Posts tagged ‘geospatial’

July 21, 2011

Maps minus the map

With the approach of Google’s massive API deprecation at year-end, I have paid closer attention than ever to Google products. (The API deprecation news was followed by an announcement about winding down Google Labs earlier this week).

I really enjoy Google Maps, whose API is among the deprecated. While reading more about it, I happened to notice a most unusual looking Google-esque map.

This had that distinctive look and feel of Kotke to me. Although the image, see below, appeared on the Programmable Web blog, I promptly unearthed evidence that was highly suggestive of a Kotke origin. The title revealed all.

Google Maps without the Map

Google styles in maps

Showing off Google styles in Google Maps. Without the map.

I highly recommend giving it a try. Visit Maps without the Map for entrée. Try accessing some of the usual Google Maps features, like Streetview. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the version without the map, so to speak, is integrated with the real Google Maps. The sans map version uses JavaScript along with some CSS-like functionality for color choices.*

For explanatory details see the Programmable Web post (September 2010).

For visual fun, play with this image gallery of Google Maps Styles, and this excellent tutorial** on how to get the most out of Google Map Styles in general.

For specific usage guidelines, review the Google Maps Styles documentation.


*    Take a look at the map footer. The plain white Google logo featured in the sans map version is amusing!
**  I found the Google Maps Styles tutorial (May 2011) on the rather excellent BestFromGoogle website, an unofficial Google-themed blog. It is much more substantive than my own modest Google hobby blog. Features include code snippets, various tutorials and other cool stuff, in a readable, well-designed format.

June 4, 2011

Bing and the Global Ortho Project

Bing Maps lags Google Maps in market share. However, Microsoft has worked hard to catch up.

Microsoft Bing Maps and the innovative Global Ortho Project

Bing Maps

Quentin Hardy of Forbes Magazine recently featured some very clever and original work by Bing in his article about the Global Ortho ProjectThe project goal is to create

a uniform, detailed map of the Continental United States and 17 countries in Western and Central Europe

Microsoft’s focus in investing so heavily in mapping services may be for the enterprise market.  Mr. Hardy notes that Google has just announced a cloud based mapping service for business.

By air not by sea

Nor by land.

Google Maps is known for its street view feature and use of land-based vehicles for mapping (among other things). In contrast, Bing Maps is approaching by air. The Global Ortho Project uses high-resolution cameras to fly over and capture images. It is the culmination of a long-term effort to automate and improve aerial imagery mapping techniques.

The Global Ortho Project is based on innovative and original technology. Bing might match or even surpass competitors in creating high quality photographic maps.

January 1, 2011

Mapping the Storm Clean-up

Recent public service by WNYC demonstrated a nice practical application of Google Maps. WNYC used Google Maps to provide real-time updating of street plowing status to residents of New York City.

WNYC radio and TV logo

Retro WNYC

WNYC readers and listeners (WNYC is also a radio station) are invited to send updates by cell phone or SMS. Just text PLOW to 30644, according to a December 30, 2010 post on the WNYC website.

I am unable to embed the associated Google Map due to restrictions by on use of JavaScript.

October 28, 2010

Street View Vehicle

Genuine Google Vehicle

via Fast Company: Google Map of Google Maps’ Legal Troubles.

October 27, 2010

Google Places

Your local business, discovered on Google:                                     Be found.                                                    Communicate with customers.                                              Get insight to make decisions.

New! Local Business Centre is now Google Places. Learn more.

Claim your business on Google
and get these features:
  • Manage business information
  • Post coupons and live updates
  • See how you’re doing with a performance dashboar

via Welcome to Google Places.