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Video Driving Directions

Category: Google Maps | Oct 27, 2012

Google has applied for a European patent that includes “full-motion video of 360 degrees images, and live feeds from video cameras to provide enhanced driving directions”. Microsoft are also working on video driving directions for Bing Maps. You can see a preview of Microsoft’s research into video driving directions in this video,

If you can’t wait for Google and Microsoft to finish their research into video driving directions then you can check out VidTeq who already have video driving directions in place in Bangalore.

VidTeq perhaps is the best example of how video driving directions should work. Using VidTeq it is possible to enter a start address and destination and then preview a suggested route on a map and a view a video of the journey.

As the video of the route plays arrows are superimposed on top of the video player to indicate when turns are required. Beneath the video the step-by-step directions scroll upwards to reflect the position displayed in the video.

If you want to view video directions on VidTeq then you can use the example directions given below the search box, ‘S R & K B to Dhruv Inc’.

Virtual Highway is an experiment by the New Zealand Transport Authority to provide video footage of key travel routes and maps of the New Zealand state highway network.

Virtual Highway doesn’t allow users to request driving directions but you can see how video driving directions could be provided by stitching together the required video segments from different roads.

Google’s patent application however mentions “full-motion video of 360 degrees images”. is a nice example of how 360 degree panoramic video can work with Google Maps. includes a number of video Street Views shot on Switzerland’s roads. It is a little like Google’s Street View
only it uses panoramic videos rather than still panoramic images. As you play a video you can pan it around and look in any direction. As the video plays a marker on the map shows the current location shown in the video.

Again doesn’t have a facility to search for driving directions but again you can see how interactive video driving directions could be provided by stitching
together the required video panorama segments from different roads.


Finding Beer in Paris with Google Maps

Category: Google Maps | Oct 26, 2012

Paris can be an expensive city and many venues, especially those aimed at tourists can charge inflated prices for food and drink. The rather unFrench sounding MisterGoodBeer has created a really great mapped guide that can you help you find where to buy a cheap beer in Paris.

By default the map shows bars charging a maximum of 4€ for a beer. However if you want to pay even less for your beer you can use a drop-down menu to only show bars that charge a maximum of 2.50€. Bar prices can vary according to the time and day (e.g. happy hours). This presents no problem to MisterGoodMap as it also allows you to query the map by day and time.

To give users a quick guide to beer prices all the bars shown on the map have numbered map markers that indicate the rough price of beer at that establishment. 


One Million Tweets Mapped

Category: Google Maps | Oct 26, 2012

Version 2 of Maptimize, a marker clustering solution for Google Maps and other mapping platforms, has been released.

To help demonstrate the power of Maptimize v2 a map of one million Twitter messages has been released. The One Million Tweet Map on first loading shows a few hundred thousand tweets using the marker clustering system. The map then adds geo-located tweets to the map in real-time. The new tweets are shown by small red dots, which appear on the map and then fade away whilst the clustered numbered markers update to reflect the new number of tweets at that location.

The map can also be used to find twitter trends. If you pan the map around then the map updates to show the trends at the selected location.

The demo map uses Open Street Map but Maptimize can just as easily be used with the Google Maps API.


Crisis Response Map of Hurricane Sandy

Category: Google Maps | Oct 26, 2012

Google Crisis Response has released a map of the track and predicted path of Hurricane Sandy. Hurricane Sandy has been battering the Bahamas and could hit the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic early next week. Currently Sandy’s projected path means that it could hit New Jersey next Tuesday.

As well as showing Hurricane Sandy’s predicted path the map includes layers to display cloud cover and weather radar imagery. The map can also be used to view public alerts, emergency shelters,  recovery centers and hurricane evacuation routes. 

One layer that could prove very useful to home owners shows the current probability of wind exceeding 39 mph at different locations.


Silent Hill is now on Google Maps

Category: Google Maps | Oct 25, 2012

The website for the new Silent Hill Revelation 3d film includes a Google Map of Silent Hill.

The Silent Hill Map does a pretty good job at replicating the Google Maps map style. The map itself allows the user to explore the fictional town of Silent Hill and even includes three short clips from the movie presented as Street Views.

If you click on any of the three map markers and then select the ‘street view’ link you can watch a short clip from the movie presented in the form of Google Maps Street Views.

The map also includes links to a Residential Silent Hill Directory, where you can explore the characters in the film and even add yourself to the town’s directory of residents.


Don’t Wait for Grand Canyon Street View

Category: Google Maps | Oct 25, 2012

The big Google Maps news this week is that the Street View team have started collecting imagery from the Grand Canyon National Park.

Using the Trekker, a wearable backpack with a Street View camera system, Googlers are this week hiking around the Grand Canyon National Park, including the ridge, the famous Bright Angel Trail, the South Kaibab Trail and more.

If you can’t wait a few months for the Street View imagery of the Grand Canyon to appear on Google Maps then you should check out the Nature Valley Trail View.

The Nature Valley Trail View has created some amazing custom Street View tours in the Grand Canyon and in the Great Smokies and Yellowstone National Parks. 


Toronto’s Languages on Google Maps

Category: Google Maps | Oct 24, 2012

Statistics Canada has released figures today from the 2011 census concerning the languages spoken by Canadians.

Global News has again been quick off the mark in mapping some of the latest census data to be released. The Know Your Neighbourhood Map now includes options to view the concentration of some of the different languages spoken in Canada’s major cities.

Users can select to view a number of heat maps showing the percentage of speakers of Punjabi, Tagalog, Spanish, Chinese, English, Italian, Aboriginal and French in the each of the cities’ different neighbourhoods.

Whilst on the subject of languages I think you might also like this amazing map of languages used on Twitter in London.

The map created by Ed Manley and James Chesire shows the languages used within around 3.3 million geolocated tweets captured in London over the course of this summer.

The map unsurprisingly shows a lot of languages being used around the Olympic Parks (NE on the map). Russian language tweets (pink) appear in some of the more expensive residential areas and Arabic tweets (green) in the even more expensive property zones. French tweets (red) seem to be concentrated north of Hyde Park and down in south-east London.


India’s Biodiversity on Google Maps

Category: Google Maps | Oct 24, 2012

The India Biodiversity Portal is a participatory platform for creating and sharing biodiversity information for the Indian subcontinent.

The maps section of the India Biodiversity Portal has a collection of more
than one hundred interactive map layers that can be viewed on a Google Map. The layers are organised by theme (Biogeography, Abiotic, Demography, Species, Administrative Units, Land Use Land Cover, Conservation) and by geography.

Users can add multiple layers to the map and order the layers as they require.


All Your Property Search on Google Maps

Category: Google Maps | Oct 24, 2012

mapthatpad is an amazing application that allows you to map real-estate listings from a variety of online sources. Using the app it is possible to collect and save real-estate listings from a number of different online real-estate sites and create a Google Map of all the properties.

Using mapthatpad it is possible to simply cut and paste the url of a real-estate listing from a number of websites, for example Craigslist or the New York Times, and instantly view the listing on a Google Map. If cutting and pasting is too difficult then you can download a bookmarklet that allows you to simply press a button on a real-estate listing to view a Google Map of its location.

Registered users of mapthatpad can add real-estate listings from a number of different websites and save their map for later reference. mapthatpad works with Craigslist, the New York Times real-estate listings, oodle, Street Easy, Rent Easy, Urban Edge and RDNY. It is also possible to add listings from other websites by adding them manually to the map.


Searching for Property with Google Maps

Category: Google Maps | Oct 23, 2012

Locatable is an interesting new real-estate application to help house hunters find properties to buy in London.

The app lets users define a search area by travelling time (by road or rail) from any location. After defining the area of search users can specify the type of property that they require (price and number of bedrooms).

The travelling time area is displayed on the map with an orange polygon. Users can click anywhere within the polygon to view a list of properties around the chosen location.