Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Rio Olympics - Inside & Out

This past week both Mapbox and Google have been looking forward to the 2016 Rio Olympics. In doing so they also both playing to their mapping strengths.

Mapbox's Rio 2016 takes you on a mapped tour around the 32 venues of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. The map uses DigitalGlobe's latest high resolution satellite imagery to take you on a guided tour of Rio de Janeiro and the venues being used in the games.

The tour is a pretty neat demonstration of some of the capabilities of Mabox GL. It uses the flyTo function to smoothly interpolate between the different venues and locations in the tour. It also uses bearing to rotate the map view to provide different perspectives on DigitalGlobe's satellite imagery of Rio de Janeiro.

These days the Google Maps API looks very clunky next to Mapbox GL. However Google does still have Street View. This allows Google to show you panoramic imagery from inside the MaracanĂ£ Stadium. I suspect that as the Olympic Park and other venues near completion Google may release more Street View imagery related to the 2016 Olympic Games.

Any new imagery will be available to developers via the Google Maps API, However the Maps API is an afterthought these days for Google and the company seems now to view Google Maps very much as a passive consumer product rather than as a tool for developers.

In preparation for the Olympic Games therefore Google has been concentrating on providing Indoor Maps of the 2016 Olympic Venues. When you zoom in on a 2016 Rio Olympics venue on Google Maps you should now see indoor maps of the arena. At the bottom right-hand side of the map you can use the numbers to navigate between the floors and levels inside the venue. If you select a floor number the map will show an indoor map of the selected level, with points of interest such as concessions, restrooms and ATM's highlighted on the venue plan.

You can see the new indoor maps in action on Google Maps at the MaracanĂ£ Stadium.
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