News > Google Maps

The Strange Beauty of Google Maps Glitches

Category: Google Maps | Dec 4, 2012

Abstract Season Changes is a Tumblr of stitching errors in Google Maps’ satellite layer. The site is a series of screen-grabs, captured from Google Maps, where two different satellite images, captured in different seasons, have been incongruously stitched together.

The result is a collection of pictures with a strange kind of flawed beauty.

Another Tumblr that likes to find mistakes on Google Maps is Google Maps FAIL.

Every now and again the traditional media likes to jump on a mistake found on Google Maps, for example the recent discovery of the non-existent island Sandy. Google Maps FAIL has been documenting errors on Google Maps since 2009.

I take a lot of comfort from the fact that this Tumblr is so short (cue lots of comments pointing out other errors on Google Maps).

Dronestagram is another Tumblr blog that has recently generated a lot of interest. This Tumblr posts satellite images from Google Maps that show the locations of some U.S. drone attacks.

Dronestagram posts images from Google Maps Satellite view to Instagram, and syndicates this feed to Tumblr and Twitter, along with short summaries of each drone attack site.


Register to Vote with Google Maps

Category: Google Maps | Dec 4, 2012

The next general election in Kenya will be held on the 4th March 2013. These will be the first general elections run by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.

To help Kenyans register for next year’s election the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has created a Find My Registration Center Google Map. Voters need to register to vote by the 18th December 2012 and the app can help Kenyan’s find the nearest registration center.

Users can search the map by address or can select their county, constituency and ward from the drop-down menus.


Victoria’s Real-Estate on Google Maps

Category: Google Maps | Dec 3, 2012

The Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) is using the Google Maps API to present a range of property related information for the state.

A number of maps have been created to visualise the state’s property market. These include the Clearance Rates by Suburb Map, which allows users to view information about the total number of auctions, number of sales and the percentage of successful sales for all suburbs with more than 20 auctions in 2012.

REIV has also published a set of maps that compare historical statistics on auction and private sales for 2010 and 2011. They provide buyers,
sellers and anyone with an interest in the local market with data about the
most popular sales method in each suburb.

A more detailed analysis of the REIV map visualisations is available on the Australian mapping and GIS blog All Things Spatial.


Installing Solar Power with Google Maps

Category: Google Maps | Dec 3, 2012

The In My Backyard (IMBY) tool, from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory,  helps users to estimate how much electricity can be produced by installing solar panels. It also provides information on the likely installation costs, tax credits, the dollar value of the electricity that will be generated and the number of years it will therefore take to pay back the installation costs.

Using the tool the user first needs to choose the system of solar panels that are to be installed. Then they can select the area of roof to be covered by drawing an outline on Google Maps. They then input a number of variables relating to the type of system being installed and run the calculator.

The generated results of the calculator provides a detailed report on the likely benefits of installing solar power and also allows the user to compare the estimated solar electricity production with the user’s current electricity consumption.


New Google Maps Android API Arrives

Category: Google Maps | Dec 3, 2012

The long rumoured update to the Google Maps Android API has arrived.

Last month the Recrusive Penguin blog did a little delving into the code of NianticLabs’ Field Trip application for Android and discovered that it used an unpublished v2 of the Maps Android API. The great news for Android developers is that the v2 API is now available to developers.

The new API uses vector-based maps that support 2D and 3D views, and allow users to tilt and rotate the map with simple gestures. The 3D views in the new API can be seen in action in another NianticLabs app, the popular Ingress location game (screenshot above).

The Google Geo Developers Blog reports that the updated API includes features offering:

  • More dynamic and flexible UI designs for large screen Android devices, such as tablets, using Android Fragments
  • Adding more Google Maps layers in their apps including satellite, hybrid, terrain, traffic and now indoor maps for many major airports and shopping centers
  • The ability to create markers and info windows with less code

The Trulia Real Estate android application is updating tomorrow to the new API. The Trulia Blog has released some screenshots that reveal some of the new designs that are possible with the Maps Android API v2.

Via: The Google Geo Developers Blog


Find a Tennis Court with Google Maps

Category: Google Maps | Dec 3, 2012

All My Courts is a handy search site for tennis players to find nearby tennis courts. The site currently includes details and location information of over 4,000 tennis courts.

It is possible to search All My Courts by location and view all the nearby courts on a Google Map. The map uses a marker clustering system to show where a large number of courts are listed and if you zoom in on the map you can view the locations of individual courts. If select a map marker on the map you can click through to get further details about individual tennis courts.

Each court includes a full address, contact details and details about other nearby courts. Currently All My Courts lists courts in the UK, Canada and Italy.

Also See

  • TennisMaps Tennis courts throughout the USA
  • Tennisopia – Find tennis courts in Canada
  • Berlin Tennis Map – Tennis courts in Berlin
  • Pickup Game – Map of basketball courts, tennis courts, softball/baseball fields, golf courses, pool halls & bowling alleys in US


Keep the Internet Free With Google Maps

Category: Google Maps | Dec 3, 2012

#freeandopen is a real-time Google Map showing where people around the world are signing Google’s Take Action petition.

Today in Dubai the world’s governments are meeting, and regulation of the Internet is one of the items on the agenda. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is convening to revise a decades-old treaty on the governance of the Internet. Some of the proposals under discussion could allow governments to justify the censorship of legitimate speech, or even cut off Internet access in their countries.

Google’s Take Action campaign allows Internet users around the world to pledge to support a free and open Internet. The #freeandopen Google Map shows in real-time the location of people making the pledge.


The Google Maps Guide to Dining in Paris

Category: Google Maps | Dec 2, 2012

Carte des Restaurants is a Google Maps guide to French restaurants from the French restaurant review site Apety.

Apety has reviewed over 69,361 restaurants in France and their new Google Map provides diners with a great way to find nearby restaurants. Using the map it is possible to search for restaurants by the type of food served, for example, ‘sushi’, ‘pizza’ etc. It is also possible to search for restaurants by facilities provided (for example wi-fi) and also by ambience, e.g. romantic or family friendly.

Selecting individual restaurants on the map allows the user to view the full-address, contact details, read the Apety review for the restaurant and even to add a comment.


The Google Maps of the Week

Category: Google Maps | Dec 2, 2012

This week I was really taken back by the beautiful Route Map from Plane Finder. The map is a gorgeous visualisation of where you can fly from different airports around the world. For me this map really demonstrates some of the advances made in the Google Maps API over the last couple of years.

The screenshot above doesn’t do this map justice.You need to open up the
map and then click on any of the airports displayed on the map – that’s
when the beauty happens. After clicking on an airport neon lines fly
out from the airport to show all the destinations that you can fly to
from that location.

The Beat
is one of those great ideas that you just can’t help wishing that you
had thought of yourself. There are a lot of Google Maps based Instagram
apps but I think that this is the first one I’ve seen which has made the
inspired choice of using Street View. How better to convey the sense of
where a photograph was taken than to show you what it looks like with
Google’s 360 degree panoramic imagery.

Using The Beat it is possible to view photographs submitted to Instagram
on top of a Street View of the location where the picture was taken. If
you enter a hashtag search into The Beat you can just sit back and
watch as a stream of Instagram images, placed on top of Street View,
plays on your monitor.

There has been a huge increase in the clever use of Street View in
marketing campaigns this year. It is easy to get a little blasé now
about marrying animation and live video with Google Maps Street View but
this new Christmas marketing campaign from Stella Artois is incredibly
well done.

Stella Artois’ Christmas Carole app on Facebook allows you to enter an address and then creates a video
in which a band visits the address and plays you a song. The Street
View of the address is used as a backdrop to the video so that it
appears that the band is actually playing in your street.


Johnny Cash Has Been Everywhere, Man

Category: Google Maps | Dec 1, 2012

Johnny Cash Has Been EVERYWHERE (Man)! maps out all the locations mentioned in Johnny Cash’s version of the Geoff Mack song ‘I’ve Been Everywhere’.

The map actually plays the Johnny Cash song, displaying the lyrics and dropping markers on all the 91 locations mentioned in the song. A running total of the number of kilometres covered is also displayed.

If you want to check out the map (and listen to Johnny Cash) then you need to use Google Chrome, as it appears this map doesn’t work in any other browser.