Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Google Maps of the Week

The Map Developers Award for Innovation this week must go to The Twin Cities Storm Ready Map, an interesting Google Map showing the time-line of a simulated tornado storm hitting Minneapolis–Saint Paul.

The map, created by Minneapolis Public Radio, shows the likely effects of a tornado hitting the Twin Cities and features a really clever time-line control. To navigate through the time-line of the simulated storm the map user just needs to use the browser scrollbar.

As the user scrolls down on the page the Google Map stays stationary in position on the page but the time-line progresses and the scrollbar even initiates events on the map. To achieve this effect the map uses the Waypoints jQuery plugin.

The most shared post on Google Maps Mania this week was the new Made in NY map of New York's digital industry. The map shows the locations of over 500 homegrown startups, investors and coworking spaces across the city.

As well as showing the extent of New York's tech industry, the map can also help you find a position in Silicon Alley. Those companies that currently have positions available are indicated with a 'We are hiring' link in the map sidebar.

Derek Eder's Searchable Map Template with Google Fusion Tables is a free, open source tool that can help you create a searchable, filterable Google Map from a Fusion Table.

The template can create a Google Map pulling in data from any Fusion Table. It includes a number of features, including, an address search (with variable radius), geolocation (automatically center the map on the user's location), results count (using the Google's Fusion Tables API) and the ability to easily add additional search filters (checkboxes, sliders, etc).

Derek Eder's website includes a number of maps created with the template. These include Derek's own maps, mainly centred on Chicago and lots of maps created by others with the template. 

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