Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Google Maps of the Week

Probably the most discussed and shared Google Map of the last week was also the simplest. Earth at Night 2012 may be just a map containing a simple image overlay - but what an overlay.

Last week NASA released a spectacular 'Black Marble' image of the Earth from space. The image differs from NASA's famous Blue Marble image of the Earth in that it shows the world at night. In this view only the lights of the Earth's cities can be seen.

The map is illuminating in more than one way. It helps to show the location of Earth's major urban centres, it is useful to astronomers in showing areas with high levels of light pollution and it also glaringly shows how much more light pollution there is in the northern hemisphere than the south.

BlockAvenue has graded every neighborhood and city block in the country for the quality of life on offer. The grade for each block is based on a number of factors that are important in determining the quality of life in an area, such as crime statistics, the availability of public transit and the number and the quality of local restaurants and stores.

The BlockAvenue Google Map uses lettered map markers to show at a glance the grade for each city block. If you like the grade given to a particularly block you can zoom in on the neighborhood and discover the locations of local cafes, restaurants and other points of interest.

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