Sunday, October 03, 2010

Viewing the Big Picture with Google Maps

Big Picture Small World

The Big Picture Small World is a mashup of Boston.com's The Big Picture and Google Maps. The map uses the Yahoo! Query Language to grab the RSS feed of Boston.com's Big Picture series and to map the pictures on Google Maps.

The locations of the pictures are determined by the image captions and not by any geographical metadata in the images. This is pretty accurate in most cases but does lead to some of the images being mapped in the wrong location.

The picture collections that are mapped include some amazing photographs of the Earth taken from the International Space Station, pictures of India preparing for the Commonwealth Games, photographs from Oktoberfest and many more.

The Yahoo! Query Language is a powerful tool to query and filter data from websites. If you are looking to build a Google Map based on data from websites that don't provide an API but provide reasonable RSS feeds it is well worth having a look at the javascript of this map to see how it works.

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