Sunday, December 09, 2012

The Google Maps of the Week

#freeandopen is a real-time Google Map showing where people around the world are pledging to support the Take Action campaign for a free and open Internet.

The #freeandopen Google Map shows in real-time the location of people making the pledge.The map uses the Google Maps API styled map feature to produce a white and grey base map. The neutral base tiles combined with colorful custom makers gives each pledge a visual impact on the map.

Each marker also has a little animation when it first appears on the map to highlight the number of pledges being made around the world, in real-time.

The In My Backyard (IMBY) tool, from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, helps users to estimate how much electricity can be produced by installing solar panels. It also provides information on the likely installation costs, tax credits, the dollar value of the electricity that will be generated and the number of years it will therefore take to pay back the installation costs.

This map makes great use of the Maps API's Drawing Library to provide tools that allow the user to draw polygons on top of their house, shown using the Google Maps satellite layer. Once the user has selected their roof on the map The In My Backyard calculator provides a detailed report on the likely benefits of installing solar power and also allows the user to compare the estimated solar electricity production with the user's current electricity consumption.

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