Sunday, December 02, 2012

The Google Maps of the Week

This week I was really taken back by the beautiful Route Map from Plane Finder. The map is a gorgeous visualisation of where you can fly from different airports around the world. For me this map really demonstrates some of the advances made in the Google Maps API over the last couple of years.

The screenshot above doesn't do this map justice.You need to open up the map and then click on any of the airports displayed on the map - that's when the beauty happens. After clicking on an airport neon lines fly out from the airport to show all the destinations that you can fly to from that location.

The Beat
is one of those great ideas that you just can't help wishing that you had thought of yourself. There are a lot of Google Maps based Instagram apps but I think that this is the first one I've seen which has made the inspired choice of using Street View. How better to convey the sense of where a photograph was taken than to show you what it looks like with Google's 360 degree panoramic imagery.

Using The Beat it is possible to view photographs submitted to Instagram on top of a Street View of the location where the picture was taken. If you enter a hashtag search into The Beat you can just sit back and watch as a stream of Instagram images, placed on top of Street View, plays on your monitor.

There has been a huge increase in the clever use of Street View in marketing campaigns this year. It is easy to get a little blasé now about marrying animation and live video with Google Maps Street View but this new Christmas marketing campaign from Stella Artois is incredibly well done.

Stella Artois' Christmas Carole app on Facebook allows you to enter an address and then creates a video in which a band visits the address and plays you a song. The Street View of the address is used as a backdrop to the video so that it appears that the band is actually playing in your street.

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