Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Building Communities on Google Maps


BuildingBulletins aims to replace traditional bulletin board classifieds that you might find in the lobby of any building. It wants to turn every building into its own social community. By using the site you can connect with the other people in your buildings and create social communities.

The site uses Google Maps to show the location of buildings already connected through BuildingBulletins. The map includes a search engine so you can find if your building has already been entered on the site. If not you can put it on the map yourself.

Selecting a building from the map will take you to that building's dedicated page where you can start or join discussions, plan meets or review the building. The dedicated page also has a Google Map which shows nearby points of interest.


Canadian Google Maps Mashups Roundup

Nuit Blanche Picks Map

Toronto is hosting a Nuit Blanche event this weekend. Nuit Blanche Toronto runs from sunset at 6:55 pm on Saturday, October 3, to sunrise on Sunday, October 4, 2009. The event is a 'playful overnight celebration of contemporary art'. For the occasion the organisers have created a Google Map of events.

Nuit Blanche involves over 130 art projects, so this map is a great way to find out what events are happening and where. The map uses marker clustering so that the user isn't overwhelmed by map markers. Just zoom in closer to reveal the individual event locations.


CrimeReports, with over 500 law enforcement partners across North America, is now also producing a Google Map mashup showing crimes in Ottawa, Ontario.

It is possible to sort the crimes on the map by time and by type of crime. The map uses different map markers for different types of crime.

Via: Mapperz

Broadband Internet Maps

The Government of Canada is trying to bring broadband Internet service to rural Canadians. As part of this process the government needs to know where high-speed Internet access currently exists.

In order to achieve this aim Industry Canada have created a Google Map for Canadians to record their current provision. To give feedback just click on your location and complete the feedback form.

Via: Street View Gallery


Great New Polygons in the Maps API v3

Google have added Polylines and Polygons to Maps API v3 and made some great improvements to their use. Polylines and polygons allow you to draw lines or filled regions on a map, specify stroke and fill styles, and handle events.

Now you can create polygons with holes like in this Pentagon example.

You can also now create vertices with polygons as in this fractal snowflake poly example.

Via: Google Geo Developers Blog


Great Britsh Walks on Google Maps

The Guardian's British Walks Map

If you would like to walk Thomas Hardy's Wessex, the Bront√ęs' moors or even Shakespeare's Stratford then this Google Map from The Guardian newspaper is definitely for you. The map includes nearly 100 walks from all over the UK.

Each walk is listed in the map sidebar and shown with a blue 'g' on the map. If you click on a map marker the information window includes a link to a full description of the walk on The Guardian website.

If you register with Walking World you can also download the walks for portable gps systems.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Google Maps Creation Tool

Mapspread is a Google Maps creation service that allows the user to create maps from spreadsheets,, KML, ESRI Shapefiles or MapInfo TAB files. The creation of maps with mapspread is very easy and the site has a very intuitive user interface.

The video below shows a map being created using mapspread:

If you want to see a map created using mapspread, Pamela Fox has created a map from the Google MyMap being run by volunteers showing the effects of Typhoon Ondoy, in the Philippines. This Ondoy Map has exactly the same data as the volunteer map but uses mapspread's clustering solution to present a tidier looking map.


Create Your Own Augmented Reality


AugmentThis! is a new website that will let you create your own Android Phone Augmented Reality application. Once you install and start the AugmentThis! app for Android you can then view a KML or KMZ file that you have created in an augmented reality view.

The application works with placemarks and paths. You are therefore able to see your created markers and polylines superimposed upon a view of the real world through your phone's screen.

AugmentThis! uses a Google Map as its home screen. Your uploads, and the shared uploads of other users for the area, can be accessed by tapping the map. Call "My uploads" from the menu to get a list of your personal uploads.


Mapping the Fall

New England Foliage Map

Yankee Magazine has produced an interesting Google Map to highlight the changing color of New England's foliage as the northern hemisphere heads into autumn. The map uses colored overlays to show the current state of New England's leaves. If you register you can even make your own foliage report.

The map sidebar includes a number of quick links that zoom into states and specific areas. If you zoom in very closely the map also shows local attractions, restaurants, hotels, shops and events.

The only thing missing is an option to view and add photos.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Help for Typhoon Ondoy Victims

Google Typhoon Ondoy Landing Page

Google have released a landing page for people seeking information about Typhoon Ondoy, which has caused severe flooding in the Philippines. The site compiles relevant information about the disaster, including a volunteer-maintained map of persons needing rescue and a list of relief organizations accepting donations.

The Google Map is being maintained by a group of volunteer map makers. The map documents flood updates and persons needing rescue.

The map includes a form which you can complete if you know someone who needs help urgently or if you would like to report the status of the flood in your area. The information from the form gets sent to the group's main database for posting on the map.


Find Something To Do With Goby!


Goby is a new vertical web search engine with a 'what, where, when' search interface, for exploring new things to do in your free time. The 'what' can be anything from hiking trails, to live music, to museums, to bed & breakfasts, with over 200 categories of travel and free-time oriented content.

Goby scours the web for topics and events, geotags them, and makes extensive use of Google Maps to display and interact with the results. To use Goby you do one search, specifying what you want to do, where you want to do it and when. The returned results include a Google Map of the specified location with all the results shown on the map with numbered map markers.

Goby is a beautifully designed site, with great auto-suggestions for your search queries and great search results!


Australian Public Sector Google Maps

Last week Google Australia announced, in a private ceremony at Parliament House, the launch of a new site called 'Google for the Public Sector'. It is 'a guide to the tools and best practice for the public sector to reach, communicate and engage with their communities'.

Some State and Federal Government Departments are already taking advantage of free Google resources. Today new Aussie Google Maps Mania contributor Arek Drozda, of All Things Spatial, has a look at some of the Google Map applications created to support information content provided on Australian Public Sector sites.

NSW Government Stimulus Snapshots Map

This map shows where and what projects the $62.9 billion Economic Stimulus package will be spent on.

Renewable Energy Power Stations:

Operating and Proposed

Map created by the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts depicting locations of power stations by energy source and providing basic technical information about their operations.

Mapping our Anzacs

Mapping tool developed by the National Archives of Australia to browse 375,971 records of persons in the Australian Army during World War I, according to the their place of birth or enlistment.

Australian Indigenous Languages Database (AUSTLANG)

Map created by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies with information on 1,143 different Indigenous languages and dialects.

Australian places on the World Heritage List

Map created by the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts showing 28 World Heritage listed locations with links to more extensive information about each place.

This post first appeared in All Things Spatial.


Carbon Footprints on Google Maps

Working out the carbon footprint of a product is partly about working out the supply chain of its constituent parts. What better way to visualise the geographical journeys of the supply chains of a product than via a Google Map.

SourceMaps lets you build Google Maps showing the supply chains of products, a journey, the ingredients of a recipe or even the items in your shopping basket. Or, as SourceMaps put it, "people have the right to know where things come from and what they are made of."

This video gives a good overview of the type of maps that you can create with SourceMaps.

Sourcemap is an open source project. Anyone can create their own source map and anyone can embed a created source map in their own web page or blog.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mapping the Dubai Metro

Dubai Metro Map

Dubai's new Metro system also has a shiny new Google Map showing the location of the red and green line and the Metro's stations.

Clicking on any of the station map markers opens an information window with details about bus connections available from that station, which fare zone the station is in and whether parking is available. The map also includes coloured overlays showing the fare zones of the Metro.


The Dubai Metro Map was created using the UMapper web-based map authoring application. It also makes use of one of UMapper's funky new map markers.

UMapper have released a new community designed icon set. The icons are a part of an open source Map Icons project and are available for download under the GNU General Public License v3.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Making Love on Google Maps

I Just Made Love Map

If you've just made love and you want to shout about it add yourself to this Google Map. This mashup uses Google Maps to show the locations in the world where people have just made love.

You can add your own marker to the map by right clicking on the map, choosing 'indoors' or 'outdoors' and leaving a comment. The map is available in a number of languages, you can set a language by clicking on the appropriate set of panties at the top right of the screen.

It is possible to view the results for the last hour, day, week, month or for all time. At the time of writing the map is showing 6,426 couples have made love. This is a very tiny percentage of the world's population, so 2009 was obviously not the Summer of Love.

Real-Time Cigar Smoke on Google Maps

Carillo Twitter Map

E.P. Carrillo is a soon to launch cigar manufacturer. As a placeholder for the company website E.P.Carillo have created a Twitter & Google Maps mashup, to show Tweets in real-time that mention the word "cigar" anywhere in the world.

The main website will launch in October and will also use a Google Maps interface. The new site will feature a Google Map which will feature a "Places To Smoke" layer to allow cigar fans to upload their favourite spots for enjoying cigars.

The new site will also feature a geographic journey showing the process of a cigar's manufacture, from the tobacco farms in the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Honduras and Ecuador to the E.P. Carrillo factory in the Dominican Republic where the cigars are rolled.


New Photo Markers in ACME Mapper

ACME Mapper

Jef Poskanzer's ACME Mapper provides additional mapping layers and functionality to Google Maps that are not currently available in the standard Google Maps interface (as well as some that are):
  • Topo and DOQ mapping layers (from TerraServer's Web Services)
  • Map scale that automatically adjusts as you zoom out
  • A "crosshairs" widget that shows you exactly where you are centered
  • Print, Email, 'Link to this page' functions
  • A box showing exact coordinates of the center of the map, in your preferred format
  • Nearby placenames from where the map is currently centered
Jef has now added Flickr and Panoramio photographs to the map. To view the Flickr and Panoramio photos on the map click on 'options' and select the correct checkboxes.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Finding a Clean Restaurant on Google Maps


CleanScores rates restaurants based on the scores given to the restaurant by local health inspectors. The site currently rates over 200,000 restaurants all over the US.

It is possible to search for restaurants by name and location. For each restaurant CleanScore shows its location on a Google Map, with nearby restaurants also shown. The cleanest restaurants are awarded five stars. Restaurants that score one star are ones that you want to give a wide berth.


Greek Google Maps Mashups Round-Up


Tavernoxoros is a Google Maps mashup showing the location of all the taverns, restaurants and fast food restaurants in Thessaloniki, Greece (and there is a lot of them). It is possible to search for individual restaurants or to select categories of restaurant to view on the map.

It also possible to sort the restaurants and taverns by those with disabled access, tables outside, live music and those open 24 hours.


Gr-Navigator is a local business Google Maps mashup for the whole of Greece. The map is designed to help you quickly find what you want from a large base of real estate, rental rates, hotels, businesses and services.

It is also possible to search the map by business type or location. It is possible to search for businesses directly from the map, as the map automatically updates the markers as you pan and zoom the map.


The National Technical University of Athens has a number of Google Maps and GIS mashups that have been developed as part of their courses on GIS.

The plan is to add to the already large list with mashups produced by the university's students.


Foraging with Google Maps

Autumn is a great time to go foraging for wild berries and fruits. is a collaborative Google Map that wants to show the best locations to forage for edible plants in your area. The aim of the map is to provide a graphic illustration of the abundance of useful wild plants, and offer a way for people to reconnect with their food, craft, and nature.

Currently the map has a few foraging locations in the UK but, as this is a user contributed map, it will improve with more registered users. The map markers for each location reveal what edible plant is available and lists the medicinal and edible uses of the plant.


Friday Fun With Google Maps

Mobile Phone Location Problems
What happens when maps on your mobile go wrong:

Solving Those Cycling Location Problems

Avoiding McDonalds
Weather Sealed have created a cool heat map of McDonalds' locations in the United States. They also worked out the spot in the US that is further from a McDonalds than any other location.

If you want to get away from it all, Mibazaar has mapped the location.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Place Pages New Feature for Google Maps

Google Maps have today released a new feature called Place Pages. Google say,

"a Place Page is a web page for every place in the world, organizing all the world's information for that place. And we really mean every place: there are Place Pages for businesses, points of interest, transit stations, landmarks, and cities all over the world."

To get to a Place Page you can click on the 'more info' link that appears when you carry out a search in Google Maps.

Alternatively, you can click on the 'more info' link that appears in the information window from a search result.

The place pages for locations include geographically relevant Panoramio photos, YouTube videos, user created My Maps, a list of the top My Maps contributors for the location and a list of popular places.

Each Place Page also comes with a user friendly URL, in the form,

As well Place Pages for towns and cities there are Place Pages for businesses, points of interest, transit stations and landmarks, e.g.

The Eiffel Tower
Macy's, New York

Via: Google LatLong: One place, one page


Motorbikes, GPS, YouTube & Google Maps

Atlas Rider

Atlas Rider is a blog about one motorbike enthusiast's biking adventures. The blog features Google Maps showing Atlas Rider's touring log and destination log. More excitingly though the blog also contains a number of video and Google Maps mashups.

The maps show videos of some of Atlas Rider's bike runs synchronised with Google Maps. As you watch the video the location in the map is automatically updated.

Atlas Rider was recently interviewed by Hak5. In the video below Atlas Rider talks to Hak5 about how he shoots the video, how he grabs the GPS of his ride and how he synchronises the video with Google Maps (Atlas Rider starts at 2 mins 44 secs),


Danish Digital TV Coverage Map

Forside Digital TV

From the 1st November 2009 Denmark is switching over to digital television. Anyone who only has an analogue aerial must switch to digital before that date if they wish to continue watching TV.

To help with this switch-over Forside has produced this Google Map showing the coverage of the new digital signal. If you are within the green area on the map you should get a good signal. The yellow area indicates a weaker service and if you are in the red, then basically you should sell your TV set on e-bay.


Searching for a Condo

Livehigh Condo Search

Toronto condo website Livehigh are using a Google Maps mashup to show the locations of condos in Toronto.

The map uses custom map marker, the blue markers represent new condos and the red markers represent completed condos. The user can filter the display based on different criteria, both with check boxes and via an advanced search feature.

The map was developed for Livehigh by 9th sphere, a Toronto based web design and development company.


Find a Coffee & Donut on Google Maps

Tim Hortons Map

Looking for a coffee and a donut? This Google Map mashup from Planet Eye will ensure that you can always find your nearest Tim Hortons.

The map shows the location of all Tim Hortons locations, as listed on the Tim Hortons website. The map can be broken down into two sections, Tim Hortons with a drive-through, and those without.

Also See

Findbyclick's Tim Horton's Map

Planet Eye

Planet Eye is a travel website with some great city guides and travel planning tools. The site includes a number of travel maps. This page contains travel maps of Paris, Niagara Falls and Las Vegas. The maps show the location of local sights, hotels, restaurants and places to visit.

Using Planet Eye you can even create your own travel map (hence the Tim Hortons map above).


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sydney Dust Storm YouTube Google Map

Sydney Dust Storm Video Map

New Australia contributor to Google Maps Mania Arek Drozda has put together a compilation of YouTube videos of the dust storm that hit Sydney this morning. The dust storm was the biggest to have hit the area in living history.

Inspired by Arek's compilation I decided to put together this Google Map of some of the YouTube videos of the storm that have included a location in the video description.

Check out Arek's blog All Things Spatial for more Australian related Google Maps mashups.


Google Map Doodles

Big Doodles

Aussie doodler Felicity Stella has created an inspired website that presents her doodles via the Google Maps API. What's more you can send your own doodles to Felicity and she will create a Google Map of your scribblings for you.

Each doodle gets its own Google Map, so you can explore each picture with the Google Map's panning and zooming tools. Details about each doodle are presented underneath the map. Many of the doodles also include a statement that gives a little information about how and when the doodle was created.

Via: Programmable Web


City Guides on Google Maps

HGTV's Front Door

The HGTV website has a real-estate search engine for the USA. The site also includes a large number of city guides. Each city guide includes an 'Explore' section that features a Google Map with a huge amount of local information for home buyers.

The local information is in a number of selectable categories, including education, entertainment, food, recreation etc. Each of the categories are subdivided, for example under food it is possible to select cafes, fast food, grocery stores and restaurants.

If you are a house buyer looking to find out about the amenities in a new neighbourhood then the HGTV Frontdoor Map should prove extremely useful.


Everyone's Going Solar on Google Maps

1BOG: Community Solar Buying Initiative

Yesterday Google Maps Mania featured the Solar Energy Enquiries Google Map mashup that shows all the enquiries they have received for solar power technology. 1BOG quickly got in contact to say they have a similar map showing the locations of people who are installing solar panels.

One Block Off The Grid (1BOG) organises home-owners into communities to negotiate group discounts for home solar panel installations. The 1BOG website features a Google Map that shows where people have signed up and where they have actually gone solar.

The map features three colours of map markers (in the shape of bogmen), yellow, orange and blue. The green markers show people who have signed up to the site, the orange markers show those who have installed solar panels and the blue markers represent volunteers.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Travel Guides on Google Maps


Ruba is a new travel site which uses Google Maps extensively to match relevant and nearby travel search results to users. Each of the user-generated travel guides on Ruba includes a Google Map showing each destination in the guide.

Ruba also features a rather cool animated Google Map on its home page. This map animates through some of the featured tours uploaded to Ruba.

Here are some direct links to Ruba guides:

iPhone & Google Maps Travel Game

Gowalla is a location-based social network with an interesting game attached. The site uses the iPhone to check your movements and to allow you to share your experiences of locations with your Facebook & Twitter friends.

The game element involves checking in at featured locations and getting your virtual 'passport' stamped and earning rewards.

The video below explains the concept a little better:

Gowalla uses Google Maps to show the location of each featured spot.

Via: TheNextWeb


Live Twitter Trends Google Maps


Trendsmap is an awesome real-time map of Twitter trends across the world. The map shows recent trends on Twitter live on a Google Map for any location that you choose.

Move the map and zoom in on any location and the Twitter trends shown on the map will update in real-time. The map is live, so if you leave the map zoomed in on one location you can see the trends growing and changing on the map over time.

When you click on a trend you can see the Tweets updating in the trends window. For each trend clicked on it is also possible to review a trend graph so that you can see the peaks and troughs of that trend over time, both locally and globally. Pictures that have been posted about that trend will also appear in the window.

If you click on the trend topic itself in the window (the large header at the top of the window) the map will change to a global view and show where in the world that topic is currently trending. About 500 cities around the world also have their own pages. If you click on a city name in the trends window you will be taken to a dedicated page for that city.


Who in the USA is Using Solar Energy?

Solar Energy Enquiries

Cooler Planet run a free service to help the public find green businesses and service providers in their area. Cooler Planet have taken all of the solar energy inquiries that they have received over the last few years and have produced an animated heat map, showing where those enquiries have come from.

To animate the map select 'Time Lapse' and the map will add all the enquiries, quarter by quarter, from 2007 to 2009. Areas that have made the most enquiries appear in red on the map.

Many of the locations that have made the most enquiries to Cooler Planet, such as Denver, Boston and cities in California are areas that have introduced local rebates on top of the federal tax credit for installing solar technology.

Google Maps Mania have previously featured Cooler Planet's The History of Solar Power Installation in California. This map shows the increase in solar power installations in California since 1999.


Croatian YouTube Google Map Mashup


RovinjTube is a YouTube mashup that embeds videos of the beautiful fishing port of Rovinj, Croatia on a Google Map.

The videos featured on the map are all professionally shot tourist videos. There are a number of categories of video to watch, which can be chosen from a slide out animated tag-cloud. The categories include events, culture and live music. There are also videos of local hotels and camp-sites.

Rovinj certainly looks a great place to spend a vacation. And, if you are planning on visiting Croatia you should also check out:


Monday, September 21, 2009

New Rival for Google Maps

Claire Murray Map of Edinburgh

It looks like Google has a new rival in the world of on-line mapping. Despite Google's billions, its huge space rockets and satellite department, its gargantuan fleet of street view cars and trikes and the dedicated help of the world's map makers it is unable to compete with one lone wee Scottish lassie.

Claire Murray is the creator of a hand drawn map and guide to Scotland's capital city, which you can buy for only $10. The guide includes: where to find the best breakfasts; real pubs; fancy cocktails; what to do on a rainy day; how to conquer Arthurs Seat and a hell of a lot more.

Now Claire has used the Google Maps API to present her hand drawn map of Edinburgh on-line. The map uses the Google Map controls so it is possible to zoom in on the lovely detail of Claire's map, for example the naked ladies next to the Blue Blazer.

Claire has definitely raised the bar here. Google will have to up their game if they wish to compete in the on-line mapping world. Well, at least in Edinburgh.


Twitter & Flickr Google Map


GeoImpress let's you search for Flickr photographs and Tweets from any location in the world. This is a very crowded market to enter. There have been more Google Map mashups that use Flickr than any other website, with Twitter mashups catching up fast.

However GeoImpress does indeed impress, thanks to its wonderful design. Flickr photographs are shown below the map in an animated slide panel that can be lowered or raised as you need to use the map. Clicking on a photo thumbnail will open that picture in a lightbox.

Another really nice feature is the precision slidebar that lets the user define how close to the set location they wish to search. So, for example, if you set the location to Times Square you can get the map to display photos and Tweets from Times Square, or widen the search to get results from the outlying district or widen out further to include the whole city or state.

Yep, I'm impressed.


Mapping the World's Major Liners

Tropical Ports

Tropical Ports is a website that contains information about cruise ship port schedules for most of the major cruise lines of the world. The site features Google Maps of the world's ports and the live real-time location of a large number of cruise ships.

It is possible to search for an individual cruise ship and view its location and route directly on a Google Maps mashup. The ship's scheduled route is shown with a red line and each port of call is indicated with a flag map marker. The current position of the ship is shown with a ship shaped marker.

It is also possible to see the route of each ship's next and previous voyage.

Other Marine Google Maps Mashups


Cycling and Walking Journey Planner

New Zealand Journey Planner

The Greater Wellington Regional Council, New Zealand have created a cycling and walking journey planner for the those places that Google Maps just don't go.

The site provides directions for streets but also for walking tracks through parks and reserves. A custom routing engine was created for the map to provide directions for places that Google doesn't cover.

The map includes a predictive search address lookup of all the street addresses in the region. After you have searched for directions, the route is draggable. The map also shows an elevation graph and a calorie counter for the route.

The map was developed for the the Greater Wellington Regional Council by New Zealand based Google Maps development company ProjectX.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Snapshot Your Google Maps

Snapshot Control

Masashi Katsumata, a Japanese Maps API expert and creator of the Japanese language website Googlermania, has created an excellent utility for the Google Maps API called SnapshotControl.

The utility allows map developers to add a 'snapshot' control to their maps. The control is a button that can be added to a map that will create an image of the current map using the Google Static Maps API v2.

If you are not a developer you can still use some of the example maps that Masashi has created to demo his utility. In particular the Driving Directions demo could be very useful. With the driving directions map you can enter your starting and finishing locations, get your driving directions and then get a 'snapshot' of the route (great for printing out and using off-line).

Via: Google Geo Developers Blogs


Map of Geographical References

Inside Google Books
The Inside Google Books blog has produced a number of interesting maps based on the frequency of locations mentioned in books during different decades in the 19th century.

The maps below show the number of times a location is mentioned across all of the books in Google Books Search. The maps were created using MapReduce and Bigtable





As the Inside Google Books blog points out the maps show the growth and westward expansion of the United States in the 19th century.