Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Google Maps of the Week

Yarr, Pirate Maps uses the Google Maps API to create a distinct pirate themed map, complete with animated waves, birds and pirate ships. There may not be much serious intent behind the map but I am impressed by the results and the imaginative use of the Google Maps API elevation service and the Google Places library.

One impressive feature on this map is how the ship and wave map markers are only placed in the sea, the sea-gulls only appear near the shore and trees only appear in parks. The elevation service of the Maps API is being used to determine sea and shore locations. The Google Places API is being used to find the locations of parks.

Alex Wellerstein's NukeMap has proved to be a very popular Google Maps mashup.The application allows users to view the likely effect of different sized nuclear explosions on any location in the world, using Google Maps.

Much of its popularity comes from the fun of blowing places up on a map. I mean what could be better than that?

Blowing things up in 3d - that's what. Alex Wellerstein's new app, NukeMap3D, uses the Google Earth browser plug-in to allow users to detonate nuclear bombs on their chosen location and view the effect in glorious 3d.

Now you can view the effect of your dastardly deeds mushrooming above the 3d buildings of the cities you target. If you select the 'animate mushroom cloud' option you can even view a slow motion animation of your bomb exploding.

SaferRoute is an interesting attempt to create a route planner that avoids areas with a record of high crime. Using crime data from Lothian and Borders Police Reports, this Google Maps app will return travel directions, for Edinburgh, Scotland, that try and avoid crime hotpsots in the city.

If you enter two addresses into the app you will be shown a Google Map with two routes highlighted. The safest route is shown in green on the map and the fastest route is shown in red. Beneath the map turn-by-turn directions are also given, with each street on the journey given a safety rating. 

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