Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Google Maps of the Week

This week I was particularly impressed by two innovative uses of the Google Maps API.

The Custom Street View option has been available in the Maps API for a while but I still haven't seen many great examples of developers creating their own custom Street Views. The Metapanoramas Project grabbed my eye this week. Not only does it use the Custom Street View function but it has invented a whole new use for it


The Metapanoramas Project is an amazing experiment that uses the Google Maps API to create 360° degree Street View paintings. It is a project which, in the words of the artist, "expands the two-dimensional limits of traditional painting".

The viewer of the artwork is not limited to a static view of the painting. The paintings can be explored as you would explore a Google Maps Street View. You can pan around 360° degrees, you can pan up and view the sky and you can pan down to view the ground. Amazing!


Another aspect of the Google Maps API that I feel is underused by developers is the now quite large coverage on Google Maps of 45°(Bird's Eye) aerial satellite views. Google Guns is an impressive tank fighting game that takes full advantage of Google Maps' 45° satellite views.

You can choose from a number of pre-set battlefield locations for your tank fight. After you have selected the location the four tanks in your army are displayed at the bottom of a Google Map. The enemy tanks attack in waves from the top of the screen.

Your job is to kill the endless waves of enemy tanks.
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