Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Goolish Google Maps Halloween!

It's time again to do the mash.. the Gooooooooooooooogle Maps Halloween Mash! Here are some scary sights, and some monster mashups to mark this special Gooooolish day! :)

The Google Maps Street View guy has dressed up for the occasion and will be showing you the sights of US cities this Halloween dressed as a witch! He even flies too! Pick him and drag him across the night sky to a location with street view imagery!

7 new US Google Maps mashups!

Mapping Rotten Neighbors:

Have a rotten neighbor? If so, head over to RottenNeighbor.com to tell the world about them! Browse your neighborhood or plot your own marker with a complete description! While there are quick links to 9 US cities, this mashup will also support mapping of crumby neighbors worldwide! :) [via]

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Google Maps used by LATimes, KPBS to track California wildfires

Update (Oct.25/07): Updated satellite imagery for affected areas of Southern California are now linked from this post on the Google Lat Long Blog.

As calls for evacuations in California continue 2 media outlets are using Google Maps to help local residents or those already evacuated to track the spread of the wildfires:

LATimes.com uses Google My Maps to create wildfire tracking map:

This Google Map created by the team at the LATimes.com can be found by linking off from the "Interactive Google map" link found on the front page of the site (as of 23-Oct/07). This spawns a Google Maps view of a frequently updated map of wildfires in Southern California. Click the map markers to reveal a great deal of information which includes: Location, Acres burned, Containment %, Structures Destroyed/Damaged, Injuries, When it Started, Possible cause, Point of origin, Firefighters deployed and finally.. the number of Evacuations. This is impressive data all mapped to help those keep track of loved ones or their own homes and properties.

KPBS San Diego helping local residents with Google My Map:

KPBS San Diego is also providing a service to the community by helping residents stay current on very specific information for the San Diego area. A Google My Map has been set up and linked from the KPBS front page to help people stay current with the wildfire situation there. KPBS in addition to offering radio reports has set up a Twitter page that will provide text updates immediately for San Diego residents:

More links:

Monday, October 22, 2007

Google Maps Mania links for 2007-10-22

Mappery is mashup of maps!

Cartography is experiencing an interesting transformation. Map mashups are bringing information from across the web alive to create maps that never existed. As this is happening there are still thousands of maps that contain visual points of interest on flat display maps. Until every map exists as a My Map or Google Maps mashup Mappery will help you find PDFs, images or other flat maps from around the web. It's an interesting "mashup of maps" that bridges the gap between online maps of yesterday with a mapping interface of today. Be sure to check out this recent post from the Mappery blog to learn about the US coverage this international mashup features.

Google Map of Movie Landmarks:

Brian Lane's MovieLandmarks.com joins the list of Movie Mashups by aiming to "build a location-based movie landmark search engine". Location and media data are added by users and the resulting data is then mashed up for all to explore! For an example check out this Blues Brothers landmark. Check out more about Brian's aspirations for the mashup/site here..


Friday, October 19, 2007

You are part of the Google Maps Community!

Something I've loved about running the Google Maps Mania Blog is making connections with such interesting people from all over the world who have created the cool Google Maps mashups that I blog about each day. I try to convey to you the names and locations of these people as I blog to help put a human face on these great mapping applications.

I'm very excited to share with you a new dimension of Google Maps that will enable anyone who creates a map or leaves a review to personally share it with the rest of the Google Maps Community. User Profile Pages are a new addition to Google Maps that will let you discover the "geo-side" of the real people behind the maps you are viewing. To start creating your own User Profile click "My Profile" at the top right of Google Maps:

Jess Lee's post on the Google Lat Long Blog points to a Community member nicknamed BikerBelle who shows her shared links, recent reviews and Maps she has created on her User Profile page:

You can also hover your mouse of the profile names on maps you discover on Google Maps to get a small snippet of the same info. This is a great way to check out maps for a specific geography or interest area, then browse related maps and reviews on that user's profile page! If you've ever wanted to become a Google Maps superstar but haven't had the technical know-how to create elaborate mashups, here's your chance to create great maps and let the world know who you are! You can also link to your Google Maps User Profile page from your outgoing Gmail messages, blog or from other sites where you're connecting with others... Create your own profile now!

Here is a nifty YouTube video that the Google Maps team has prepared that will help explain things further:


Thursday, October 18, 2007

12 New US Google Maps Mashups

New Craigslist Google Maps Housing Mashup: ByOwnerPort.com

ByOwnerPort is a another new Google Maps mashup that maps housing listings from Craigslist. What is different about other Craigslist mashups is that it also displays user-ads related to real estate for sale, for rent roommates wanted. Click the Start button at the top left of the screen to reveal a slick UI that works best in Firefox or Safari.

Seattle Sound Transit 2 Mashup:

..Mapping planned and under construction transit projects.
Popular US "Community Maps" from Google Maps (Found using this Mapplet)

America - bits and pieces - ..The most interesting pieces of American history, geography, trivia and .. Americana:


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Google Maps Update: "Community maps" add depth to your searches!

Searching on Google Maps has just been enhanced with more integrated content from across the geoweb! Google Maps calls this content "Community Maps" and will add much more depth to your next search for places and points of interest. Back in July I posted about the inception of "geo search" that started to incorporate content created by the geoweb community. This Google Maps feature has since evolved to a greater integration of these results seamlessly into your Google Maps searches and when relevant will blend them together with local business results in the same list. How can you tell between the two different types of content when you are searching? I've used Lior Ron's illustration (see right) from his Google Lat Long Blog post to help you to understand this visually. In short: Red pins = local business results Blue pins= Maps and content created by the Google Maps and geoweb community. Lior uses this example search for dog parks in Berkeley to show how results are blended together. In some cases you may need to select the "See community maps" link from the bottom of the list of local business results. To learn more about this feature enhancement check out Lior Ron's post and for ways that this search functionality can benefit you, be sure to check out my original posts about geo search found here. to create content that could be searched by Google Maps users, create a map from the My Maps tab on Google Maps!

More Google Maps Updates and Related Posts:
For more recent Google Maps updates, click the "Google Maps" label below..

Monday, October 15, 2007

Greenpeace Google Maps Whale Tracking Map

Greenpeace is using Google Maps and satellite tracking tags on endangered whales in the Southern Pacific Ocean to follow the current locations of the whales. The Great Whale Trail mashup is an interesting way for anyone to track patterns of whale migration and learn just exactly where and how far they go in a certain period of time.

This video news report by New Zealand's TV3 notes that Greenpeace, fearing that the mashup could be used as a real-time tracking system for whaling teams, are careful about how they post the information, making the current locations slightly delayed to maintain their immediate safety from boats that are hunting these whales.

Previously mentioned Greenpeace Google Maps Mashups:

Greenpeace 1 year ocean voyage map
Greenpeace New Zealand Windfarm Map
Greenpeace France GE Google Maps Censored by French Court

[Thanks to Fraser Mills and Dave Walsh for the tip!]

Google Maps Mania links for 2007-10-15

Shaded-Relief.com gets an update:

I posted about Shaded Relief Map of The World when Jon Parker of Spain launched it back in January/07. This viewing tool creates a relief map layer visually showing elevation of places on Google Maps. Jon is back with updates to his great viewing tool. They include a help screen when you first arrive at the site and the addition of data from Tom Patterson's Natural Earth. Jon points out that it's "not the same sort of resolution as the shaded relief but it shows land use as opposed to hypsometric tints". New tools were also added that help you measure elevation, distance and area (+ a way to select the units of measurement).

Google Maps tool for runners: MapMyRun.com - I last mentioned MapMyRun.com in November 2005 and since then this site has really increased in popularity and the number of features that are available. Here is an example route of a 10K race I ran in yesterday here in Waterloo. Enter your own location to view or add routes or use training tools built into the site. If you prefer to ride instead of run, check out MapMyRide.com instead! Two other great alternatives to these sites include WalkJogRun.net and Bikely.com :)

OnePen.org: Mapping worldwide volunteer experiences - From the site: "..A collection of experiences and reviews from volunteers and workers. It is also a forum for organizations and companies to post about currently available opportunities."

Mail, Google Maps come to hacked iPod touch (MacNN)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Google Maps Street View: 6 New Cities, View Up!

Google Maps has added Street View features to a whopping 6 new US cities! These new cities include: Chicago, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland and Tucson. Most of these new cities also enable you to view up and around at buildings in select routes. A great example pointed out by Stephane Lafon in this Google LatLong Blog post is the Sears Tower in Chicago:

Street View on Google Maps gives you the ability to take a look at street level imagery of 15 cities. To view these cities, head over to Google Maps and click the "Street" View toggle button at the top of the map view. For a visual tour of the new additions to Google Maps, take a look at this great YouTube video or this Street View page:


Sunday, October 07, 2007

ONGMAP Google Maps mashup wins $10,000 award!

OnGmap.com has won a $10,000 mashup award! Yuki Naotori from the previously featured super-mashup dropped me a line late last week to inform me that his mashup has been given first place by Sun Microsystems Japan and awarded $10,000 US dollars! When I asked him what he plans to do with the winnings, his reply was "Well, ONGMAP owes a lot to Ext.JS and its user community and many web APIs, so I plan to donate a portion to them". The rest, he goes on to add, will go toward server upgrades and a new MacBook Pro since his ThinkPad's palm rest is burning his hand. :) Congratulations Yuki, it's great that such a reputable company has recognized the fantastic job you've done on this mashup! For more information about this award, check out this post in the Google Maps API Group. This link will take you to the SUN page that features ONGMAP's win but will display all in Japanese.

Yuki has also added some new features to ONGMAP including a "Twittervision-like" autoplay feature showing site-visitors and earthquake data from the USGS. This autoplay feature works to center the map on live visitors or earthquakes that are taking place right now. To view the live visitor map functionality, click the globe icon (6th from left) and
for earthquake data, view it from "04Timeline Data" in the side menu. Yuki has also added a help page to English-speaking visitors which can be found here.

A hearty Google Maps Mania congratulations to you Yuki. It's great to see a reputable company recognizing the fantastic job you've done with this mashup thanks for continuing to improve it for your visitors and the Google Maps mashup community! :)

Original Google Maps Mania post about ONGMAP..

Google mapping International Cleanup Weekend

Google Maps is at the center of International Cleanup Weekend which is set to happen on October 13th and 14th, 2007. The initiative which is being coordinated between Google and the United Nations Environment Programme features this website with a Google Map showing the locations of select cleanup locations. If you want to get involved and map out your own cleanup location that you plan to tidy up on Oct 13/14, follow these simple steps to get started. The instructions encourage you to use Google Maps to create and submit your location map to Google and to also take photos and videos to show how the weekend went for your crew. It's great to see all the world locations taking part but will be even better to see the photos and videos of the world being cleaned up! :)

[Via the Google LatLong Blog]

Friday, October 05, 2007

New Google Maps Feature: Public Transit Directions

My days of blogging about Google Transit as a standalone Maps powered service are over.. Google Transit is now a core feature within Google Maps! The Google LatLong Blog has recently announced that Google Transit has graduated from Labs and is now enhancing the directions feature within Google Maps. If you are seeking directions within one of the regions where transit coverage exists the option will appear after you've entered your start and end points. Here is a screenshot:

The addition of public transit routing greatly enhances the Google Maps directions feature and opens it up to millions of additional users who don't travel by car. I personally believe this will also have a positive environmental impact as many instantly realize the same route could be traveled using a transit vehicle already going there, instead of their own cars. Public transit joins many other features that enhance directions on Google Maps for users all over the world; Draggable driving directions, the ability to avoid highways and live traffic conditions for select US cities.

The Google Transit site won't go away with this Google Maps integration either. Christoph Oehler's post points out that it will still live on at www.google.com/transit to facilitate learning about what areas have transit coverage on Google Maps. Transit agencies are also encouraged to take a look at the Transit Spec to see how they can take part in this world-changing project (for free).

Google Ride Finder
RideShare.us Adds Google Maps Integration to Aid Carpoolers
Additional Transit and Transportation Mashups


Thursday, October 04, 2007

Explore Google Maps with these video tours!

Explore Google Maps (YouTube clip)

This YouTube clip lives on a new Explore Google Maps page set up by Google to help you learn about all the cool things you can do with the service. Cycle through one of the 5 video clips to learn more about each feature by watching a video, then link off to try it for yourself. Let's face it, Google Maps has grown in the past several months to be much more than just basic driving directions and satellite views, so this new page should help you visually see what you can do with all the new features!


Canada Google Maps Mashup & Mapplet Roundup (22)

Realosophy is the ultimate Toronto real estate mashup:

The Toronto Google Maps Housing and Neighbourhood (CDN spelling ;)) mashup Realosophy has come of age and has without question become the best Toronto housing mashup I've seen. John Pasalis dropped me a line to let me know the site now places a hyper-local focus on the 175 unique neighbourhoods in the Greater Toronto Area. Housing statistics such as avg. house price, property taxes, # of bedrooms available, most common housing type and most common housing style are also available with great graphing for each community page. Best of all transit and information very detailed information about schools in the area are provided as well as local businesses. Check out the "Deal Breaker" tab which lists Starbucks and other coffee spots as well :). Here is an example using my old stomping grounds of High Park. This hyper-local focus essentially makes this 175 real estate mashups in one by the level of detail each unique community gets. It's helpful to people that aren't even looking for a home but who want to learn more about their local community as well! The team at Realosophy has done a fantastic job and their resuling app should be considered a model for all Google Maps real estate mashups worldwide!

Google Maps mashup of Canadian Universities:

University-Maps is a great College and University Campus mashup for all schools across Canada. This mashup can serve many purposes; Act as a campus map for each of these schools (clear satellite imagery a prerequisite), help you find contact details about each school or let you learn more about each institution by linking off to its Wikipedia article. Search for schools based on language as well (French, English or Bilingual).

Skiing in Canada Google Maps mashup:

Bob Bolt informs us of this new mashup devoted to the major ski resorts of Canada (BC, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec are included). Choose a province, then dive in to view detailed information about skiing and boarding resorts. Google search is integrated throughout the site to help you query for resort accommodations and a small inset Google Map on each resort page will show you the terrain for the area.

Add the following Canadian "Mapplets" to your My Maps tab on Google Maps to make your own mega-mashup of all the content by viewing it directly from within Google Maps:
For more Canadian Google Maps mashups click the "Canada" label below!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

New Zealand Google Maps Mashup Roundup Oct/07

New Zealand Movies and Photos on Google Maps:

Browse through available photos and videos or add your own! This map centers on Queenstown but zoom way out to see many other photos from around New Zealand.

First National Invercargill uses Google Maps - Real estate company First National is using Google Maps to display properties with a great user-interface!

Dominion Post in Wellington using Google Maps - The Dominion Post newspaper is mashing up the locations of transport issues and accidents in that city with Google Maps to keep local residents informed. Traffic and accident alerts are pulled from the Police, Roadworks info from Wellington City Council and Train delay advisories come courtesy of Tranz Metro. [Thanks to Paul Hellyer for the tip!]

More ways to explore New Zealand using Google Maps:
Click the "New Zealand" label below for lots of more Google Maps mashups from New Zealand!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

World Baby Name Google Maps Mashup

Guy Davis of Calgary, Canada has created BabyNameMap, an interesting Google Maps mashup of popular baby names from around the world. The map locates where this data exists in the world and lets you browse top boys and girls names. Guy writes: "My wife and I are expecting our first child in April. We're actively thinking about possible baby names now. Of course, that entails trying to avoid the really popular names. Who wants their child to be one of many named Jacob or Emily in their Grade 1 class? On the other hand, I don't want them to be teased for having a really rare name like Moon Unit or Pilot Inspektor. This Maps mashup site built using Ruby on Rails is meant to help couples like us find the perfect baby name: not too popular, not too unique, just right."

Guy is presently mashing up popular names from Canada, the US, Australia and throughout the UK. If you know of a data source in a country that isn't covered be sure to get in touch with him so he can improve this mashup!


NYTimes Archives Hack & Google Maps Mashup

+ :

Every now and then I stumble upon a mashup that when viewing the data being combined with Google Maps you realize the far reaching possibilities of what can be done with the data source. Here's one of them...

Times & Space is a very crude maps hack (best viewed in Firefox) combining the entire New York Times Archives with Google Maps. It's a hack that doesn't look like it's attempting to be a polished NewsMap mashup but rather a sandbox to try to prove a concept: showing how people can access millions of free archived articles and images from the NYTimes website. The mashup example should be enough to give anyone a clear view as to how to engineer links to any data in NYT Archives (within the time range). Also, since this archive is all in the public domain, it's freely available to be mashed up! Be sure to check here for more source code for this mashup.

From the user experience perspective the Times & Space concept is pretty neat as well. To use it, enter a Year/Month/Day (as far back as 1910) and locations from that day's New York Times newspaper are presented in a text list. Roll over the location and the page appears on the the right and when selecting it the Google Map viewport gets centered on that location with a short excerpt from the story appearing in the info-window. Be patient and for best results just stick to 1910-1920. If it doesn't respond, refresh and try again (remember this isn't polished). Time & Space will hopefully give way to many more interesting Google Maps news mashups and Mapplets that use the endless amount of archived news available for free from the New York Times website..


Monday, October 01, 2007

Google Maps Mania links for 2007-10-01

A Google Maps land grab: Mapisimo:

The entire Earth sectioned off into 520 billion square plots of 30 meters x 30 meters... Register and take two for free and post any text you want!
(Sorry for the lack of posts this past week!)