Sunday, September 30, 2007

Google Maps + Firefox Add-on = Minimap Sidebar!


The Google Maps Minimap Sidebar for Firefox:

Are you a Firefox user that is constantly using Google Maps? A new Firefox add-on called Minimap Sidebar is a brilliant tool that makes it easy to instantly mash up web page content with Google Maps mapping features. For example you can very quickly map out text-based addresses by copying the address and mapping it from the right-click menu or by dragging the copied text directly to a landing box. Build an entire map by repeating the process for many addresses then add KML links, local search results, directions or jump out and view the map in Google Earth. If you're finding yourself switching between Google Maps and another browser window of non-mapped addresses, this Firefox add-on might be the answer!
[via WIRED]

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

35,000 World News Videos on a Google Map

MediaScrape, the "Internet TV News Network" has just launched integration with Google Maps to help users find breaking news videos from around the world. MediaScrape is a Google NewsMap which is partnered directly with broadcast news outlets such as the BBC, CBC, Asia News International and 25 other outlets and has the ability to play some 35,000 news clips from its vast database. To get started click on a region to see top news clips plotted to a Google Map based on their specific location. You can also select "Videos by country" to drill down to a specific country rather than by continent. Other video sharing capabilities such uploading, video management and site customization exists when you register for an account on the site.

More details about MediaScrape can be found within this recent press release:
MediaScrape(TM) Integrates Google Maps and Adds Broadcasters

3 new US real estate and roads Google Maps mashups

A new twist on the Craigslist housing mashup - Matthew Hill has added a new dimension to the Craigslist housing mashup UI. After selecting a city on you're met with a jigsaw puzzle of the areas for that city. When you click one of these regions, listings can be sorted within that area by when they were added (Today, Yesterday or 2-6 days ago). Kind of a nice way to get an idea of how fresh a listing is.

RoadPetition lets you make your case by map - From the site: "..Use this site to find that annoying traffic light, stop sign, roadway, or intersection and make people aware of the problem! Leave a comment or just rate the location. Even create a petition or sign one if it already exists."

HoustonTexasRealEstate Map - Browse housing listings by neighborhood (Look to the bottom of the page for the map)

..These above real estate mashups would make for great My Maps content!


Monday, September 24, 2007

Google mapping the PlayPumps drinking water solution

PlayPumps International is a non-profits that is doing something so unique and for the greater good of the world that you can't help but get very excited. They install merry go-rounds that when they are played on by children also double as water pumps. The more kids spin around on them, the more water that gets pumped and more they solidify themselves as sustainable sources of clean drinking water. PlayPumps International has created a Google Map of some of their installations in South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zambia. Each point on the map will provide details about the playpump and also provides links off to more information so you can learn more. To get a better idea about how playpumps work, check out this YouTube clip :

Be sure to also check out the Official PlayPumps Website for more information or to make a donation to their cause!

6 new US Google Maps mashups

Best of 2007 + Google Maps = CitySearch Map
Here's a great mashup for anyone looking for the very best eats, shopping nightlife and more in 40 cities in the US. Start by choosing a city, then category and type of business. The Best of 2007 results for that search are then displayed on the map! [

Unofficial Amtrak Google Maps Mashup - A fantastic Amtrak route and station map!
via] ____________

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mashing up the Australian and Ontario elections

Google Australia has launched a unique Australia Federal Election mashup to let residents there "organise, find and share Australian election information." It features mashed up content from YouTube, Google News, ABC News that is all able to be pulled in using Google Maps, Search, iGoogle, Google Earth and more. A post about the mashup from the Google Blog explains that "voters can have an intimate look at the parties, candidates and election issues, all in one Google location."

Google Maps is the centerpiece of this site, allowing you to add election content to your own My Maps tab on Google Maps. Search for things like electoral boundaries and polling booths based on your postcode and learn more about candidates through embedded YouTube videos. It's a great way to learn more and become a more educated voter. This article in the Sydney Morning Herald examines the candidate's take on the place the Internet is taking in the election process.

Meanwhile in Canada the Toronto Star Online (long a pioneer in Google Maps news mashups) has created a tool that will let you enter your address to locate your local riding for the upcoming Ontario provincial elections:

Google Maps is facilitating great map based tools all over the world that are making it easier to become a more active and informed voter!

Here are more examples:

Friday, September 21, 2007

New Google Maps mashups and links for 2007-09-21


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Google Transit, Google Maps transit stop icons updated

Google Transit has been updated to include 5 new US transit networks:

Google Transit is a Google Maps powered tool that lets you "create your own transit trip, complete with itineraries and maps". You simply enter your start and end points and Google Transit uses transit schedules and the time of day to determine your best path to get there, in the most efficient way possible (transit, walking etc..).. For more on the service check here for more details.

With the announcement of these updates by Chris Harrelson, a Software Engineer on the Google Transit Team, also comes another transit related announcement for Google Maps: New cities have been added that feature transit stop icons directly on Google Maps: Dublin, Ireland and Linz, Austria, and 12 cities in Germany: Augsburg, Bielefeld, Bochum, Bunde, Dresden, Jena, Karlsruhe, Kassel, Lubeck, Mainz, Rostock and Trier.

[Via The Google LatLong Blog]

Google Maps Mashups: Mexico, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Belize

Puerto Vallarta Hotel Map (Mexico) - This mashup for the vacation hotspot of Puerto Vallarta will let you scope out resorts, view photos and check hotel information.

Punta Cana Hotel Map (Dominican Republic) - This tourism mashup shows accurate locations of resorts in the Dominican Republic vacation destination of Punta Cana. Includes photos, hotel information, and useful links.

The creator of both of these above mashups has this to say about the effort to create them: "Both mashups were labor intensive since all hotel databases had inaccurate lat/lon for many hotels. So my solution was to zoom in and look for each hotel. But since we are looking at rooftops, it was difficult to determine which property was which. I finally found the one characteristic that is unique for each hotel - the odd shaped (and unique!) swimming pools that both destinations have!"

Barbados By Map:

Barbados By Map is a great mashup that will help you get acquainted with this island nation. If you're heading to Barbados on holiday locate Airports, Towns/Villages, Beaches, Cultural Centers, Dive Sites, Golf Courses, Natural/Eco Attractions, Nightclubs and many more attractions and places of interest. If you're planning on staying at a resort, use this mashup to get a little adventurous and plan an excursion of your own! [Via ProgrammableWeb]

Belize: BelizeMapia - Explore Belize with photos, and videos plotted on a Google Map. Features information about hotels, attractions, restaurants and real estate.

More Google Maps exploration for the area:

Don't forget that Google Maps now has updated street/road maps for the following countries in this region: Aruba, Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, Costa Rica, Cuba, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama

Explore this region further using Wikimapia, or check popular locations in each of these countries by looking through this list of countries on or use these Google Mapplets: Flickr & Panoramio geotaggedphotos, WeatherBonk and Wikipedia

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

New Google Maps Travel Mashups and Mapplets

More new and updated Google Maps mashups and mapplets that can be helpful when planning trips or while traveling...

Great new addition to Lonely Planet Maps:

I covered the awesome Google Maps implementation on the Lonely Planet TV website back on April 4/07 and since then geo-developer Ken Hoetmer has made some improvements. You'll now notice a new "Maps" tab on the main page which links to a fantastic world travel map that is completely explorable. It displays Lonely Planet travel videos, hotel and hostel bookings, flight bookings via Kayak, and a host of other layers - places to eat, drink, shop, etc... If you're planning a trip or out on the road this new map will be able to help you as much as those invaluable Lonely Planet books will! Take a look at my original post about Lonely Planet Maps to learn more!

Orbitz uses Google Maps for flight and airport status updates:

Orbitz is keeping travelers up to date with a few embedded Google Maps mashups on their site. The Traveler Updates page features a real-time airport status mashup. Here is the description: "..Help your trip go smoothly with up-to-minute updates from fellow travelers about security line wait times, traffic & parking, taxi lines and more. Combine this with real-time, critical travel information, including OrbitzTLC air-traffic updates, FAA airport updates, traffic delays and weather, and you'll have everything you need to keep your travels on track!" Google Maps is also present on Individual Airport pages (Eg: LAX) that includes a full local traffic mashup in and around the airport. See also: The Orbitz Hotel Search Mapplet for your My Maps tab on Google Maps! [Thanks to Joe Monahan for the tip!]

Use Google Maps (My Maps tab) to become a super-tourist - Travel smarter by creating your very own customized travel maps mashup by simply adding content to My Maps tab in Google Maps. In a recent Google Lat-Long Blog post Thai Tran of Google explains how he used the Wikimapia layer and Hotel Search mapplets while on holiday in Europe. There are tons of other Mapplets that are perfect for planning a trip or traveling throughout the world including the recently released Browse Popular Maps mapplet that will let you find user-created maps for a specific area (be sure to try this one out). Here are some more mapplet suggestions from a recent post I've done. To get started watch this short YouTube video then head over to the My Maps tab in Google Maps to begin adding travel content.

More new helpful travel-related Google Maps mashups:
  • Global Motion - A massive wikipedia style database of places that is using Google Maps. [via]
  • Simpatigo - Add a point of interest or create a custom tour guide. Also great for exploring new places by folks that have already shared. This site will improve as more people add places and tours since the value to the user is as good as the number of places that have been shared.
  • ClipGlobe - Google mapped user created videos
  • Be Noot - Travel books, blogging website using Google Maps throughout
  • MapSkip - Mark the world with your stories, or explore new places
  • Share your favourite (UK) places with Tipped

Monday, September 17, 2007

8 New US Google Maps Mashups and Mapplets

US Census Bureau Demographics Mapplet:

Ducky Sherwood has turned her US Census Mashup into a Google Mapplet! Add this mapplet directly to your Google Maps view and follow her suggestions to combine it with other mapplets:
  • Combine it with the Chicago Transit Maps to see that the lines appear racially segregated
  • Combine a view of population density with the Sea Level Rise Mapplet to see just how much trouble we're in if the sea level rises a bunch
  • Combine a view of % 5 to 17 or of % married with kids plus a real estate mapplet to see where there are houses for sale in areas with lots of playmates for your kids
Western Pennsylvania High School Football Map - A simple but useful map that lets you filter by day, team, class of school, conference or stadium. Take a quick peek and you'll see why every state should have a map like this for every high school sport!
New York City Cab Fare Estimate - The YellowCabNYC Blog has integrated a simple fare calculator map tool that lets you tap on two points to get an estimate of cost.
North Carolina Seas Map - Find out current conditions off Emerald Isle, Hatteras, Ocracoke, Outer Banks and Wrightsville Beach. More information and Google Earth viewing the project page. See more Marine Maps here..
Explore US destinations on Simpatigo - More on Simpatigo in a future post, but until then check out some cool places to visit in the US.
The Colorado Way of Life Map - A fun state map project established by Colorado Farm Bureau Insurance.
Obesity In America Map - State rankings based on percentage of adult population with a body mass index of 30 or higher.
Best US Cities for Singles - Cities mapped from the Forbes special report on Best Cities For Singles.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

From Google Maps directly to your Mercedes Benz


Mercedes-Benz has recently included a Google Maps service for drivers called Search & Send. The service will give Mercedes-Benz drivers who are equipped with Tele Aid the ability to send destinations and searches directly from Google Maps. This Google LatLong Blog post points out that "Mercedes-Benz is the first automotive manufacturer to offer this functionality in the U.S.". Here is a typical use case that will help you visualize the user experience:

More information about Search & Send can be found here. BMW recently introduced a Google Maps service to BMW drivers in Germany that works in the same way.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Google Maps Creation Tools - Part 18

Recent Google Maps API Blog posts:

Friday, September 14, 2007

Big News: 54 Countries Added to Google Maps!

Since the inception of Google Maps Mania I've been trying to keep readers current on what new country updates are hitting Google Maps. Google has announced a significant update to the number of countries with markings for streets, roads, place names and transportation routes on Google Maps. Here are some highlights from Dave Barth's post on the Google LatLong Blog titled: "More of the world for you to explore":
  • 54 new countries added
  • Double the coverage in Latin America
  • Three times the coverage in the continent of Asia
Here's the full list of new countries:

Afghanistan, Aruba, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belize, Bermuda, Brunei Darussalam, Bhutan, Bolivia, Cambodia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Mexico, Myanmar (Burma), Mongolia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Timor-Leste, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam and Yemen

More from Dave's post:
We have better detail for some countries than others, but this is just the beginning. In coming months, we'll be working tirelessly to add more detail to the existing countries in Google Maps, and we'll also be adding new countries to the list.

Another observation I have is that map labels are much easier to read when viewing the map on hybrid view. Take a look:

These new countries are visible when creating maps/mashups on My Maps as well as through the Google Maps API. So get mapping! :)


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Google Moon updated

Google Maps doesn't limit you to exploring the surface of the earth - The same viewing interface lets you view the surface of the Moon and planet Mars. Google Moon has just undergone an update with expanded maps, charts and Apollo missions.. Take a look! :)

View more info about Google Moon here..
Google LatLong Blog Post: The New Moon

The Weather Channel acquires Weather Bonk Google Maps mashup


Longtime readers of Google Maps Mania will know that I've always been a fan of David Schorr's *.Bonk sites. Weather Bonk led the way with Google Maps fueled weather views that are a mega mashup of over 20 data sources to facilitate weather junkies immersing themselves in self-serve weather maps and data overlays. David and his wife followed up this weather mashup with golf and skiing maps that have helped countless people all over the world not only locate these resorts and courses but also learn how the weather would impact their outing.. using a Google Maps interface.

The Weather Channel Interactive have also admired David's work and to reward him have acquired Weather Bonk, Ski Bonk and Golf Bonk! A press release from TWCi notes that this is the first ever acquisition that they have performed, making Weather Bonk a very unique mashup to draw such attention. I'm so happy for David and his wife and have enjoyed chronicling the journey their Bonk sites have taken to this point. I had the chance to finally meet David in person at the recent Google Developer Day and I can tell you this couldn't have happened to a nicer, harder working person. I wish him the best of luck as his Google Maps mashup labor of love enters a new chapter!

Yahoo! News press release
ProgrammableWeb post


The Economist on Google Maps and the Geoweb


The world on your desktop is a new article featured in the September 8th version of The Economist Magazine that reports on the ever-emerging "geoweb". While Google Earth is the bulk of this piece, Google Maps and Google Maps mashups are also articulated and contextualized within the geoweb landscape. Take a read!

WIRED on Google Maps
Google's Geospatial Organizing Principle (PDF)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

New Google Maps mashups and links for 2007-09-11

  • World TV NewsMap - Live streaming TV feeds from around the world: CNN, BBC, Sky News, ABC News Now, CCTV-9 China, Iran PressTV, France24, CNN IBN India and Russia Today

Monday, September 10, 2007

US & Canada Google Maps Flight Tracker has mashed up its services with Google Maps to deliver a real time map-based North American flight tracker! It works for most commercial flights originating and arriving in the United States and/or Canada and operates on a 5 minute delay for security reasons. To get started click on "Flight Tracker" and enter the carrier flight number and departure date. If you want to see Flight Tracker in action but don't have a flight number you can click "Track Random Flight". The flight tracker Google Map view works much the same as an in-flight tracker you'd see on-board an aircraft switching from national, regional and close-up position maps for the flight you are viewing. Essential real-time information gets displayed for you such as the flight status and scheduled arrival time. Other info also gets displayed such as airport weather, national flight delays make this an informative real-time Google Maps travel mashup.

(There is also a mobile version of


Friday, September 07, 2007

New Google Maps mashups and links for 2007-09-07

Formula One Grand Prix Circuits

A great mashup for F1 fans to learn more about all tracks worldwide. Zoom in to see the track on Google Maps or link off to Wikipedia to check out detailed articles about the event or circuit. [via]

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Rachael Ray's Google Maps US travel mashup

US tv personality Rachael Ray is getting into the Google Maps mashup act by mapping places mentioned in the travel section of her magazine. Mapped Out maps lodging, shopping and activities tips for each of these destinations. What's unique about this travel mashup is that it isn't mapping the usual top US cities. It's mapping suggestions for you in places like California's Route 1, The Badlands in South Dakota, Michigan's West Coast and Florida's Natural Springs to name a few. There has also been a lot of thought put to how the user of this mashup is greeted when you arrive. You can take a slide show demo, contribute to the map, or search the map by national map, state or specific destination. This mashup not only gives you suggestions for places to eat, stay and do, but also destinations you may never have thought of visiting! [via]

New Google Maps mashups: Argentina, Brazil

Click on the country labels below to view more Google Maps mashups from Argentina and Brazil:

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

New Google Maps mashups: UK, Ireland & France

UK: Football Stadium Guide + Map:

Here's a nice, simple mashup of all the football stadiums in the UK, with directions from any UK postcode and links off to the nearest hotels, restaurants and pubs on Google Maps.

UK: "Planning Disaster" Mashup - A mashup by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) to raise awareness of proposed major infrastructure developments (such as airports, tidal barrages, and nuclear power sites) that may be built following a proposed change to UK planning law.

UK: Flight Price Maps Mashup - Allows you to search for the best prices on flights originating from the UK to any continent.

FRANCE: Google Maps Hotel Guide [French site here] - - This is a great Google Maps mashup for those of you visiting France! It features detailed maps for cities and regions to help you find the locations of all hotels, including the ability to check availability! See this example map for the city of Paris..

FRANCE: French Google Maps satellite viewing site - Links to specific world locations with a French user interface. [via]

IRELAND: Look Around! - LookAroundIreland features maps of castles, scenery, celtic and ancient monuments. Links to 360 degree virtual tours to give you a preview of each location.

IRELAND: Saving the Tara Valley in Meath - Once the seat of the High Kings of Ireland, One blogger and Google mapper draws attention to the issue on this blog and through Google Maps/Earth and various Google Maps tools.

Expanded Country roundups available for each of these countries. Click the country label below for many more mashups from the UK, Ireland and France!

5 new US Google Maps mashups!

Mapping public restrooms in Manhattan:

[Via New Yorker Magazine]

A mashup to help you find lunch near work - Looking for a new lunch spot near work? Lunchbox can help you "find good food" near your workplace or house using just a zip code. Lunchbox searches Yelp restaurants for new places for you to try out, then plots them to Google Maps.

SignalMap - From the site: "Find user-generated cell phone signals by major service providers. Find dead spots, and compare signal strengths." You can also contribute your own signal experience. [via]

Portland Trimet MAX on Google Maps [via]

TrafficLand US traffic camera maps - Drill down from US to state, then to city level to see beautifully mapped out traffic cams. [Via Gridskipper]


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Discover popular user-created Google Maps

Google launched My Maps on April 5th/07 and since that time Google Maps users have been busy building and sharing Google Maps mashups with this easy-to-use service (found within the My Maps tab on Google Maps). Google is now making it easy for you to discover these user-created maps which are relevant to where you are exploring on Google Maps. The Browse Popular Maps mapplet is available for you to add to your own My Maps tab in Google Maps. Once added you will be given a list of maps that will appear in the left margin as you move the map around to different places all around the world. Zoom into London to discover maps like the Low-budget guide to London or London 4 Kids. Zoom to San Francisco and an interesting movie map showing real locations of the famous car chase from the movie "Bullitt" are revealed. Maps that you find via this method can also be added to your own collection of My Maps or embedded into your blog or website to share with others! I've also been having fun using this mapplet to view maps for the place I live now and where I grew up. It's amazing just how many folks out there have been making maps! :)
[Via Doug Ricket @ The Google LatLong Blog]

More new content to add to your My Maps tab in Google Maps:

Saturday, September 01, 2007

New Google Maps mashups and links for 2007-09-01

Google Maps tool to align your Satellite Dish - The creator of this maps tool explains: "..Basically, anyone who ever installed a satellite dish knows how frustrating it is to point the dish at the satellite somewhere in the sky. I've created a unique tool which calculates the dish angle based on user location and then draws a line on the Google Maps satellite image. You can actually see your house, mark the dish position and then see where to aim the satellite dish." (This tool works for anyone worldwide)

Diana, Princess of Wales - Mapped Timeline + Videos - GPS Route sharing for cycling, walking/hiking, paddling [Via]

Wiki Worldflicks Mashup:

Another Google Maps photo-mashup a different user interface. Give this one a test drive, it's worth it. Can you get enough of these photo mashups? I can't. :) + Google Maps = Jaikuvision - Live Jaiku member messages popping up as posted on a Google Map! [Via]

Gun Ownership from around the World per 100 people - Source: Small Arms Survey - 2007