Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Vermont Flooding on Google Maps

Google Crisis Response has released a Vermont Flooding 2011 Google Map.

The map shows road and bridge closures in the state. It is also possible to overlay other layers on the map showing:
  • cloud imagery
  • USGS Real-time Streamflow
  • significant river flood outlook
  • Red Cross shelters
  • Vermont county borders

Browse the New York Times by Location

You can now browse the New York Times by location using the Longitude Google Map.

Geotagged news stories are displayed on the map with a Times 'T' logo. If you click on a map marker an information window opens with ten recent articles from the paper for that location.

Beneath the map you can view a list of locations from today's edition of the paper. Clicking on these links will also open the relevant information window on the map.

Via: Read Write Web


An Epic Adventure on Google Maps

American author and adventurer John Harlin has set out on an epic journey to follow the entire Swiss border under his own power, a 2,000km odyssey with more than 170,000m of climbing. You can follow John's journey on's John Harlin Live Google Map.

The map shows John's current position (at the time of writing he appears to be approaching the Matterhorn). The map also includes the amazing photographs that John has taken on his journey, links to John's daily reports and some of the interesting features and points of interest that John is passing on his epic journey.


Euston We Have a Problem

MySociety's FixMyStreet was a leading pioneer in what might be called report mapping.

FixMyStreet created a system that allows residents to view and report problems, such as graffiti, fly tipping, broken paving slabs, or street lighting to their local authorities. MySociety has now created a similar report mapping application to help people get common public transport problems resolved.

FixMyTransport is targeted specifically at problems such as broken ticket machines or buses that always leave early. The application uses Google Maps to allow users to find a specific station or bus-stop where they wish to report a problem.

It is also possible to view a Google Map showing all reported problems in a specific area. From the information users provide FixMyTransport can then report problems through to the correct department of the operator or local authority in charge.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Trip Planning with Google Maps

Tripomatic can help you create a personalised trip itinerary for a number of major destinations in Europe.

Creating an itinerary with Tripomatic is incredibly simple. Each destination includes a Google Map featuring the city's attractions, places to eat and hotels. You can select to view a number of categories to view on the map.

Clicking on an attraction's map marker will open an information window with details about the attraction. If you want to visit the attraction you simply add it to your personal trip itinerary. Once you think you have enough attractions for one day you can simply add another day to your itinerary.

After you have completed your itinerary Tripomatic will devise a Google Map for each day of your trip, that includes all of your selected destinations. Your personal itinerary guide includes your map and details about all of your selected attractions presented in an easily printable form.

All you need to do then is print out your personal guide and pack your bags. Simple


+1 Your Favorite Maps

Google has added the +1 button for Google Maps. If you find a custom map that you really like you can now share it with your friends by clicking the +1 button. By clicking the +1 button you are also helping to rate and promote the custom map.

You can find the +1 button underneath the map description on custom maps. Any custom maps that you have created yourself or that you have found and saved can be viewed by clicking the 'My places' tab.

Via: Google LatLong


San Francisco Architecture on Google Maps

This Google Map from the North California Chapter of the Documentation and Conservation of Buildings, Sites and Neighborhoods of the Modern Movement (DOCOMOMO/NOCA) shows the location of some of San Francisco's most important Modern Movement buildings.

It is possible to browse the map by location, building or by architect. The map also includes four walking tours in different areas of the city that will take you past some of the most important buildings in each area.

The DOCOMOMO/NOCA website was built by creative company Ted Perez + Associates.

NOCA Interactive Map


Monday, August 29, 2011

Measuring 10.6 on the Twitter Scale

Last week's Virginia earthquake may only have measured 5.8 on the Moment magnitude scale but it measured a whopping 10.6 on the Twitter scale.

This Twitter Quake Map shows the astonishing rate and spread of Twitter messages about the quake in the 8o seconds after it hit. As the map animates through the 80 seconds, the location and density of the Tweets radiate out from Virginia, almost exactly like the shock or P waves of the quake itself.

Via: @andreitr


Historical Views of San Francisco

Old S.F. is a great Google Map of thousands of historical photographs of San Francisco. The map provides a great way to browse the San Francisco Public Library's Historical Photograph Collection by location and by date.

The map includes a slider navigational aide that allows you to select a date range for the photographs you wish to view. For example, if you are interested in viewing photographs taken after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake you can set the slider to 1906 to view only the photos taken in that year.

Time Shutter is another great Google Maps based website that allows users to view historical photographs of San Francisco. Users can upload historical images to the site and browse through the images submitted by others.

The site includes many postcards of San Francisco from around 1900 and includes a historical map overlay featuring the Chevalier Commercial, Pictorial and Tourist Map of San Francisco from 1903.


Historical Film on Google Street View

I think there is something kind of magical about viewing old film clips on top of the modern Street View image of where the movies were shot. I've updated my There and Then historical videos application to try and improve the user interface.

I've also added a few more historical videos. Some highlights of the more recently added videos to the app include a 1960's film of the Vatican and a 1950's film of the Colosseum in Rome.

I'd love to hear what you think about the app, particularly whether you think the user interface is intuitive or a little difficult to understand. So feel free to tell me what you think in the comments.


Putting Culture on the Map

In the UK tourist signs have a brown background and are often referred to as 'brown signs'. Their purpose is to direct people to tourist attractions, such as castles, museums or historical buildings.

Brown signs are the responsibility of local authorities and therefore there is no central record of all the country's brown signs. Follow the Brown Signs is a website dedicated to tracking down (and mapping) all the humble brown signs in the UK.

It is possible to search for brown signs by address or postcode and view a Google Map of all the signs around that location. There are 93 different types of brown signs, signifying such diverse categories as good brass rubbing locations and 'heavy horse' centres.

Follow the Brown Signs lets you search for brown sign locations by category. As well as providing a little history about each category you can also view each of the 93 different types of brown sign on its own individual map.

The UK's Blue Plaque scheme is a way of commemorating the lives of famous residents of the country. Blue circular signs are erected on houses to indicate that someone of note was born or once lived there.

The PlaqueGuide is a Google Map of the UK's blue plaque houses. The map uses blue circular map markers to show the location of houses with plaques. You can find out who the plaque is for by just mousing over a marker. If you click on a marker you can view a Street View of the plaque and read a Wikipedia article about the individual commemorated by the plaque.

The PlaqueGuide is crowdsourced, so anyone can add information about the location of a blue plaque.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Google Maps of the Week

This week Google Maps Mania has been dominated by Hurricane Irene tracking maps. We have seen great maps from Google Crisis Response (2011 Hurricane Season & 2011 Hurricane Irene New York City), the (The New York Times' New York City Hurricane Evacuation Zones & Hurricane Irene Tracking Map)

Looking further afield, One-Eight Basetrack has created a great looking website with Google Maps and the Simile Timeline.

One-Eight Basetrack

One-Eight Basetrack is an experimental media project, tracking the deployment of 1/8 – 1st Battalion, Eighth Marines, throughout the duration of their deployment to southern Afghanistan.

The project is using Google Maps with the SIMILE Timeline to provide a navigation aide to the videos, photographs and posts collected by the project team on the ground.

Lufthansa: Street View Live

I was also impressed this week by Lufthansa airline's clever booking form that allows users to click on a map to input the destination of a flight.

As well as auto-filling the booking form with the selected destination a click on the map also displays a Google Maps Street View of the chosen destination. For example, if a user clicks on London a Street View of the Houses of Parliament is displayed to help entice the customer to book a trip to the UK.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Google Maps New York Evacuation Zones

Yesterday Google released their Crisis Response 2011 Hurricane Season Google Map. Today they have created a map just for New York City: 2011 Hurricane Irene New York City.

The New York City map shows the forecasted track of Hurricane Irene as well as the evacuation zones and evacuation centers. It is also possible to view additional layers on the map showing:
  • Storm Surge Probabilities
  • The Red Cross National Shelter System
  • Cloud Imagery
  • Evacuation Routes
Via: Google LatLong


New York Evacuation Zones

The New York Times' New York City Hurricane Evacuation Zones Google Map shows the three evacuation zones in New York.

The zones are based on the strength of the hurricane making landfall. New York is preparing for the threat of storm surges with the closure of the entire public transportation system.

Climate Central has created a Google Map showing the areas in lower Manhattan, New Jersey and Brooklyn that are most at risk of storm surges from Hurricane Irene.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Google Crisis Response - Hurricane Irene

Google Crisis Response has put together a Google Map for the 2011 Hurricane Season. The map currently shows the projected route of Hurricane Irene with the option of viewing a number of other layers on the map.

As well as viewing the forecast track of Hurricane Irene the map includes:
  • a cloud imagery layer from the Navy Research Lab
  • a layer showing coastal areas placed under tropical cyclone watches or warnings
  • evacuation routes from FEMA
  • a surge storm probability layer
  • real-time Stream Gage Data from USGS

Questions & Answers with Google Maps

Quora is a website of questions and answers created, edited, and organised by everyone who uses it. Today the site has added Google Maps to topics with associated locations.

For example, if you search for Chicago the city is shown on a static Google Map with all the Chicago related questions listed beneath the map. If a user clicks on the static map a larger interactive Google Map will open.

Read Write Web says that Quora is building an iPhone app and surmises at some of the location capabilities that might be built into the app. For example, the app should be able to push notifications about nearby locations as you travel around.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

New York Evacuation Zones on Google Maps

Update: If you are looking for maps and information concerning Hurricane Sandy then check out this more recent post Crisis Response Map for Hurricane Sandy.

The New York Times' Hurricane Irene Tracking Map is probably the only map of Hurricane Irene that you will need.

This Google Map shows the projected path of the hurricane with forecasted wind speeds along the path. It is also possible to overlay the latest satellite pictures of the hurricane on top of the map.

WYNC are also using Google Maps, in their case to display New York City Evacuation Zones.

The map shows three zones in the city:
  • Zone A - with the highest risk of flooding from ANY hurricane near NYC.
  • Zone B - potential flooding from a Category 2+ hurricanes.
  • Zone C - potential flooding from a Category 3-4 hurricane hitting just south of NYC.
The map includes links to the latest official information and to WYNC's own Google Map of Hurricane Irene's projected path.


Storm Surge Simulation with Google Maps

Florida International University has used Google Maps to create a Storm Surge Simulator for Miami-Dade County in Florida.

Storm surge is the greatest threat to life and property from a hurricane. It occurs when water from the ocean is pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds swirling around a hurricane.

This simulator allows residents of Miami-Dade County to enter an address and visualize the potential risk of a hurricane based on the severity of a storm.

Via: Mapperz


Voice Search on Google Maps

Google has added voice search to Google Maps. If you use the Chrome web browser on (other countries' Google Map domains are not supported yet) you can speak into your microphone and search for a location on Google Maps by voice.

To search by voice just click on the microphone icon in the Google Maps search box. Using voice to search Google Maps is very fast - check out the video below (sorry for the poor quality - it was filmed from my phone)

Via: Google LatLong


Mapping Manchester's Trees

DataGM is Greater Manchester’s public data portal. It was created by public sector organisations in Greater Manchester, to release and bring together in one place, as much of the data they hold as possible.

Trafford Highways Trees uses data from Trafford Council to map the area's trees. The map uses custom map markers to create a visually striking Google Map.

At the bottom of the Trafford Highways Trees site there are links to other Google Maps of Trafford, showing other public facilities. You can even view all the place-marks on one Trafford Open Data Map.

The Trafford Council Tax Map also uses public data to provide a handy guide to property taxes in Trafford.

Using the application residents can enter a street address and find out the property taxes for the properties on that street. It provides a very useful service, particular for anyone looking to buy a property in the area who wants to know the property taxes they would have to pay for a specific property.


Visit Texas with the Help of Google Maps

TravelTex, Texas Tourism's official Web site, is a great guide to things to see and do in the state. The site also includes a handy Google Maps based trip planner.

TravelTex features over 400 cities and thousands of activities to do for visitors to Texas. As users browse the site they can add the viewed attractions and events to their own trip planner and create a personal itinerary. Users can add events, locations, day trips and even driving tours and specify the day they wish to visit each location.

Each item added to the itinerary is also added to the user's personal trip planner Google Map. The map then provides a handy guide to all the bookmarked locations and events.


Book a Flight with Street View

The Lufthansa airline has created a clever booking form that allows users to click on a map to input the destination of a flight.

As well as auto-filling the booking form with the selected destination a click on the map also displays a Google Maps Street View of the chosen destination. For example, if a user clicks on London a Street View of the Houses of Parliament is displayed to help entice the customer to book a trip to the UK.

Lufthansa: Street View Live

Via: Google Geo Developers Blog


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Shopping in Sydney with Google Maps

Urban Walkabout is a comprehensive on-line shopping guide to the popular shopping areas in Perth and Sydney, Australia.

The site includes Google Maps for both Perth and Sydney, displaying all the best shops in all the popular suburbs of both cities. The shops on each map are categorised into Fashion & Bodycare, Objects & Art, Food & Drink, Stay & Explore and Shopping Centres.

If you click on a shop's marker on the map you can then click through to read Urban Walkabout's full review of the establishment.


The Best Places to Live on Google Maps

CNN Money are advising you to move to Louisville, Colorado.

CNN Money's Best Places to Live 2011 Google Map shows the 100 best places to live in the USA. The list was generated by looking at a number of quality of life assessments, including job opportunities, schools, safe streets, economic strength, nice weather and things to do.

The map allows you to look at the top 10 or the top 100 places to live and allows you to zoom to any state via a drop-down menu. If you click through on any of the selected towns you can then read why CNN Money has placed it on the list.

Via: @geoparadigm


Tracking Hurricane Irene with Google Maps

iMap Weather's Google Map allows you to view the projected path and strength of Hurricane Irene and overlay other weather data, such as rainfall and radar imagery.

Storm Advisory use Google Maps to show the track and projected track of hurricanes. The map currently shows Hurricane Irene as an H2 category storm. StormAdvisory also features a news ticker of the latest hurricane news.

IbisEye is also tracking Hurricane Irene with the help of Google Maps. The map includes constantly updated statistics on the hurricane. At the time of writing IbisEye says that the maximum recorded wind from Irene, so far, is 109 mph.

WunderMap's Google Map of Hurricane Irene also allows you to overlay the latest satellite imagery of cloud cover.


Everyone's Moving South in Boulder

The 2010 U.S. census must now hold the record as the most mapped census of all time. We've been posting maps about the census all year on Google Maps Mania (check the census tab) - and they still keep on coming.

Boulder County Community Foundation has used Fusion Tables to map population changes in Boulder between the 2000 and 2010 censuses. The map seem to show a distinct pattern of a dwindling population in the north of the city and a growing population in the south.

The map also shows vehicle registration data in different parts of the city and allows you to view the locations of Boulder schools.

Boulder Trends


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Indian Real Estate on Google Maps

PropertyFeast is a real estate search portal for properties for sale and rent across India.

PropertyFeast features Google Maps throughout the user experience. If a user browses for properties by location then they are shown a Google Map of India displaying the towns and cities with properties listed on PropertyFeast.

It is possible to search for a property by location, price and by type of property. The results of all searches feature a Google Map displaying the returned properties. Each individual property listing on PropertyFeast also features a map to show the property's exact location.


Tracking with Street View

Google Maps APRS is a Google Map displaying real-time information collected from the Automatic Position Reporting System Internet network (APRS-IS). APRS is used by amateur (ham) radio operators to transmit real-time position information, weather data, telemetry and messages over the radio.

A vehicle equipped with a GPS receiver, a VHF transmitter or HF transceiver and a tracker can transmit its location, speed and course. Using this Google Map it is possible to search for any vehicle using its APRS call sign.

Google Maps APRS was first featured on Google Maps Mania back in 2009, since when it has added a cool Street View option. If a road vehicle is transmitting its location with APRS you can now use the 'track in Street View' option to get a virtual first-hand view as seen from the vehicle.


A Real-Time Map of the World's Joggers

Sports Tracker is a free sports tracking app for Android, iPhone and Nokia Symbian devices.

The app maps your runs or bike rides and collects data on your speed, distance, step-count, elevation and times. As well as using Google Maps in the app the Sports Tracker website also features a smart real-time map of sports enthusiasts who have most recently used the app.

It is even possible to click on the individual users and view the track they recorded on a separate map alongside all the data they collected on their run or bike ride.


Haarlem & Harlem on Google Maps is a website dedicated to recording and presenting the history of Haarlem in the Netherlands. Part of the project includes a Google Map that features historical landmarks, photographs and historical notes about locations in the city.

If you sign-up as a 'mosquito' (as the natives of Haarlem call themselves) you can add your own memories, history or photos to the map. With you can even create your own map of Haarlem's history.

Via: Nederkaart

Digital Harlem is a Google Maps based portal to explore the history of New York City's Harlem neighborhood. The site uses Google Maps to present information about Harlem drawn from legal records, newspapers and other archival and published sources.

The map includes three buttons which allow you to view historical records from 1920, 1925 and 1930. The panel on the left allows you to search for events, people or places, and generate interactive web maps based on the search results.

Multiple layers of results can be displayed on the same map, and each can be toggled on and off. A series of ready-made 'feature' maps can be accessed from the panel on the right.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Indian Local Places on Google Maps

PlayCez is a great Google Maps based local recommendation engine for India.

PlayCez users can find the best places to eat, shop and hang out in the largest Indian cities. The user interface is very simple to use. Users just need to choose a city and whether they want to eat, shop or hangout. The results are then displayed on a Google Map and displayed alongside the map.

If users select an individual venue they can then read comments about the venue by other users, invite their friends to meet at the venue (via Connect with Facebook) and get directions to the venue.

Currently PlayCez is available for the major cities in India, but has plans to expand to further geographies soon.


Unrest in the Arab World on Google Maps

CNN has created a time-line and Google Map of the unrest sparked by the Arab Spring.

CNN's Unrest in the Arab World allows you to click on individual countries and read an overview of events since the unrest began earlier this year. The time-line presents a chronology of the events from the anti-government protests that started in December in Tunisia up until current events.

Mibazaar's Middle East Protest Tweets Map is a little more immediate. This map lets you read the latest Tweets posted from Libya, Syria, Bahrain, Tunisia, Egypt, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

You can select to view the latest Tweets from the individual countries and sit back and watch as the latest Twitter messages from that country are shown on a Google Map.


Street View Roulette

Here is another clever marketing campaign that used Google Maps to promote the Volkswagen Bluemotion.

To promote the Volswagen Bluemotion's low fuel consumption a competition was created called Bluemotion Roulette. The campaign used Google Maps Street View to turn a real car journey into an online game of roulette.

A Golf Bluemotion drove the E6 Norwegian road with a full tank of fuel. Using Google Maps and Street View entrants were asked to guess where along the road the car would run out of fuel. The prize for guessing correctly was a brand new Volkswagen car.

Unfortunately the campaign website is no longer live but you can see how the campaign used Google Maps in the video above.


Follow the Eighth Marines on Google Maps

One-Eight Basetrack is an experimental media project, tracking the deployment of 1/8 – 1st Battalion, Eighth Marines, throughout the duration of their deployment to southern Afghanistan. A small team of mobile media operators is embedded with the battalion, transmitting their reports and reflections from Helmand province as they travel across the battalion’s area of operations.

The project is using Google Maps with the SIMILE Timeline to provide a navigation aide to the videos, photographs and posts collected by the team on the ground.

The videos of the marines serving their tour of duty in Afghanistan are particular powerful. As photographer Teru Kuwayama says the project creates "a pipeline between 1,000 Marines working in very austere, isolated conditions in southern Afghanistan and connects them to their mothers, their fathers, their wives, their girlfriends, their husbands and their kids."


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Google Map of the Week

Normally the Google Maps of the Week is a round-up of the best maps to have featured on Google Maps Mania in the previous week. This week we have saved the best to last.

Levi's Roadwear is a clever marketing campaign that uses the Google Maps API to help promote Levi's jeans. The application maps out and lets users explore the Levi's Roadwear range of clothes.

The app includes two map layers, 'terrain' and 'denim'. The terrain layer uses custom made map tiles of a sketch of the Roadwear range. If you switch to the denim layer the tiles switch to a photograph view of the clothes.

Using the zoom controls you can zoom in on details in both layers. The app also includes an animated tour of the map that includes videos and photographs of a band, Mermonkey, undertaking a fictional tour around Levi's Roadwear range.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Dead Zones on Google Maps

There are a number of Google Maps based apps tracking where you can receive good cell phone coverage (see Sensorly, OpenSignalMaps, Root Metrics). The Dead Cell Zones Map however is taking a slightly different approach by plotting locations where there are problems in cell phone coverage.

Using the Dead Zones Map you can view which cell phone providers have poor coverage in your location. You can even help improve the effectiveness of the map by adding any dead zones that you know about to the map.


Local Foods & Dishes on Google Maps

One of the great joys of travelling is discovering (and tasting) the local and regional foods and dishes of the places you visit.

If you ever get the chance to travel around England then I recommend you consult The Food Map of England and the UK Food Tourism website.

The Food Map of England is a Google Map that shows the local and regional specialities of food throughout England. For example, if you visit Cheshire, The Food Map of England shows you that Cheshire Onion Pie, Cheshire Lamb Crumble, Cheshire Cheese and Cheshire Pork Pie are all local delicacies that you might want to try.

After finding the local dishes on offer with The Food Map of England you can then consult the UK Food Tourism website to discover local restaurants, and local food markets and festivals. The UK Food Tourism website contains a number of regional Google Maps that allow you to discover locally recommended food centres throughout the UK.


Google Maps Adds New Country Domains

Google Maps is now available on over 40 new country domains. Which means that in total Google Maps can be viewed on more than 130 country domains and supports 60+ languages.

Google country domains. New country domains are in dark green

If you use your country domain rather than then you can view Google Maps not only in your own language but your search results are tailored to your location.

For example, if you are Argentinian you can use and any searches for 'Córdoba' will take you to Córdoba in Argentina and not to the other Córdoba in Spain.

Via: Google LatLong


Friday, August 19, 2011

Google Maps Friday Fun

GTA Meets Google Earth

Top 10 Geography Mistakes
Who would put South American Llamas in Ancient Greece and move Krakatoa to East of Java?

'Hollywood' that's who.

There are another 8 great geography movie mistakes in this list.

Shooting Street View in Ireland

Two weeks ago we had a little look at the strange phenomenon of huge numbers of Google employees appearing on Google Maps Street View. This video shows the Street View car capturing the imagery outside the Google Ireland offices.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Climbing the Matterhorn with Street View

Street View Funny noticed today that the ski runs around Zermatt, Switzerland now have Street View coverage on Google Maps. The new imagery includes this great view of the Matterhorn, above.

The Zermatt images were collected by the Street View snow mobile, which was first used to capture imagery for the 2011 Winter Olympics in Canada.

Skiing in Zermatt is split up into four areas; Sunnegga, Gornergrat, Klein Matterhorn and Schwarzsee. It appears to me that all four main skiing areas have been covered in this new Street View release from Google.