Google Maps and view the search results on screen. It allows you to tag your favourite locations.

Meteo-si
Meto-si provides free weather forecasts for the whole world on Google Maps and is accessible from a mobile phone. Forecasts for the next 72 hours in 3 hour intervals are calculated for over 2 million locations or any other location that is manually entered.

Bumpr
Bumpr is a free service that stores track logs from your GPS device and renders them as time-based Google Maps for users to share. Using Bumpr you can easily record tracks or trails and share them with the world.

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Where the Hell is Matt?

Matt Harding has perhaps stretched this gig to its logical limit.

However, this has now gone beyond a faintly amusing internet meme and has become for Matt an epic life journey to never get a proper job. To that end I fully support Matt's efforts to bum around the world and openly admit that I'm only critical because I didn't think of it first.




Above is Matt's 2008 video (released yesterday) and here is the Google Map. Ok, it is still funny and the Gurgaon, India choreography is worth the ticket price on its own.

Matt, do you need anyone to carry your bags?

Lonely Planet API

Mashed08: London, June 21/2 2008I'm currently attending BBC Mashed, a two day hackathon event in London. The big geo-related news here is the imminent release of The Lonely Planet API (attendees at Mashed have been given access to the API so expect the general release very soon).

The Lonely Planet API will give map developers access to Lonely Planet's huge resource of geographical data, including:
  • 'points of interest' for locations throughout the world
  • 'destination profiles' - with historical and cultural information
  • tens of thousands of professionally taken photographs
This API will undoubtedly prove very popular and should lead to many exciting Google Maps mash-ups.

I briefly spoke to Director of Global Business Development at Lonely Planet, Chris Boden this morning and he showed me Lonely Planet's own mash-up for mobile phones, The Lonely Planet M-site

The Lonely Planet M-Site utilises the points of interest, the destination profiles and the photographs that are available in the API and tags them on Google Static Maps.

The site couldn't be easier to use - simply enter your location and click on 'what's around me?'. You are then shown a static map of your location tagged with points of interest. You can refine your search by selecting 'Sleep', 'Play', 'Eat', 'Shop' or 'See', which should be pretty self-explanatory so I won't bother explaining them.

I've already used The Lonely Planet M-site to find a restaurant for this evening. I now can't wait to see what the mapping community can build using Lonely Planet's new API.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Virtual Reality Via Your Phone

Enkin is a new hand-held navigation concept being developed by two German 'computational visualists'. It combines GPS, orientation sensors, and what looks like Google Maps and Google Earth.

In essence Enkin seems to take placemarks that you have created in Google Maps and overlays them on top of a live video feed of the same location.

It looks absolutely amazing. Just watch the video to see what I mean.


Enkin from Enkin on Vimeo

I want the first pair of sunglasses these guys produce with a built in monitor. Augmented reality here we come.

You can learn more about the technical details of this at Enkin.net.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Embeddable Google Earth Maps

The new Google Earth plug-in for the browser has proved hugely popular. It has allowed Google Maps developers to include the added features of Google Earth within their mash-ups. If you are not a developer and you wish to add Google Earth to your own website or blog you now can as well thanks to the work of Street Cities and Google Earth Hacks.

Street Cities


Street Cities combines Google Street View and the Google Earth Browser to create a dual map that lets you view locations simultaneously on the ground and in the air. You can navigate around the Google Map in Street View and the Google Earth plug-in map follows your movements. There is something quite magical in watching the Google Earth plug-in map rotate as you turn around in Street View.

You can create your own dual map by selecting a location. Street Cities then produces the map and fa ew lines of code which you can use to embed the map in your own website or blog.

Google Earth Hacks


Google Earth Hacks have added the option to view their collections via the Google Earth browser plug-in. When you choose the Google Earth plug-in option the code to embed the map in your website or blog appears above the map.

Google Earth Hacks has a huge repository of geo-tagged collections. You are bound to find a collection that reflects your interests and now you can add this feature rich content to your own website simply by cutting and pasting a few lines of code.

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Celebrating the Solstice on Google Maps

Tomorrow is the Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere and the Winter Solstice in the southern, so it is either the longest day of the year or the shortest. If you wish to celebrate this fact then these Google Maps mash-ups could prove useful in working out when the sun rises and when the sun sets tomorrow.

The Sunrise and Sunset Tracker indicates where the sun is currently rising and setting by drawing a polyline on a Google Map .

EarthTools lets you check the time of the sunset and sunrise anywhere in the world by setting your location on a Google Map.

Daylight Map


The Daylight Map is a Google Map that shows where it is currently daytime and where it is night-time in the world. Areas where it is currently night are shaded out on the map. The night-time areas also show the effects of light pollution from electric lights. Daylight Map also has a Cloud Cover map showing current cloud cover around the world.

If you want somewhere special to experience the sun rise tomorrow then you could do worse than visit one of the places in the following maps:

The Presidential Showcase on Google Maps

Last week we reported on the release of the Google Maps Elections Gallery. The Google LatLong blog has now reported its official release. In last week's post we reviewed each of the maps featured in the gallery - you can read the post here.

What we failed to mention last week however is the amazing embeddable options for each of the maps. Above each map is an option to 'Embed this Map', which allows anyone to turn the map into a customisable gadget for their own web site or blog.

This of course should prove very useful for political bloggers, citizen journalists and small to medium sized newspapers who can now easily add any of these election maps to their web sites. It is so easy to do that even I have managed to add the Twitter Election Map below.



I fully expect to see these Google Map gadgets appearing all over the Internet between now and the US election. Already Newsday has embedded Virender Ajmani's Obama's Journey of Life Map to an article on the Democratic nominee.

Via: Google LatLong: The Presidential Showcase

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Custom Maps With the Google Maps API

UCL Campus Route Finder

University College London wanted to update the visitor map on their website. Luckily for UCL they just happen to have the world renowned Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis department within the university. I guess it didn't take a masters degree in common sense to work out who to ask for help.

The resulting Google Maps based pedestrian route finder overlays a map of the university campus on Google Maps. It is possible to enter a start and finish location into the route finder and a polyline is drawn on the map and an information box appears detailing the quickest route.

It is possible to request a wheelchair friendly route and there is even an option to view a printer friendly version of the map (which really should be a feature of many other Google Maps mash-ups).

Office Plans

The Google Maps developers at Laudentech also have a demonstration of how Google Maps can easily be customized to display searchable floor plans. Using a floor plan as custom tiles in Google Maps Laudentech can map locations, assets and people within an office.

And it isn't just offices, Laudentech have applied the same theory to shopping malls and cemeteries. That may sound a little gruesome but I guess even cemeteries sometimes need to be mapped.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Google Maps in Second Life

A company called Daden Ltd who describe themselves as a 'Virtual Worlds consultancy' have imported Google Maps into Second Life. I guess this means that you can now explore the real world in Second Life's virtual world.

The Google Maps system is on permanent display on Daden Prime in SL. However, if you don't have Second Life, thanks to the wonderful Digital Urban you can get an idea of what Daden Ltd have achieved through this amazing video.



Coincidently you can also view David Rumsey's historical map collection in Second Life by visiting the David Rumsey Maps Island (this is a link that will open Second Life). Personally I prefer to view the David Rumsey Historical Map Collection on Google Maps.

Via: Digital Urban

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Farewell and Good Luck Mike

I’m sure Mike has been overwhelmed by the number and nature of the comments to his 1500th and last post (although I'm still hopeful I‘ll be able to tempt him back occasionally). It seems that the great and the good of the geo-web have been keen to thank Mike and congratulate him on his dream job.

Personally I think it is Google who should be congratulated for their capture of Mike. There can't be many people with Mike's sheer breadth of knowledge of the thousands of Google Maps mashups out there or Mike's knowledge of the Google Maps developer community. In employing Mike I'm certain Google have improved the Google Maps team immeasurably.

I, of course, more than most, have cause to thank Mike. First, I have to thank him for supporting my own Google Maps mashups over the years of Google Maps Mania. Without Mike's promotion and reviews of my work I suspect the hit counts on my sites would be very low indeed.

Secondly, I have to thank Mike for giving me the opportunity to write for Google Maps Mania and now trusting me to take the blog on.

Perhaps the greatest tribute I can pay to Mike is to continue Google Maps Mania in the same manner. I therefore have no plans to change the nature of Mike's baby. Google Maps Mania will continue to post daily reviews of the amazing Google Maps mashups being produced and to bring you the latest news and developments related to Google Maps.


Thank you Mike and good luck in your new job.

Monday, June 16, 2008

My 1500th (and last) post on Google Maps Mania

This is a milestone post for me.. My 1500th! It's hard for me to believe that I've hit "Publish Post" at the bottom of this post-compose window that many times. 1500 posts translates into many,many hours that have been spent in front of a screen combing through blog posts looking for new sites, reading email submissions, clicking, dragging, expanding and exploring hundreds of Google Maps mashups. What a blast this has been! I've had a front-row seat to blog about how the most radical technology to ever hit the web, has also changed it forever. Changing the way we learn about our communities, changing how we plan travel and changing how we learn about the world around us. Google Maps and the Google Maps mashup phenomenon has also changed how developers and non-developers overlay information as they create maps. Each and every day I've been amazed by what developers from all over the world have been capable of doing when it comes to the Google Maps API.

This will be my last post on Google Maps Mania, but as far as the Google Maps API is concerned, I'm going far. In fact, I'll be closer to it. I have accepted a (dream) position on the Geo-Marketing team at Google (run by this guy) as a product marketing manager for the Google Maps API. This is obviously very, very exciting for me. It's not very often that you are given the opportunity to take the personal passion you have for something and turn it into a full time job. I'm fortunate enough to be doing this now, and it feels like a chance of a lifetime.

Although this is my last post, Google Maps Mania will live on! I'm handing over the reigns to Keir Clarke who many know by now is a very capable and passionate blogger that understands the Google Maps world very well. He's been writing together with me for several weeks now and I've been impressed with his posts and the fresh, new approach he has for covering new mashups and Google Maps news. As I've said in the past, Keir is a Google Maps pioneer creating some of the first Street View mashups on the web and his Google Sky and sightseeing mashups blazed new trails within the global mashup scene. Watch for more of these awesome mashups from him, in addition to his great posts. He asked me today if this final post for me would be sad. I told him that if I hadn't found someone capable of taking everything over I would have been far more disappointed. Today I'm not disappointed, I'm happy, and relieved that Google Maps Mania is in good hands with Keir at the helm.

So with that, I bid farewell to Google Maps Mania and to everyone that that has been tuning in since April 13th, 2005! Many of you have my Gmail address but if you don't, it's along the bottom of this post. I'm still looking forward to seeing everyone out at various Geo Developer conferences and events and I most certainly want to stay in touch with all of you to find out how your Google Maps mashup adventures are progressing, so please be sure to drop me a line!

All the best to everyone and a very sincere thank you to all Google Maps mashup creators and to the thousands of regular readers who for 3 great years have made Google Maps Mania the blog that it is today!

Happy Mashing!
Mike Pegg.

US Google Maps Mashups (14): Crime, History, Travel, Tim Russert

Celebrating NBC's Tim Russert's life on a map - Virender Ajmani creates this map-based tribute to the late Tim Russert.

Travel: New mashups for the summer holiday season..

BeerMenus New York City:

...This simple NYC Google Maps mashup plots the loctions of over 292 Beer Menus, 1532 Beers and 34 Events to one map. Click any of the pins to reveal each pub or restaurant's full, categorized beer menu, sortable by price!
Click the USA label below to read about many more US mashups that can be used to help plan your travels this summer..

Crime Maps update:

SpotCrime.com now includes over 100 US Cities:

This Google Maps crime mashup was previously only available for Baltimore. That has definitely changed! SpotCrime has added over 100 cities and several cities have their own Mapplet that you can add directly to your own Google Maps view. Combine real estate mapplets with the SpotCrime city you're in to perform power housing maps search. Engadget's Switched and TechCrunch also recently reviewed SpotCrime.
New History Maps:

Click any of the below labels to read about many more mashups within these topics or browse their categories along the right sidebar..
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Unicycle and Boat Racing on Google Maps

Ride the Lobster Map


In a previous incarnation I used to pay the rent by juggling for a living. One of the skills I used to boast, but which has now inexplicably dropped off my resume, was riding a unicycle. I am therefore delighted to report on the Ride the Lobster race.

Ride the Lobster is an 800km unicycle relay race, taking place from June 16-20th, 2008 in Nova Scotia Canada. If you are unable to get to Nova Scotia to observe this event in person then don't worry because this year there is a live real-time tracking map of the teams on Google Maps.

It has been nearly twenty years since I was last on a unicycle myself but I understand it is like riding a bike. Maybe I'll enter next year.

Via: Google Earth Blog

Offshore Super Series

Also taking place this week is the Don Aronow Memorial Race at Sunny Isles Beach, Florida. The race is part of the Offshore Super Series of powerboat races and takes place June 19-22.

For the occasion the Powerboat Racing Association have produced a useful Google Map of the circuit. The map describes each of the turns on the circuit and includes an embedded video, presumably of last year's event. Local hotels are also mapped with information on cost and room type.

If you live anywhere nearby then pop along to Sunny Isles Beach as the event is free to watch from anywhere on the beach!

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The First Novel on Google Maps

Senghor on the Rocks

Not related to Bloomsday at all but a literary event in its own right is the hugely impressive Senghor on the Rocks, 'the first full-length novel consistently illustrated with Google Maps'.

Every page of Senghor on the Rocks is accompanied by a corresponding satellite view of the current location in the story. When the location changes in the novel the map animates the route to the new location. To achieve this the developers created their own extensions to the Google Maps API, such as long-distance panning and a moveable and rotatable arrow on the map that indicates specific locations.

The novel is presented through the interesting visual metaphor of a book. Each page of text is illustrated with a Google Map. Clicking on the page on the screen will take you to the next page of the story.

Another interesting development in this map is that time in the novel is represented visually on the map. The map gets darker and darker during the evening and at night, and brighter than normal at noon.

If you like the idea behind Senghor on the Rocks you should also take a look at The 21 Steps, which is another attempt to illustrate a fictional story with Google Maps. If you speak German you will like Senghor on the Rocks even more.

I can't wait for the English translation guys (hint)!

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Happy Bloomsday on Google Maps

Bloomsday (Irish: Lá Bhloom) is a commemoration observed annually on 16 June in Dublin and elsewhere to celebrate the life of Irish writer James Joyce and relive the events in his novel Ulysses, all of which took place on the same day in Dublin in 1904. The name derives from Leopold Bloom, the protagonist of Ulysses, and 16 June was the date of Joyce's first outing with his wife-to-be, Nora Barnacle, when they walked to the Dublin village of Ringsend (thank you Wikipedia).

Joyce Walks


The project Joyce Walks is a Google Maps mashup which remaps routes from James Joyce's Ulysses to any other city, generating maps which users can use to recreate Bloomsday anywhere in the world. Participants can then generate an embeddable map for their own website or blog.

Joyce Walks have produced a map of Bloom's day in Dublin. Each location that he visits during the day is tagged on the map. Each tag contains the text from the novel and is accompanied by a short panoramic video of the location.

However Joyce Walks is a also a tool which generates walking maps based on routes from James Joyce's Ulysses in any city in the world using Google Maps. The system prints maps to be used as the basis of walks exploring the city of your choice and generates maps that include pictures and videos.

James Joyce Walking Tour

The James Joyce Walking Tour maps a stroll around central Dublin, concentrating on places that are associated with James Joyce and the characters in his novels and stories. The tour starts at the home of Leopold Bloom at No. 7 Eccles Street and ends at Grafton Street.

Each stage of the walk is tagged on the map and includes extensive notes about the location's relevance to either Joyce or his stories.

Ulysses and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Google Book search (under the 'about this book' tab) includes a Google Map of places mentioned in Joyce's Ulysees and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

A KML of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man also exists, which can also be viewed on Google Maps.

You Might Also Enjoy these Dublin Maps on Bloomsday

Just Routes - public transport route planner for Dublin
Dart Maps - real time tracking of trains in Dublin.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Google Maps Developer Video & Links Roundup



Recent Google Maps Developer Event Videos & Pictures:

Google I/O Maps & Geo Sessions:
..Check out some delicious panoramas of the Google I/O event from 360Cities.net and be sure check where and when International 2008 Google Developer Days are happening near you!

Google Geo Developer Series:
[Via this post that contains more info..]

Photos and Videos from other recent Geo Events:
Google Maps Tools and Creators:
Developer Links:
Don't forget that the Google Maps API Blog has been retired and is now the Google Geo Developers Blog!
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