Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday Fun With Google Maps

Google Maps Wallpaper
The Universal Maps Downloader is a tool that downloads the tile images from Google, Yahoo, or Microsoft maps. So if you wanted Google Maps wallpaper in your bedroom (or perhaps just on your desktop) this could help. Although you may be breaking a few copyright laws in the process. I know of at least one Google Maps wallpaper site that was asked to voluntarily close.

If you are into Google Maps satellite imagery (and honestly who isn't?) you should check out this Wired post. It has the first photo taken by GeoEye-1, the world's highest-resolution commercial satellite (CNET have a zoomed in portion from the same image). GeoEye will be providing imagery to Google for Google Maps and Google Earth as part of an exclusive partnership. So apart from sneak previews on Wired you won't see this imagery on any other maps.

Google may also have a cheaper plan for capturing aerial imagery. This video from a Google event in Japan may reveal a Google Maps plan to replace outdated satellites:



Video Link

However I can't confirm whether this Japanese ballonist was responsible for this Google Maps satellite image:



Via: StreetViewFun

Google Maps on Android
This video from Google shows how Android phones can view maps, satellite imagery, street view, local search and driving directions.



Video Link

Air Traffic Around the World
This video shows the aircraft movements of the world over a 24 hour period. Wow!


Video link

Google Maps Mania Word Cloud
Google Maps Mania Word Cloud
A website called Wordle produces beautiful word clouds from RSS feeds. Here is a word cloud from the Google Maps Mania feed.

What Are You Drinking?
Mibazaar has found another fun use for his Google Maps and Google Trends mashup engine. This time he is using the mashup to show who is searching for particular types of alcohol.

This leads to some interesting discoveries. For example, the residents of Mountain View search for the word Heineken more than any other town in California (so that's where all the Google profits go). Whereas the residents of Rancho Santa Margarita search for Margarita more than any other Californians. I wonder why that could be?
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