Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Google Maps of the Week

The use of timelines can bring another dimension to maps. However creating an effective interface for  temporal elements on a map can be a difficult task. This week we saw two Google Maps that have successfully integrated timeline navigation controls.

From the major flooding in Australia to Hurricane Sandy in the US 2012 seems to have been a year when much of the world was effected by extremes of weather of some sort or another.

CBC News in Canada has created a timeline of 2012 that maps occurrences of extreme weather and the natural disasters that struck during the last year. The Extreme Weather and Natural Disasters Map uses the Google Maps API with the Simile Time-line library.

ArtAround is a Google Map of public art in Washington DC.

The ArtAround map allows the user to search by type of art (murals, statues, street art, museums, etc.) and by location. The map also displays current events and festivals and public art venues. Another interesting feature of the map is the ability to filter the results by date.

A slider control beneath the map allows the user to select dates from a timeline which updates the map to show the relevant results. The slider control is a really useful tool for anyone interested in Washington DC's art history. 

Tonight is Oscars night and Google has released a special Oscars site for this year's award extravaganza.

The site includes a lot of special features, including a tool to predict the winners (based on Google search volumes) and an option to send in a video of your own acceptance speech. At the bottom of the page you can also find a Google Map that lets you explore locations related to this year's Oscar nominees.

Using the map you can explore where the films take place, the home-towns of the male and female nominees and the countries of origin of the films in the best Foreign Language Film.

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