Monday, April 24, 2006

Big News: Google Maps street maps for ALL of Europe!

Some loyal Google Maps Mania readers have tipped me off on some big news in the world of Google Maps - Street maps for all of Europe! What a surprise people will have when they wake up on Tuesday morning! Not only are street level maps now available (in addition to the satellite maps available previously) but so are driving directions! Google Maps Mania is about to erupt with more new mashups to come from this area of the world! :)

Update: Check the comments section for more information about the updated street map data in various parts of Europe as observed by many readers.

[Thanks to Frank and Stefan for the tip!]

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Build your own Google Photo Map with a GPS-equipped camera

(GPS Camera) + Maps
= Easy Photo Mapping
(link now dead)

Tim Vidas has a great description (link now dead) of how he was able to equip his Ricoh D200 with a GPS unit to easily Google Map pictures he takes with it. He explains that "The tagging of GPS data into the Exif of each picture is a really nice novelty for me". More from his How-To:

The Sales folks as Red Hen informated me that the adapter would come with some sort of mapping software, and when it didn't I called them up and was informed that it's 'not quite ready' and they'd email be about beta testing (evidently the sales teams information didn't quite jive with the software team). So I set out to create my own, and as it turns out, with only a Image::ExifTool, the Google Maps API and a little over a hundred lines of PERL, I have a script that given a directory of images, will create the GMaps htm, the associated XML for the GPS points and extract thumbnails from the pictures themselves. All that's left is to upload everything to a web directory!

On his page he has posted the source code for you to be able to do this yourself, and even makes his custom map pins available to anyone that wants to use them!

A possible way to take this a step further would be to somehow tie this into a PocketPC with a mobile data plan on it that would allow you to wirelessly transfer these photos the second they are taken to a server that automatically Google-maps them with this app running. This way you could snap photos and have them instantly viewable for people looking at your real-time Google Photo-Map. It will only be a matter of time before this is possible. Camera companies like Ricoh or Canon could do this in partnership with mobile carriers, or perhaps mobile phone handset manufacturers could just add the GPS feature to picture phones and mobile carriers could just build a service offering around it? Fun stuff. I can't wait for this all to be a little easier to do.