Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Google Places Playground

Recently I've been playing around a bit with the Google Places Library in the Google Maps API. I've started two projects which I think are kind of interesting. The thing is I kind of get excited about map ideas and want to see if I can make them work, only to lose interest when I develop a working map.

So here are a couple of map projects that could lead to interesting applications if anyone else wants to borrow the ideas and run with them:

One interesting idea is to combine indoor Street Views with the Google Places Library to create a bar and restaurant review website. The Indoor Bars & Restaurants map uses the indoor Street Views of a number of London bar and restaurants and then overlays the name, address and rating of the establishment from the Google Places Library.

I like the idea of a bar and restaurant finder that allows you to preview the inside of the establishment before visiting. A fully workable application however would take far more time to develop than I would be personally prepared to commit.

The inspiration for this idea came from See Inside PDX, a great collection of indoor Street Views created by Google Business Photographers in Portland.

Another interesting idea is to use the Google Places Library to create a cartoon styled map. Iso World uses the Google Places Library to locate local stores, bars and churches and then identify them on the map with isometric cartoon buildings. If you have any old isometric buildings lying around on your hard drive then why not create your own cartoon map?

The inspiration for this was Yarr, Pirate Maps which similarly used the Google Places Library to identify the location of parks and add palm trees to them on a pirate themed map.

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