Sunday, August 17, 2008

In the news: Google, 10 years in: big, friendly giant or a greedy Goliath?

Google Maps and Google Earth, launched in 2005, offer an astonishing interactive map of the planet, stitched together from aerial and satellite footage licenced from Nasa and various private companies. Google Street View, released in America last year, takes this a step further by providing photographs taken at eye level, which has prompted media alarm about invasion of privacy; the company insists the UK version, yet to launch, will obscure faces and licence plates.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

In the blogs: Google Maps Now Features More Blue and a Simplified Layout

The Google Maps team today rolled out yet another update. This time, they have decided to simplify the layout by putting more focus on the search form and taking away the tabs underneath it. Thanks to this update, the maps on the page get a bit more screen-estate and searching for directions has become a bit easier as well. This update comes just a few weeks after Google Maps added walking directions to its feature set.

In the blogs: Create Embeddale Flash Google Maps

With Umapper it is possible to create interactive Flash Google Maps, display those maps on your website or social network, export the map created to Flash ActionScript 3.0 or KML. It is one of the better map creation tools that I have seen. It excels in the amount of options it gives the user and has a very impressive feature to automatically add Wikipedia articles to a Google Map.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

In the blogs: Density map tutorial - Prototype, Google Maps API and the HeatMapAPI
A tutorial on how to create a density map with Prototype, the Google Maps API and the HeatMap API. The final product is a density map of liquor licenses in Milwaukee, WI.
Density overlays on top of Google Maps would be very cool! I hope I can find some time to experiment with this in the near future.

Monday, July 14, 2008

In the news: Beer map points the way to your favorite drinks
Have you ever wished you could see where all of the best beers were made and served in Colorado all at a glance? Well now you can. Thanks to the power of Google maps and a custom made database, now you can zoom in and find all of the best beer destinations are all across Colorado and the rest of the world.
Finally a mashup close to my heart! Actually, I am currently working on a very similar project, although not quite as broad in scope, but still covering the entire world. When I was down in D.C. for the July 4th weekend, we ended up hearing about and going to the Brickskeller, a tiny little basement cellar bar that has 1000+ beers on the menu! Luckily, their website has the list as well, so I was able to scrape that data, convert it into a database, and geocode it. Now I am working on a Google Maps interface, and my plan is to allow people to not only browse the "beers of the world" but also save notes (similar to about where they tasted that beer, did they like it, would they recommend it, etc.!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

In the blogs: New Version of Google Maps For Your Apps! E-Learning Course Released

GeoSpatial Training Services has released an update to it's popular Google Maps For Your Apps! e-learning course. This course is designed to enable you to take advantage of Google Maps for your website.
This is great! I've been thinking about creating online courses for a while. I'm not sure how I would integrate it into my site, if it was a proper SCORM package I would have to run an open-source Learning Management System like Moodle ( I am definitely going to check this out, although perhaps I should write my own course before seeing theirs.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

In the blogs: Create a Code-Free Google Map in 3 Easy Steps

Go to Google Docs and create a new spreadsheet, or import an existing spreadsheet. You can have a lot or just a little information in the spreadsheet, but you will must have at least three columns: A title for the map points, a description and an address. A column to rank the information is optional.
Everyone should realize that making a Google Map is not hard! Where consultants like me come in is when an organization needs greater functionality, such as search, filtering, tagging, etc. and integrating Google Maps into their existing data management system. For instance, for one recent client I had to write an integration layer to pull their data from SugarCRM, a customer relationship management platform (same idea as