Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Mashups on Google Maps

Map Clock
Use this Google Map to find out whereabouts in the world it is midnight right now. This ingenious Google Map has an embedded clock that changes to show the time in the current map view.

The map sidebar includes some quick links to find the time in cities around the world.

World Webcams
Times Square Live Streaming Cam
This live streaming webcam of Times Square has a lot of different views, so you should catch all of the midnight action.

Nasdaq Times Square Live Streaming Cam
This live streaming webcam is centred on the Nasdaq Market Site Tower on Times Square.

London Eye & Big Ben Live Streaming Cam
This streaming webcam of the London Eye and Big Ben should give you a great view of London's New Year's Eve fireworks.

Edinburgh Live Streaming Cam
Edinburgh traditionally holds the biggest Hogmanay party. This streaming webcam alternates between views of Princes Street, the Mound, Edinburgh Castle and the famous Scott Monument.

Sydney Harbour Live Streaming Cam
This live streaming cam of Sydney Harbour should catch the Sydney Harbour Bridge fireworks.

Dublin Live Streaming Cam
This streaming webcam of Dublin has great views of the River Liffey. Fireworks are launched from boats in the Liffey or alongside the river on New Year's Eve.

Grand Place, Brussels Live Streaming Cam
This streaming webcam has a great view of the Grand Place in Brussels.

2008 in Google Geo Land
Pamela Fox, of the Google Maps team, has produced a Google Map with fireworks! The map uses the Google Sky map tiles in Flash. Links to some of the great new features developed by the Google Maps team in 2008 magically appear out of each firework.

I've shrink wrapped the map to fit into Google Maps Mania. To see the fireworks in all their glory visit the Google Geo Developers Blog.

10 Google Maps Mashups to help you ring in the New Year:

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Google Maps: Get the T-Shirt

The Google Store is now featuring this rather fetching Google Maps t-shirt.

The t-shirt is described as

royal blue American Apparel 100% combed cotton shirt featuring the Google Maps pin and "I am here" text on the front, Google Maps logo on the back, and URL on the sleeve. 3/4" set-in neck; shoulder-to-shoulder tape; 1" sleeves and bottom hem.

The t-shirt is yours for $13.45


Yellowstone Earthquake Maps

Over the last few days Yellowstone National Park has suffered a number of small earthquakes. So far there has been more than than 250 tremors which is unusual over such a short time.

Here are a number of Google Map mashups where you can view information about the Yellowstone earthquakes and find out about other earthquakes around the world.

Update Sunday 4th January: A series of powerful earthquakes occurred this morning in eastern Indonesia. The maps below also show the locations of these quakes.


This Google Map plots data from the US Geological Survey. A coloured polygon is dranw to represent the size of each tremor.

Earthquakes in the Last Week
This map also shows recent earthquakes around the world. It also includes the latest earthquake news. The map uses different coloured map markers to show the strength of different earthquakes.

Real-time USGS Earthquake Mapplet
This mapplet plots the past week of earthquakes around the world, showing the location, time and magnitude. Each earthquake includes a link to the USGS earthquake website for more information.

World Volcano Browser
A Google Map showing over 1550 volcanoes around the world. It is also possible to view the latest earthquake reports from USGS on the map.

Plate Tectonics Map
This Google Maps mashup from shows the boundaries of tectonic plates around the world. has also produced a San Andreas Fault Map.


The Gaza Conflict on Google Maps

Gaza Conflict

Prolific Google Mapper Virender Ajmani has produced a map of YouTube videos about the present conflict in Gaza. So far Virender has found 49 geo-tagged YouTube videos about the conflict.

The videos play automatically and the map animates between the different videos. If you don't wish to watch all of the videos you can just click on any of the video's map markers. Alternatively there are forward and back buttons which allow you to skip to the next or previous video.

TimeSpace - Washington Post
The Washington Post's new TimeWorld map is another great way to keep abreast of developments in Gaza. The TimeSpace map comes with a time-line so it is possible to navigate back over the last few weeks and observe how the current conflict has developed.

The map compiles all the world news content from The Washington Post,, PostGlobal, Foreign Policy magazine, and partner sites including The Associated Press and Reuters onto one customizable map.

All the news coverage about the Gaza conflict is collected into clusters around hot-spots on the map. By clicking a cluster, users can view articles, blog posts, photos, videos, and even reporter twitter feeds.

Track This Now

Track This Now is a great way to find out how the world's media are respondng to the Gaza Strip conflict. This news site allows you to enter any search term to find out how the world is reporting on that subject.

If you enter 'Gaza Conflict' into the search box markers will appear on all the countries that have been reporting on the conflict. Clicking on a country will load all the news items from that country on the Gaza Strip into the map's sidebar.


Monday, December 29, 2008

Google Maps Ski Guides

I've started searching for a European skiing trip I'm planning for February. My (so far)limited research has turned up a lot of skiing websites that feature Google Maps.


This Flash based Google Map has been produced for a US snowboarding magazine. The site combines resort specific video, webcams, statistics, weather, blog and driving conditions by US state. Eventually the site will also include details of non-US ski resorts.

Ski Bonk

SkiBonk graphically displays snow depth and new snow for ski resorts throughout the world. Skibonk mashes up data from "SnoCountry, OnTheSnow, Weather Underground, the National Weather Service, and several other data feeds." Webcams, current conditions, heaps of weather info and tons of information for each resort is located on SkiBonk.

RiderTech - Ski resorts (and other action sports venues) from around the world.

RideSoCal - Southern California Snow Sports Community map. A Google Map mashing up the member database and ski resort information.


Ski Alberta Live - From Travel Alberta comes this cool Ski Resort mashup for the province of Alberta. With some of the best skiing in the world on offer, use this mashup to plot locations, find websites for all resorts and get driving directions.

Canadian Ski Resorts - Map of Canadian ski resorts, current news on the Canadian ski scene, stats for the hills and links to accommodations at resorts across Canada.

Europe helps you find European ski destinations on Google Maps.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Friday Fun With Google Maps

Christmas Panoramas

Interactive panorama site 360 Cities are celebrating Christmas with some beautiful panoramas on their home page. Every 5 minutes the site is featuring a new "snowing panorama". If you can't afford to visit the Christmas Markets this year then this is probably the next best thing.

Racing the Google Street View Car
Apparently Google has mapped the Thunderhill Raceway for street view. This video, shot from the rear of a Fun Cup racing car, shows the street view car in action.

Video Link

Via: Google Sightseeing

Crime Does Pay?

This beach house in Montauk is owned by swindler Bernie Madoff.

Via: Mibazaar

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Follow Santa on Google Maps

NORAD Tracks Santa 2008

The NORAD Santa tracker is now live!

Using NORAD's map it is possible to track Santa's westward path as he travels around the world this Christmas. The map shows Santa's current position and a number of Christmas present markers show where Santa has already visited.

Happy holidays everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Solar Maps for 25 US Cities

San Francisco Solar Map

Engineering company CH2M Hill has teamed up with the U.S. Department of Energy to provide solar maps of 25 American cities, using Google Maps to show the precise solar potential of individual homes. The company have just finished mapping the first city, San Francisco.

The map includes a splash screen with a video introduction from the Director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment. The map itself shows all the present solar installations in the city, colour coded by type of building. The truly amazing feature of this map though is that you can type in any address in the city and get a detailed breakdown of the property's solar potential.

If you live in San Francisco you can type your address into a search box. The roof of your home is then shaded on the Google Map and an information window opens showing your roof size (in square feet), the estimated solar potential, the estimated electricity production, your estimated electricity savings in dollars per year and the estimated carbon saving you will make.

And there's more!

If you click on the '+' symbol on the information window you will even get an estimated breakdown of how much it would cost to install solar panels on your property.

This is definitely one of the best Google Maps of the year and has been released just in time to make the The Best Google Maps of 2008 list.

Via: Time (although they don't know the difference between Google Maps & Google Earth).


Poland Google Maps Mashup Roundup


Mapness is a Google Maps mashup which you can use to share your travel experiences. Using Mapness you can create an online travel journal and show on a Google Map where you have been and what you have seen.

It is possible to add photos and videos, mark the best spots to visit and then share your map with your friends! Mapness also creates some interesting statistics for your journey, such as the total distance travelled and the duration of the journey.

Mapness is also available in three languages, English, Polish and French.

Wroclaw Tram Map

The Wroclaw Tram Map shows the 24 tram routes and stops in this Polish city. The map sidebar includes check boxes for each of the tram routes and for the tram stops. It is therefore possible to view any combination of routes on the map at any time.

Clicking on any of the selected routes opens an information window containing a link to that route's timetable.

Mapa Warszawy

This point of interest map for Warsaw seems to have mapped just about anything you might wish to find. Here's the list of categories:

Clubs, monuments, pubs, restaurants, theatres, cafes, shopping, sports venues, education, transportation, parks, police, hairdressing salons, clinics, shops, hotels, doctors, administration, property, services, dentists, cemeteries, religious buildings, entertainment, pizzerias, hospitals, military, offices, medicine, libraries and banks.

Clicking on any of these categories loads the points of interest for that section. With Mapa Warszawy you will always be able to find what you need in the Polish capital.


Monday, December 22, 2008

The Best Google Maps of 2008 - Part Two

July Through to December
This is the second part of my round-up of my favourite Google Maps mash-ups produced this year. I'm sure many of you will have disagreed with my choices. If you have your own favourites you can always leave a comment!


Umapper is a great new creation tool that excels in the number of user options it offers. It includes geocoding, and Wikipedia and image options.


TVtrip is a very impressive search engine for hotels that uses Google Maps to show the locations of hotels. The site currently maps 33,281 hotels worldwide and includes 7,652 hotel videos.


tripwolf is a social travel guide that combines editorial travel content with user generated content. Using tripwolf travellers can create customized travel guides of their favourite destinations.

screen shot of Roofray
Have you ever thought about adding solar panels to your house? Roofray can help you decide. Roofray is an amazing tool built on Google Maps that can calculate the solar energy potential of your house.

To do this you start by simply tracing a a polygon on top of the Google Map satellite image of your house. When you have traced your roof you then drag a marker on the map to show the direction your roof slopes. The next step is simply to enter the angle of your roof tilt.

Where is the Path

Despite the introduction of walking directions to Google Maps sometimes you still need to look elsewhere. In the UK Google Maps are still not mapping public footpaths. That is why I frequently use Where is the Path, which displays Google Maps alongside the corresponding Ordnance Survey Maps.

screenshot of Dipity embed
Dipity allows users to easily create timelines on any subject. The created timelines can then be embedded in a website or blog. That in itself would be a reason for great cheer but Dipity also allows users to geo-tag the events on a Google Map. It is therefore possible to show the progress of a subject both chronologically and geographically.

Earth@Sg Singapore Grand Prix Track

In September Earth@Sg produced this amazing Google Earth browser tour of the Singapore Grand Prix race track. Earth@SG created 3D models not only of the race track and the surrounding buildings but included superb details such as 3D trees.

The Kremer Collection

The Foundation Aetas Aurea's collection of 17th century Dutch and Flemish Old Masters is now viewable via the Google Maps interface. Twenty five paintings from the collection have been made into custom tiles and are used instead of the map tiles in 25 separate Google Maps mash-ups.

MapMyPage in action
MapMyPage is an awesome new utility that enables bloggers and web site owners to attract and engage their visitors by adding maps, photos, weather, and more to the locations mentioned in their web pages. Add some code from MapMyPage and all the locations on a page will have a pop-up map added.

The Fitsrovia Apartments
Fitzrovia Apartments Map
The Fitzrovia Apartments is a great Google Maps mash-up designed to promote apartments in central London. The site uses Google Maps not only to show the location of the apartments but also to display plans of individual apartments, floor plans of the whole building and a map showing local points of interest and facilities.

Earth Atlas
Earth Atlas screen shot
Thematic Mapping's Earth Atlas is a prototype web application for viewing KML files with the Google Earth Browser plugin. Earth Atlas comes with links to many of Thematic Mapping's own KMLs. It is also possible to view any KML file in Earth Atlas by pasting the address into the 'Your KML' panel in the left hand sidebar or by adding the KML to the Earth Atlas URL.


TrekinU is a great Flash based application for presenting your favourite photographs. The application shows where the pictures were taken on a Google Map and also lets you add your own soundtrack to the presentation.


V-Trafic is an amazing Google Maps mash-up showing current traffic conditions for the whole of France. The map is amazing both for the breadth of its coverage and for the sheer number of sources it uses.

The AA Route Planner

This route planner from the Automobile Association in the UK actually improves on Google's own driving directions. It is in the detailed breakdown that the AA excels. The site mirrors the colour coding of UK road signs. It also includes traffic camera warnings, informs you when you will be passing a gas station, a hotel and or even an IKEA (just in case you need some Swedish flat-pack for your journey).

Young People's Stories

Australia's National Cannabis and Information Centre put together this rather beautiful collage using the Google Map's API. The collage contains nine real stories by young people telling their experience of using cannabis.

iMap Weather

iMap Weather map uses the Flash Google Maps API to provide a weather map with an incredible number of features. It is possible to view the weather and weather forecast for any location in the world. In the US you can view a nationwide radar image that is zoomable to street level! It is even possible to view a hurricane forecast and to view buoy and ship data. You can also embed the map in your own website or blog.

Barack Obama's Journey to the Whitehouse

In November there was a small election in the US. This was one of the many great maps produced for the election. The map plots the life journey of the next President of the United States. Starting in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4, 1961 this map plots Obama's life on Google Maps, from his birth all the way to his future new home in the White House in January.

TimeSpace: World

The Washington Post's new Flash based Google Map compiles all the world news content from The Washington Post,, PostGlobal, Foreign Policy magazine, and partner sites including The Associated Press and Reuters onto one customizable map. All the news coverage is collected into clusters around hot-spots on the map. By clicking a cluster, users can view articles, blog posts, photos, videos, and even reporters' twitter feeds.

San Francisco Solar Map

Engineering company CH2M Hill has teamed up with the U.S. Department of Energy to provide solar maps of 25 American cities, using Google Maps to show the precise solar potential of individual homes. The company have just finished mapping the first city, San Francisco.

Read The Best Google Maps of 2008 - Part One (Jan -June)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Google Maps Highlights Top Contributors

Google Maps is now highlighting the top contributors by 'reviews, maps and edits' in the map sidebar.

Pointing your mouse cursor at a name of any of the 'top contributors' opens a pop up window with a photograph of the user and some brief information (check out the handsome chap in the screenshot above.

Clicking the person's name takes you to a page with links to all the contributor's My Maps, edit history and reviews. Rewarding contributors in this way could well lead to an explosion in mapping, editing and reviewing on Google Maps.

Via: Google Operating System


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Toronto Star Google Maps

The Toronto Star Map of the Week

The Toronto Star has long been a global media innovator when it comes to using the Google Maps API. Web editor Patrick Cain writes a weekly column called Map of the Week, which invariably includes a useful Google Map mashup illustrating one aspect of Toronto life or local news.

Maps from The Toronto Star that Google Maps Mania has previously featured include:
This week The Toronto Star is looking at eviction applications in the Toronto area, the story is illustrated with these three Google Maps:

Map 1: Applications to evict, Toronto

A map showing applications to evict in Toronto using shaded polygons.

Map 2: Applications to evict, GTA

A map showing applications to evict in the GTA showing shaded polygons.

Map 3: Top addresses for eviction applications

This map looks at the top individual addresses for eviction applications in Toronto.

Other recent maps from The Toronto Star include:
This only scratches the surface of the large number of amazing maps created by The Toronto Star. To view more just check out the archive section of The Map of the Week column.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Boutique Hotels on Google Maps


Mapplr is website designed to help you find the best restaurants, hotels, cafes, boutiques around the world. Mapplr only selects the best boutique hotels and B&Bs (avoiding hotel chains), coolest restaurants, and cafes with good coffee and preferably Wi-Fi.

Mapplr has created a number of city maps showing the locations of their choice selections. The maps have all been created with Google My Maps. This means that each map comes with a link to 'View Larger Map'. Clicking the link allows you to view the city locations directly in Google Maps.

Go Street Maps

Go Street Maps has created a large number of Google Map mashups for the top cities around the world. Each map contains a wealth of information about the city, including hotels, the top shops and places to visit.

Each mapped location is listed in a sidebar and tagged on the map. The sidebar contains information about each location and the mapped tags contain a link to more information about the destination.

The Tri Cities Best
The Tri Cities Best is a guide to the best restaurants, hotels, motels and B&B's in Johnson City, Kingsport & Bristol, Tennessee.

Both the restaurant and hotel sections are divided into categories. So if you are searching for something to eat you can choose from a number of types of food, for example Mexican, pizza, etc. The hotel section is divided into hotels, B&Bs or motels. Each section then comes with a map listing all the select choices made by the Tri Cities Best.


Friday Google Maps Fun

Google River View

Spoof website Unconfirmed Sources claim that Google are set to unveil a new mapping service called River View. The service will allow users to view the shores of every navigable river in the United States. They say the interface will be accessible through Google Maps much like the existing street view service.

The story is illustrated with what is clearly a genuine photograph of the street view boat :).

Snow Day - Kitsap Snow Day Map

What could be more fun than having a day off for snow? All schools in the North Mason School District will be closed Friday! Yes!!! The Kitsap Snow Day Map is a Google My Map of road closures and photos sent in by readers of The Kitsap Sun.

Some Google Map Developers Books

Beginning Google Maps Mashups with Mapplets, KML, and GeoRSS: From Novice to Professional Beginning Google Maps Mashups with Mapplets, KML, and GeoRSS: From Novice to Professional

Beginning Google Maps Mashups with Mapplets, KML, and GeoRSS is a beginner’s guide to creating web mashups using Google mapping technology. This book is a single–source primer to displaying data on Google Maps and covers both mapplets and the Google Maps API. It is everything you need to start participating in the Geographic Web.

by Sterling Udell
Google Maps Mashups with Google Mapplets Google Maps Mashups with Google Mapplets

Google Maps Mashups with Google Mapplets is the book that Geo–Mashups developers will need to create Web 2.0 applications based on Google’s new Mapplets technology. It presents both a complete guide to the new standard and the practical how–to that developers seek. Written by Michael Young, an award–winning, new technology expert from The New York Times, the book is both authoritative and eminently usable.

by Michael Young
Beginning Google Maps Applications with Rails and Ajax: From Novice to Professional Beginning Google Maps Applications with Rails and Ajax: From Novice to Professional

The Google Maps API remains one of the showcase examples of the Web 2.0 development paradigm. Beginning Google Maps Applications with Rails and Ajax: From Novice to Professional is the first book to comprehensively introduce the service from a developer perspective, showing you how you can integrate mapping features into your Rails-driven web applications. The book also steers you through various examples that show how to encourage user interaction.

by Andre Lewis

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Where The Oil Comes From - Google Map

US Oil Imports Map

Video Link

As part of the Geo Challenge Grants Program the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) has created an animated map of US oil imports by country since 1973.

The map animates the supply of oil to the US from other countries and how the imports have changed over the last 35 years. The thicker the line in the map, the more oil produced or imported.

A time-line is shown underneath the map. The time-line is also animated to show the date of the oil supply shown on the map. Beneath the time-line there are also a number of buttons which will set the map and the time-line to specific important dates, such as 'the first oil crisis', 'the second oil 'crisis' and when gas hit $5 a gallon.

Via: Google LatLong: Where does our oil come from? and Blog


Google Maps Quiz

Quiz Maps

Here is a fun quiz game built using Panoramio images and Google Maps. There are two versions of the quiz available, World Capitals and US State Capitals.

In both quizzes you are presented with a number of markers in the form of letters and a visual clue in the form of a Panoramio photograph. The object of the game is to rearrange the letters to spell a world capital (or US state Capital) and then pick the letter where the capital is located.

The Quiz Map can be embedded on websites or blogs by cutting and pasting the embed code. So give your readers a Christmas treat by embedding the Quiz Map on your website or blog.


Text to Google Map Converter


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

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

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


Pinball Wizard Google Map

Portland Pinball Map

The Portland Pinball map is a user submitted Google Maps Mashup of pinball tables in the Portland area.

Using the map it is possible to search venues around town to check their latest line-up of pinball machines, search for machines throughout Portland, search for locations with four or more machines and even comment on a pinball machine's condition.

Portland Pinball Map also maintain a high score list showing who has been posting the highest scores and on which pinball machines around Portland.