News > Google Maps

iPhoto for iOS Map via Google Maps

Category: Google Maps | Mar 7, 2012

A lot of people have noticed that the new iPhoto for iOS does not use Google Maps. Some people are even wondering if this is the first sighting of Apple’s long rumoured replacement for Google Maps in the Maps app of iOS.

Refnum Software have managed to import the new Apple Map tiles into the Google Maps API. Their map, Apple Map Tiles, allows you to view the new Apple Map using the Google Maps interface.

Having a look at the iPhoto map I doubt that this version will end up replacing the Google Maps in the Maps app for iOS. First off I don’t think it is aesthetically pleasing enough. Secondly at the moment the map tiles aren’t detailed enough to be a full replacement for Google Maps (although it is possible that Apple are holding back on a few zoom levels for the iPhoto map).

You can bet that Apple Maps is coming but it looks like Apple still have some work to do before they replace the Google Maps app in iOS.


African Conflicts on Google Maps

Category: Google Maps | Mar 7, 2012

The Map of Conflict in Africa is a Fusion Tables driven Google Map of all African conflicts between 1997 and 2010.

The article accompanying the map includes a link to the Google Fusion Table holding the data so it is possible to access the table and create a heat map of the conflicts. The developer, Zachary M. Jones, also says he is working on “producing a map that will sequentially display data points (a subset of the ones shown here) by conflict and over time.”

It would also be great if conflicts post 2010 were added, obviously the map at the moment doesn’t include conflicts arising out of the Arab Spring.


A Cross Platform Guide to Mumbai

Category: Google Maps | Mar 7, 2012

The Guardian Mumbai City Guide is the latest of the The Guardian’s Google Maps based guides to the world’s favourite cities. This time however they are trying something new.

Like the paper’s previous city guides the map shows the best places to stay, eat and visit and includes videos and sound recordings taken in the city.

However with this map The Guardian has created an application that is “responsive to the platform on which it is viewed … if you view the guide on a desktop or laptop, it looks one way, if you view it on a tablet, it looks another way, and if you view it on mobile, it looks different again. Crucially the source behind what you are viewing is exactly the same on all of them, it’s just adapting accordingly”.

One of the beauties of version 3 of the Google Maps API is that it it works with desktop computers, smartphones and tablets. Even Street View in the Google Maps API works on these very different platforms.

The cross-platform functionality of the API presumably helped The Guardian in creating a responsive application. The menu system (the map sidebar) is where The Guardian have worked their own magic. Check out the application on different platforms to see how the map menu adjusts to suit the platform on which it is viewed.


Poverty Maps of the U.S. & UK

Category: Google Maps | Mar 6, 2012

Last year The Guardian newspaper created a US Poverty Map.

Using data from the 2010 U.S. census the map shows the percentage of people living in poverty in each state. The map also includes layers to display the number of workers in each state earning below the minimum wage, those without medical insurance and the median wage in each state.

Today The Guardian has created a similar Poverty Map of England. The England Map, using data from credit ratings company Experian, displays poverty indicators for each of the 326 local authorities.

The map includes layers to view child poverty, the risk of long-term unemployment and low income in each authority.


Taking Store Locator Maps to the Next Level

Category: Google Maps | Mar 6, 2012

Why bother designing a whole website when you can just pack everything you need into an awesome Google Maps based user interface?

Uniqlo Undercover is possibly definitely the best store locator map I’ve ever seen. In fact to call it a store locator map is an insult really.

Sure, you can use the map to find Uniqlo stores around the world but there is so much more to this map than finding your nearest retail outlet. For example check out the ‘Looks’ map view. This loads custom map tiles of photographs of The Uniqlo range alongside some historical information about the company.

If this has got you intrigued to view the stores clothing range you can then select ‘Products’. This map view allows you to use the Google Maps zooming and panning tools to view Uniqlo’s products.

By this time in your exploration you will want to tell all your friends about the Uniqlo map. Luckily the map also contains a ‘Social’ map view. Here you can view the Twitter thumbnail portraits of all those who have shared the map on Twitter and you can of course make your own Tweet.

Uniqlo have a long history of using the Google Maps API in innovative ways to promote their range. In 2009 Uniqlo created a stunning synchronised video and Google Map. That map is now dead but I did manage to capture some video of the map in action:


Pumps About Town with Google Maps

Category: Google Maps | Mar 6, 2012

Shoes About Town is an inspired promotional campaign from New York shoe salon Bergdorf Goodman.

The promotional campaign encourages people to take an Instagram photo and then to post it on Twitter with the hashtag #BGSHOES. The photos of the shoes then appear on a great looking custom map, created using the Google Maps API.

I suspect that the inspiration for the design of the hand-drawn type zoom controls on the Bergdorf Goodman map and the idea for the map may owe something to Mike Gleason’s tutorial Create Zoomabable Images with the Google Maps API.

Mike’s tutorial explains how you can create a Google Map replacing the normal Google Maps map tiles with your own image.

The promotional campaign may also have been partly inspired by Zappos, the online shoes retailer. In 2009 Zappos created a real-time map of orders placed on the Zappos website called Zappos Map.

Zappos add photographs of their product being brought in real-time on a Google Map of the United States. If you click on any of the photographs on the map then you are taken to the web page for that product (and Zappos presumably hope you will be tempted to buy the product yourself). This is a little trick that the Bergdorf Goodman map is missing at the moment.

If I was Bergdorf Goodman I would add links from the photos of their shoes on the map to the product’s page on their online store,


The Google Map of Worldwide Slavery

Category: Google Maps | Mar 5, 2012

SlaveryMap is a crowd-sourced project to record and display instances of human trafficking across the globe.

So far 1,602 reports of slavery have been added to the map. If you click on a report’s marker on the map you can read details about the incident and also get a direct link to that report on the map and / or grab the code to embed the map on your own website or blog.


Hot or Not Satellite Views on Google Maps

Category: Google Maps | Mar 5, 2012

Stratocam is a nice slideshow of satellite images that can be found on Google Maps. As users watch the slideshow they can give each image a ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down’ to show whether they like the image or not.

Users can also submit their own finds by dragging and zooming the map and clicking on the camera icon to select their favourite view. At the moment there doesn’t seem to be a way to view the most up-voted views but I suspect that most be in the pipeline.

Stratocam was created by Paul Rademacher. Paul (if it is the same Paul Rademacher) was the developer behind the very first Google Maps mashup Housing Maps, which displays Craiglist rental and for-sale listings on Google Maps. It is great to see that eight years later Paul is still working with the Google Maps API.


The Big Lunch on Google Maps

Category: Google Maps | Mar 5, 2012

The Big Lunch is a UK project from the Eden Project. The aim of the Big Lunch is to get as many people as possible across the whole of the UK to have lunch with their neighbours in a simple act of community, friendship and fun.

This year’s Big Lunch falls on the same weekend as The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations on Sunday 3rd June, so the Eden Project is expecting this year’s event to be bigger than ever.

The Big Lunch Map is a Google Map of some of the success stories behind last year’s Big Lunch event.


The Google Maps of the Week

Category: Google Maps | Mar 4, 2012

My favourite map this week was by far Old Maps Online. Old Maps Online is a map that helps you find old maps.

Of course I’m going to like it.

Using the map it is possible to search for historical maps published online by libraries around the world. All you have to do is click on a location on the map and the search results are automatically presented in the map sidebar with a direct link to the map image on the website of the host institution.

This week I was also impressed by the NBN Rollout map.

In Australia a new broadband network is being rolled out. Over the next ten years over 200,000 km of fibre-optic cable will be deployed across the country and up to 6,000 homes a day will be connected to the new network.

Australians can use the NBN Rollout Google Map to see when their homes will be connected to the network. The use of shaded areas on the map to represent the progress of the rollout provides a visually attractive and simple guide to the progress made in different areas of the country.