Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Google Maps of the Week

This week Google Maps Mania featured some great maps, so it has been difficult to resist the urge to just list them all. The two sites that I have picked are both great examples of how the Google Maps API can be used creatively as a presentation and marketing tool.

Which is kind of a roundabout way to say the my maps of the week this week aren't even maps.

The Production Kitchen has created a very unique Google Maps based landing page, breaking new ground in its use of custom map tiles. Whilst the use of hand-drawn custom map tiles might not be new The Production Kitchen's animated map tiles are an innovation that really takes the Google Maps API to another level.

The map itself is a numbered guide to creating the perfect cake. Each stage to the perfect cake has its own little animation. Stage number nine includes a little game in which you can toss a ball of dough between two spoons.

The hand-drawn design of the map even extends to the map controls, with hand-drawn pan and zoom controls. The map side bar ('Quick Jump') includes handwritten numbered links that instantly pan the map to the different stages in creating your perfect cake.

Every year PNC Bank shows the current cost of each of the gifts mentioned in the song The Twelve Days of Christmas and compares the cost to previous years. This year the PNC Christmas Price Index has created a fun Google Maps Street View game to explore the current cost of the twelve gifts.

The game takes the user on a journey around the world using Street View. For example, to find out the cost of two French doves you need to visit the Eiffel Tower on Street View and find and feed two hungry birds. Complete the puzzle and this year's price of two French doves is revealed.

And in case you missed my round-up of the best maps of the year:

The Google Maps of the Year - Part One
The Google Maps of the Year - Part Two

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