Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Netherlands Google Maps Mashup Roundup

The Dutch Google Maps mashup scene is picking up speed so I'm back with my second Dutch post to round-up all of the recent examples..

Dutch Crime Mashup (Dutch language) - This Google Maps mashup uses a database of police records and lawbreaks and plots them on a map. The motto on the banner of the site indicates that there are "Already more than 62637 crimes" on this mashup. I really dig the icons that are used for the various types of crimes for this mashup. Pin design is often overlooked in most mashups and some time has been spent to make the pin markers interesting and descriptive. [Via Nederkaart]

Dutch Jeans Store Locator - Score.nl is one of the few Dutch businesses harnessing the power of Google Maps to let their prospective customers find their physical stores. Score has 65 stores in the Netherlands, 6 stores in Germany and 5 stores in Belgium and decided to create a Google Maps mashup to help people find one of the 65 locations in the Netherlands. Sharp, stylish map markers show geo-locales and info-windows contain store address and tools to help you map your route to that location. Web 2.0 technolgies are abundant on this retail website and others should take note: Google Video is integrated to show a fashion show of their clothing line, games, blogs and rss feeds are in play, as are Score content widgets for the Mac and PC! For a retail site this is *extremely* interactive! Well done.

Google Maps Mania of The Netherlands: Nederkaart - With interest building in the Google Maps API and other web 2.0 mapping technolgies Remco Kouwenhoven has created Nederkaart, a dutch blog to help you keep up with new mapping examples from the Netherlands that are hitting the web. Since Google Maps Mania can't always report on new examples as they happen Remco is on the scene to help you keep current. We'll hopefully get tips from him in the coming months on the very best to feature here on Google Maps Mania! :)

Other Dutch Google Maps mashups:
The Netherlands Google Maps Sightseeing

Air New Zealand uses Google Maps on its website

Another airline has discovered Google Maps and has integrated it into their website. Air New Zealand makes Google Maps available to prospective kiwi customers planning their flight from New Zealand to destinations around the world (I haven't confirmed if other global Air NZ websites have this functionality yet). To see it in action search for a flight from Auckland to any location on a date sometime in the future. On the following screen click on any of the flight numbers under the "Flight Details" column and info for that flight is displayed along with a "View Map". Click that link and a window opens up with the route plotted on a Google Map for you. It helps you visually display the route that flight will take. It won't show you all legs of a longer journey together though.. You need to choose each flight separately.

This is the second instance of a major airline using Google Maps. In September British Airways made use Google Maps and Google Earth to display hotel locations and special promotional fares (View my post about it here). The BA promotion ended making Air New Zealand the only airline currently using Google Maps on its website. Now.. if only an airline would provide an in-flight version of Google Earth on every plane with a personal viewing screen in the seat! They could display the route tracker, allow passengers to explore the area they are flying over. Thousands of people that could make use of mashups and Google Earth overlays while sitting in a seat for hours on end!!

Other flight related Google Maps mashups:
Related: New Zealand Google Maps Mashups: Part 1 | Part 2

[Thanks to Paul Hellyer of Wellington, New Zealand for the tip!]

America's Safest Cities on Google Maps

USA Today has reported on a new list put out by Morgan Quitno Press which ranks crime rates in US cities titled: "Ranking of least, most dangerous cities". Virender Ajmani decided to focus on the safest cities in that city crime rankings list and has created a Google Maps Mashup showing the top 25 called: America's Safest Cities. For each of the 25 cities he's included a collection of videos and Google Maps searches for the locations of police stations and after school programs. Coming in at #1 is Brick, New Jersey while the top 2 most dangerous go to the cities that recently took part in the 2006 World Series - St. Louis (#1), Detroit (#2).

Monday, October 30, 2006

UK Google Maps Mashup Roundup Part 5

London Tube Journey Planner adds bus routes - The previously mentioned London Tube Journey Planner tool has added a new bus routing search covering 350 bus routes that span 1265 bus stops. Geo-developer Dean Larman-Moore has this to say: "Its no surprise that most routes are quicker by tube but there are some that are quicker by bus Totteridge & Whetstone -> Arnos Grove is one example." Dean has also updated the map view by adding 2 more zoom levels, new satellite and hybrid overlays and a new postcode search.

UK Speed Camera Map undergoes a major update - If you're a motorist in the UK hopefully you have already checked out this mashup by Ben Charlton. It features a total of 10,420 speed and red light cameras mashed up on a Google Map. Of those 3831 are Gatso, Monitron and Truvelo cameras, 5419 Mobiles, 28 Temporary, 158 SPECS and 984 Redlight Cameras. For each camera type you can view the speed limit and camera type. Much of the improvement is due to Ben's update to Google Maps API V.2 (update before Nov/06) for the map.

New: London Random Pub Finder - Going to the same pub week after week? Need some help in finding a new place to grab a pint? Let the new Random Pub Finder choose, then map that pub for you! Better yet, start with this map and choose from one of the pubs plotted on the map of London. There are lots of other pub services aboard this site such as reviews, a pub crawl generator tool and a chain pub guide. Have one for me! :) [Via ProgrammableWeb]

Find the Wolly Mammoth - A promotion from Penguin Books sees a large beast being toured around. Track the progress on this map. [Via ProgrammableWeb]
London For Free - Looking for something to do in London? Check out this map of activities that won't cost anything. [Via ProgrammableWeb]
UK Parking fine hotspots - Read the Channel 4 article here.. - Google Earth is viewing is also available.

Previous Roundup Posts: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Ohio State University + Google Maps


Ohio State University has integrated Google Maps to create a fantastic interactive campus map. A "building filter" lets you toggle the types of amenities and facilities you wish to view on the map. A neat feature is the ability to run a building search, then display it on the map. It works AJAX-style without the page reloading. For an example of this try a search using "Ohio Stadium (ST) (#82)" The search will even auto-complete with the building number which is handy. This is a great mashup for OSU students, faculty and visitors to the campus.

For other Google Campus Maps take a look here..

Google Maps housing and sex offender mashup

Mapping Sex Offenders and Real Estate - A Missouri real estate firm is combining two mashup concepts to make one. 76Realty lets you map the locations of sex offenders in relation to your real estate search. To plot the locations of these individuals users need to check off "Offenders" under the "Search Options" field. Lots of options also exist to narrow down your search and find the right prospective home. It's a good idea and saves those interested from using a housing mashup and a crime/sex offender mashup separately.

Other new US Google Maps mashups:

Philadelphia Dining Info - A Restaurant site that plots locations of each restaurant on a Google Map. [Via ProgrammableWeb.com]
Road Bike Events in California - Info-windows contains a graphic showing altitude/terrain of each ride. [Via ProgrammableWeb.com]
Phoenix New Homes - A real estate mashup for the Phoenix area. [Via ProgrammableWeb.com]
Park Reviews - A mashup of several state and national parks with user reviews. [Via ProgrammableWeb.com]

Sunday, October 29, 2006

France Google Maps mashup roundup Part 4

Renaud Euvrard and other French Google Maps Mania contributors are back to help us learn what's new, mapped and mashed-up in France:

Peuplade creates mass social exchange in Paris (French language) - Renaud explains Peuplade.fr: "..Peuplade (translation :Tribe). The purpose is to improve communication between neighbors, to create a true social exchange between them in Paris." The new version of this site (born in 2003 and limited to a district of the "XVII arrondissement") from now on is opened with all the districts of Paris (in partnership with the "Town hall of Paris", the RATP (Paris Public Transport). Google Maps takes a major places in the website in order to directly visualize the users and the initiatives. Registration is required." (English article about Peuplade)

LogaMap Real Estate Mashup:

Here is a great new french language real estate Google Maps mashup for France that also makes use of Google Earth to display properties. One more new French real estate mashup is: Immobilier France.

Marseilles cycling map (French language) - Vélo Utile is an association which a mission to promote urban cycling in Marseilles, France. The website of the association has integrated a Google map with a lot of information for cyclists in Marseilles. It includes cycle tracks, bike stands, stores and "dangerous spots".

Bicycles in Lyon (French language) - This mashup displays the availability of rental bicycles in the French city of Lyon. Search by district, address or browse locations on the map. Rental bicycles are from the Velov rental service.

Marseille Wiki City Guide (French language) - Marseilleforum (.com) has integrated a wiki-style Google Maps city guide for the city of Marseille called "Marseillais". If you're planning a trip to Marseille be sure to browse around the places that locals consider to be hotspots.

Nabaztag wifi rabbit mashup - Google Earth viewing is here..

French Google Maps Satellite Viewing:

New French language sightseeing site: Baudelet

New Geo-Trotter Feature: Pollution - 5 types of pollution are featured (French language).

More French sightseeing:
Related News article (TF1.fr): Les meilleurs "mash-ups" sur Google Earth et Google Maps

Previous Google Maps Mania France Roundup Posts:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Recent changes to Google Maps

"More Info" on Google Maps:

Google Blogoscoped has tipped us off on a new business search feature on Google Maps. A "more info »" link shows up in each info window for all businesses which are displayed on the map. Once clicked a huge page expands to nearly the entire map view displaying more detailed information options for that business. Three tabs (I could only find 1 for Google Maps UK) are displayed giving you links to official and affiliate websites and other related information. The window opens in a very smooth motion and would be a great addition to many Google Maps mashups that have lots of information to display for each map marker.

Google Organic returning results from Map in organic search results page?
Understanding Google Maps & Yahoo Local - Oct.26/06
This blog post discusses further Google Maps integration with Google search. Full Google Maps URL's are displayed in the list.

Google Maps API updates:

Attention Maps API Developers - As an important reminder, Google plans to shut down API Version 1 in the first week of November. If you haven't upgraded yet, please visit the Maps API upgrade guide.

Zoom Levels 18 and 19 Available in Japan for Maps API v2 Users (Google Maps API Blog - Oct.25/06) - The Google Maps API team has updated the level of detail for Google Maps API sites/mashups. Ted Timmons of Sightseeing with Google Maps (a site that makes use of the Google Maps API) points out that "This makes some sights look fantastic" (Eg: Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Tunnel Air Duct in Water. Check out the detail from Ted's Japan section..

Revision 2.66 of Maps API v2 (Google Maps API Blog (Oct.24/06)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Fly like an eagle on Google Maps

Google Maps satellite imagery is interesting to zoom, pan around on and explore. It's even more cool as a backdrop to a game where you control a bird as it flies over these same images. Okay, so Wings is a copy-cat Google Maps game/time waster to the previously mentioned Goggles flight sim but it does have some differences. First, you're a bird, not a plane and second you can fly through cloud cover. Finally Wings lets you choose from any country and over 2000 cities. All in all it's fun to play with for a few minutes.. Enjoy!

Check out these other Google Maps Games! (look right)

Google Maps find: Large face found on hilltop in Canada

The latest Google Maps satellite image discovery this week comes to us from my home country of Canada. Google geo-spotters have come across what resembles the side profile of a face etched into the top of a flat rock formation, in the hills of Alberta just east of Medicine Hat. Like many of the recent interesting Google Maps sights that have popped and have been discussed from around the blogosphere, this hill-face has also risen to popularity.

Native.. er.. Canadian.

In an effort, I'm sure, to sound politically correct many have described the face as that of an Indian, or "Native American". While that is all well and good, this face is found in Canada, so let's call him a Native Canadian as a technicality. ZDNet blogger Garrett Rogers is about the most accurate in his commentary in this post titled "Face on Earth, why it's interesting". In the post Garrett brings us some interesting facts about the area this is found in and why the face is relevant to the regional history.

Is that an iPod he's listening to?

In fine fashion Sydney Morning Herald journalist Stephen Hutcheon has added some humor to the find by pointing out that it looks like this guy is listening to an iPod. His story in The Herald's Tech section titled "This iPod user rocks" points this out. In reality, this is a road that leads to the area that would be his ear on the profile and the image makes it looks like he's listening to an iPod. Stephen also created a cool little vid that he uploaded to YouTube that uses Google Earth to show you where this face is located. I'm embedding it in the post here:

(If the video doesn't appear below click here..)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

New York City cab fare Google Maps mashup

+ = NYCCabFare.com

Looking for a tool that will help you figure out the cost of a cab ride in New York City? NYCCabFare.com is a Google Maps powered tool that can help! It's pretty easy to use. Just tap two points on the Google Map and wait for the tool to calculate. You can also enter specific address start/end points using a form toward the end on the left side. I tried it out starting from 7th Ave South and W Houston, going to 5th Ave and 42nd (BTW - I'm not from NY) and it provided me the following:

That cab ride would cost approximately $8.94. It is about 3.12 miles.

NYCCabFare notes the following:
Please remember that this number is estimated--many factors, such as traffic and weather, will affect the actual fare. Tips are NOT included in the fare, and they are appreciated. This tool does NOT yet take tolls into account, which are your responsibility. Sorry, this site does not yet support fares outside of the five Boroughs and Newark Airport.


Related: NYC Taxi and Limo Commission

Other recent NYC Google Maps mashups:
Gothamist Maps - Real-time NYC incident mapper
New York City Parking Mashup
New York Post Celebrity Star Map
Breaking down the Manhattan Hotel Scene
NYC Cheap Eats
New York City Google Maps Mashups (More here..)

Halloween Google Maps Mashups

For those of you in a country which celebrates Halloween, you might find these next maps really "do the mash.. The Gooooooogle mash!" :)

A Halloween Mashup - Halloweenmashup is a fun new site pointed out by John Musser over at The ProgrammableWeb Blog. It Google maps Halloween events for locations around the US. It should be a good way to help you find things to do for the days leading up to October 31st. Below the Google Map Yahoo! News is pulling stories for the search term "Halloween + Party", while a Flickr photo stream shows pictures tagged with the words "Halloween costume" to help you with your last minute costume ideas. (In all, this mashup brings together Google Maps, Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Local, Flickr, Upcoming and HostIP). [via]

Platial Map of New York Halloween Events - Here is a helpful mashup of Halloween related events from around New York City. Catch events like "Halloween the Movie Showing" or the "Dog Costume Contest".. There are tons of events mapped along with all the "gory details".

Check out more Platial Maps tagged with the word "Halloween"

Another popular Halloween-related map on Platial:
Map of Unusual Deaths:

An example: 1981: A 25-year-old Dutch woman studying in Paris, Renée Hartevelt, was killed and eaten by a classmate, Issei Sagawa, when he invited her to dinner for a literary conversation. The killer was declared unfit to stand trial and extradited back to Japan, where he was released from custody within fifteen months.

Other Halloween related sights on Google Maps:

Burg Frankenstein in Germany - (From Sightseeing with Google Maps): "..Mary Shelleys novel 'Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus' is named after this castle. Today it is a very famous place for Americans to celebrate Halloween."

World's Largest Bug gets dressed up - (From GoogleSightseeing.com): The World's Largest Bug gets dressed up for Halloween - If you're in this area, swing by to see it!

Arizona Field Maze - (From GoogleSightseeing.com): "..Each Year around Halloween, Arizona'’s Schnepf Farms carve a maze into their 10-acre corn field and in 2004 they decided to forever immortalize Arizona'’s love for talk show hostess Oprah Winfrey."

More Googly Halloween stuff:

Scary Stories on Google [Via The Google Blog]
Google Earth Halloween Mashup

Do you know of any other Halloween related MASHups? If so - drop in a comment below to let others know about it!

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Australia Google Maps Mashup Roundup Part 4

Australia's Gold Coast Google Maps Mashup - Heading to Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast? Goldcoastchat (.com.au), a community portal for news, discussions and business directories has created a fantastic maps mashup of all the great things to do there and in the surrounding area. Tons of pins marking hotels, theme parks and wineries will help you plan your trip. Each map pin features heaps of information and the road maps will help you find your way. [Via ProgrammableWeb.com]

Google Mapping Sydney Beaches - Did you know that there are over 150 beaches in the Sydney metropolitan area? SydneyBeaches.net will help you find all of them using a new Google Maps mashup they've created on their site. It's a pretty basic mashup - locates the beaches and you need to do the rest to find them using Google street maps. Satellite viewing makes this one kind of fun as well to decide if you'd target a particular beach for how it looks.

Meta Real Estate Maps Mashup uses Google Maps & Earth - Here's a new Real Estate Mashup to add to the list in Australia and this one sets itself apart from others by incorporating Google Earth viewing, along with Google Maps. SuburbView.com isn't a mashup of its own database, but rather it searches and plots results from other major Australian real estate sites. For the maps side of things drill down from country, state, city, and then suburb view to explore property listings. As you get down to suburb level, take note on the right side under "Search Results" to view the listings on Google Maps or Earth. SuburbView brings Google Maps to real estate sites that aren't even integrating with it yet!

Other Australian Google Real Estate Maps Mashups:

AUS E-Maps Update:

Previously mentioned Aus-EMaps.com now has a thematic map series: there are now 15 in total, ranging from Google and Virtual Earth street maps, through topographic maps and weather maps to"contextual information", such as points of interests from wikimapia or fire hotspots. Full details on the update here..
Previous Australian Roundup Posts:
Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3

Google mapping bedbugs in Manhattan and Boston

Bedbug City is a new Google Maps mashup which shows Bedbug infestations in New York City and Boston. The creator of this mashup explains the following: "..Especially in the year 2006, bedbug infestations started to increase faster than ever in Manhattan. A recent article published in The New York Times (October 16, 2006 "Everything You Need to Know About Bedbugs but Were Afraid to Ask") about bedbug infestations also points out this problem."

Bedbug City allows people to submit and map infestations in Manhattan and Boston. Right now there are relatively few points on the map but more will be added as people submit. Color coding visualization helps viewers to visualize infestation areas. The creators believe that "this initiative will allow people to take action and create a bedbug free Manhattan."

Google Maps mashups of vets in your area (plus more mashups)

Find a Vet:

If you're a pet owner and are just moving to a new city PetsBest.com has put together a great Google Maps mashup of vet locations. Primarily for the US, search based on zip code, city or state and locations are plotted for you on a map. In a good example of how businesses can use Google Maps Petsbest also shows vets which are providers of their insurance products. I like the interface that has been created - map controls have been graphically enhanced and this mashup is one of the first I've seen that uses the bouncing map markers. Take a look and run a search to see it. All in all it's a useful and user friendly mashup for pet owners!

More US Google Maps mashups:

Google Maps + 20,000 Hotels and Motels [via]
UNC uses Google Maps - More campus maps here..

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

George W. Bush uses Google Maps

This next tidbit comes courtesy of a great find by The Search Engine Watch Blog. In a recent interview on CNBC U.S . President George W. Bush answers questions about his personal use of Google. Source blog ThinkProgress.org quotes the following from the interview:

(View Video Clip here..)

Interviewer: I'm curious, have you ever Googled anybody? Do you use Google?

Bush: Occasionally. One of the things I've used on the Google is to pull up maps. It's very interesting to see -— I've forgot the name of the program - but you get the satellite, and you can - like, I kinda like to look at the ranch. It reminds me of where I wanna be sometimes.

If you'd "kinda like to look at the ranch", you can too!

[Via SearchEngineWatch]

Find a convertible car on Google Maps

If you're looking for a convertible car Stephan Sochoux has created a cool mashup called FindAConvertibleCar that will help you locate one for sale. The car search mashup combines two Google services; Google Base and Google Maps. He has used the API for both services and presents the data on a Google Map for you to browse. FindAConvertibleCar finds cars available on Google Base and lets you search them from the map by make model and year, presenting the results based on price using map markers. To narrow the search even further enter your zip code or search radius in miles. There is also a nifty little slideshow viewer which will show you all pictures for your search as you browse around on the map. (Another mashup utilizing Google Base is FareCompare).

Monday, October 23, 2006

Google Maps mashup of Alexa traffic and BitTorrent trackers


Alexa Movers and Shakers by Country - Amazon-owned Alexa.com is a great service for navigating the web. Offering search and a web directory through its web crawling system, Alexa also uses an installed base of toolbar users to present traffic ratings for millions of sites. I've always been a big fan of the Alexa Movers and Shakers list. It's a great way to find out what's happening on the world "live" web and to see what user trends are happening in terms of web visits. AlexaRadar.com helps to map this list of movers and shakers by using the Google Maps API and Amazon Web Services API to create a mashup called The World Map of Innovation. It takes the Movers and Shakers list and plots sites on the list by country and city onto a Google Map. It's a geo-visual way of browsing the list. Each map pin shows a traffic graph of that site with a link to Alexa to learn more. For a text-based representation of the list, check out AlexaRadar's main page.

I did notice a few usability issues with this mashup that I dropped the developer (Viktors Rotanovs) a line about. I found that panning the map around removes the available pins from the map. If this happens shift the map around a bit and they'll reappear. These are things he has acknowledged and will be fixing up right away. He's also going to be improving the map a bit more with some other features. If you have any suggestions for him, please drop him a line. Since this is a mashup you could potentially visit regularly, expect to see changes as time goes on.

In addition to the Movers and Shakers by country AlexaRadar also presents a Daily Reach Comparison Chart and a Fast Growth Matrix service.
[Via Wavesmash]


Mapping BitTorrent Trackers - If you're a BitTorrent user etorrents.info has created this next mashup that might be of use to you. It geographically maps available BitTorrent trackers from around the world. etorrents notes the following below the map: "..Please note that location of trackers is for illustrative purposes only. It may not, and mostly will not, show exact location of tracker." There is also a place on the site to submit a tracker.

3 New US Google Maps Housing Mashups

Learn about a neighborhood with Neighboroo - Neighboroo could be classified as a real estate map mashup but I think people that aren't even looking for a new home could use it. It features a map layer called "info" that displays color coded shading for things like politics, crime, air quality and population density. You can search the map or simply double click anywhere on the map to retrieve data for that specific area. [Via Digg]

Google mapping Manhattan's luxury buildings - Kushal realized that luxury buildings were hard to find in New York so he created a luxury apartment finder called Luxur(n)y which maps all the starting rents he could find. There's a handy link to source the nearest Starbucks and subway stations for each complex using Google Maps. There's also a nifty graph at the bottom that fluctuates as you center the map to show the price range for rentals. More info on the mashup over at Kushal's blog.. [Via Curbed NYC]

Great Bay Area Real Estate Mashup - Property Listing Maps is a new Google Maps mashup for people looking to buy a home in the Bay Area. Small print at the bottom states that Google Maps API is combining with "11042 listings in 91 cities". Each location shows details of the listing and the listing agent with contact information. There's even info on when the next open house is and the date last updated. [Via ProgrammableWeb.com]

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Google Maps mashups for a Sunday

Here's a neat example of how the Google Maps API doesn't always need to be used to display maps. Markus Dressen lets you grab, drag and snoop around his desk.. AJAX style. It shows that the API can also be used to pan around large images as well. Other alternative uses of the Google Maps API include: World of Warcraft Map, Perplex City Map, Middle Earth Map [Via Foundontheweb]

2006 World Series on Google Maps: Commerica Park (Detroit Tigers) & Busch Stadium (St. Louis Cardinals) - Also, if you're a Tigers fan you might enjoy this Tigers Mashup..

Run Finder - Here's a great run finder and manager tool based on Google Maps. Although this works for any world location the tool automatically centers you on the UK as a starting point. [Via ProgrammableWeb.com]
GeoDistance - Another Google Maps fitness tool that lets runners, biker, walkers, etc to calculate the distance of their route.
Wedding Map Mashup - Planning a wedding? Use this mashup to locate needed wedding professionals. Brides-to-be can also create a personal "wedding atlas" of important people and places.
Biker Mashup - GroupRider.com lets motorcyclists plot and share ride routes. Registration required.