Posts Tagged ‘google maps’

Review of Essential Geography of the United States of America wall map

Friday, August 27th, 2010

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Will print maps survive Google Maps and the iPad? If Dave Imus’s new Essential Geography of the U.S. is any indication, the answer is a resounding yes!

Wall maps are large, physical artifacts that evoke our love of place. Indeed, they are the trophy mounts of the mapping world. They offer fond remembrance of the thrill of adventure, help dream up new trips, and effect a sirens call over friends and family with their proud display of  geography. Custom cartography reminds us place is not the sum of a street network but a overlay of cultural story and physiographic pattern. As OpenStreetMap, NavTeq, TeleAtlas, and the like duke it out in the PND and 1:10,000 scale road-map-as-a-service space, this map shows our discipline at it’s best.

Now for the specs. This beautiful wall map is drawn at 1:4 million scale (36″ tall by 48″ wide, ~65 miles to the inch). That’s twice the detail you get from Natural Earth’s raw GIS data. I was sent a preliminary copy for review and several attentions to detail catch my eye:

  • Major airports are located and labeled with their 3-character code (SFO, LAX, LGA, etc).
  • Attractions are listed for most metropolitan cities (Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, fisherman’s warf in San Francisco).
  • A compilation of small, mid, and large size cities nestle between named mountain ridges, settle the green forests, and line the coast. Some even have their elevation noted (“mile high” Denver at 5280 feet).
  • This human geography is connected by a road network with shields indicating relative lane widths, but still showing small rural routes when they are the only access thru town.
  • National parks and other sites are outlined and named.

The map is fittingly dedicated to William Loy, long time geography professor and coauthor of the award winning Atlas of Oregon (University of Oregon Press, 2001) who passed over in 2003. The map goes on sale this fall, perfect for the gifting season. Available soon at Imus Geographics »

Here’s another preview:

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Blog holiday, 3 year anniversary

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

See me in person in Portland when I keynote WhereCampPDX the weekend of September 25; Barcelona for FOSS4Geo; or Borsa, Romania for the Int’l Mountain Cartography conference. I’ve got a few projects I need to wrap up and start this Fall so please expect only intermittent updates rather than daily digests.

Over the last three years (almost to the day), I’ve had more than 600,000 pageviews in this space, from original pieces like Meet Toni Mair — Terrain Artist Extraordinaire to promoting other’s work like Public Art in Google Street View (Good Mag). I’ve tooted my own horn on projects like Create Calendars Automatically in Illustrator: Version 5 (Kelso) and helped folks with Freehand and VBA in ArcMap. I have two more big posts planned the next several weeks, so don’t unsubscribe quite yet ;)

In the meantime, I will continue to tweet @kelsosCorner, the micro-blogging service. A sample of Twitter posts is featured in the upper right sidebar on this page.

Maybe places are more about time than location: Retrofitting Geo for the 4th Dimension (Fekaylius)

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

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[Editor's note: Thanks Sylvain!]

Republished from Fekaylius’s place.

We are in a period of mass-market place ambiguity.

Places drift, jump, and fade, physically. Some places have a much higher propensity towards noticeable drift than others, but location, in general, is not stable. The geo-web of the past few years has mostly ignored this as a low impact edge case. The era of the Google Maps API dramatically boosted developer productivity and interest within the geo space because it simplified and lowered the barriers to entry, while simultaneously reinforcing a few paradigms that find easy adoption within rapidly moving startups and business, ideas like “the perfect is the enemy of the good” and “solve for the 80% use case”. Startups are constantly faced with a to-do list that can never be 100% complete, but these catchy ideas formalize and automate the painful process of deeming some desires unworthy of your attention. Since 80% of the places that most people are searching for, or reviewing, or visiting feel relatively immune to change (at least in the “several years” lifespan much of today’s software is being designed for), we have very quickly built up a stiff and rigid framework around these places to facilitate the steep adoption of these now ubiquitous geo-services. The rigidity is manifest in the ways that place drift isn’t handled, places are assumed to be permanent.

Continue reading at Fekaylius’ place . . .

You’ve seen one block, you’ve seen them all

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

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Ever look close, I mean real close at the imagery you seen in Google Earth and other online map providers? You’ll notice most of it, in the United States at least, comes from the USGS or USDA Farm Service Agency. But have you noticed they sometimes doctor the imagery to remove clouds or other collection artifacts? Well, look at the above image again ;) Here’s the Gmaps view in Tybee Island, GA. Thanks Andrew and Geoff!

Add a touch of style to your maps (Google Geo)

Friday, May 21st, 2010

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[Editor's note: Google takes a page from CloudMade's book and now allows  Maps API users to style the default map data, up to a limit. Demos at the Google link below, with live style editor with preview. Lots of opportunity to style the maps, kinda. The font still tips off the user it's Google map. Tiles are generated on the fly for the user on the Google servers, just as if the user was calling regular tiles. Dig in!]

Republished from Google Geo.

Google Maps are instantly familiar to millions of Internet users worldwide. The user interface and the look and feel of our maps combine to ensure that when a user sees a Google map on any web site, they instantly know how to interact with that map, and find their way around.

There is however an unavoidable consequence of this consistency. No matter which Maps API site you are on, every map looks the same. If you want your map to stand out from the crowd, your options are limited to customizing the markers and controls, and if your brand has a particular colour scheme that is reflected on your site, Google Maps may not sit well with it.

From today, this all changes. You are now free to unleash your creativity on the base Google map itself, as we are delighted to launch Styled Maps in the Google Maps API v3.

Styled Maps offers you control over both the types of features shown on your maps, and the color scheme used to represent them. The possibilities are endless, as the examples below show…

Continue reading at Google Geo . . .

GPS + MultiPlayer Game = Build digital fort in your back yard (Parallel Kingdom)

Friday, March 19th, 2010

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[Editor's note: Amusing take on RPGs mashed up with GPS on a Google Maps tile background. For iPhone and Android devices. Hey, isn't that Madison, Wisconsin?]

Republished from Parallel Kingdom.

Parallel Kingdom is a mobile location based massively multiplayer game that uses your GPS location to place you in a virtual world on top of the real world.

Read more on their site . . .

Map Art in NY Times: My Way – Abstract City (Niemann)

Friday, March 12th, 2010

[Editor's note: This series of imaginative geographies from Christoph Niemann’s is playful and builds on the new Google Map symbolization conventions. Niemann's work previously featured here with Coffee Art and I Lego N.Y. Thanks Trevor!]

Republished from New York Times.
March 10, 2010, 8:30 pm

See them all at New York Times . . .

by Christoph Niemann

Services, Resources and Tools for Mapping Data (Sunlight Foundation)

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

[Editor's note: Listing of several dozen free web apps and tutorials, including GeoCommons Maker!, Modest Maps, Color Brewer, Open Layers, and Batch GeoCoder.]

Republished from the Sunlight Foundation.
By Kerry Mitchell on 02/19/10

Services, Resources and Tools for Mapping DataLong ago, putting together a map of data points would be the sole domain of a skilled GIS practitioner employing an application like ArcView. These days, particularly with the advent of Google Maps, Yahoo Maps and OpenStreetMap, et al., there are a multitude of options for an individual to employ in displaying data geographically. Of course, there are, and will always be, technical options that require some level of programming chops. Fortunately, the pool of drop dead easy implementations that anyone can throw together with ease has grown a lot over the last few years. Then, there is the growing middle ground, lying somewhere between easy but rigid and difficult but flexible. Personally, I tend to hover in this netherworld, leveraging existing code, services or tutorials when possible but occasionally finding myself diving into the more technical areas when necessary and learning a lot in the process.

For those of you out there who might be interested in mapping data, I’ve put together a collection of links to a variety of services, code samples, resources and tutorials I’ve found useful in the past. These links range from new services that barely require anything more than a spreadsheet to complicated frameworks that require a great deal of technical knowledge. This is by no means all encompassing and if you happen to have additional links you’d like to share, feel free to leave them in the comments.

Continue reading at the Sunlight Foundation . . .

The Google Map Envelope (Unplggd)

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

[Editor's note: Netflix can't save the USPS alone! Use a Google Maps map envelope to update your grandparents and save snail mail! Thanks Sebastian.]

Republished from Unplgged.

It seems like 99 percent of the mail we send is electronic these days. The other 1 percent is letters and postcards that we want to postmark with our (usually enviable) location for the recipient. That’s why we dig these uber-accurate Google Maps envelopes. Now we can say Hello from 100 Holomoana Street, Honolulu, HI, 96815!

Introduction: Flash Google Maps API and Multi-touch

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

[Editor's note: From last year but multi-touch is still getting rolling.]

Republished from Cyna C Design Ideas blog.

There are many APIs out there to work with. If you start searching around Google, there are many people dedicated to helping people like you and me tie in different information and resources into Flash. It can take quite a long time just understanding a full API and be able to use ALL of it’s capabilities. But that idea is way down the road. If you are like me, it’s nice to find something to help you get off the ground.

Today I came across Emanuele Feronato‘s website, Italian geek and PROgrammer. He has a tutorial to get you started using the GoogleMaps API, so here is your first task in this tutorial:

1. Read Emanuele Feronato‘s tutorial and get Google Maps running in Flash.

Got it yet? Not yet? Don’t worry I took me a little while to get everything downloaded, hooked in and sorted out.

Got it now? Awesome! Set your API key and everything? Great. This tutorial I’m going to try something different. Last time, I built up to the final code step by step. This one, I’ll show you the final version of the code, and we’ll step through it. Let me know which type of tutorial you like better and in the future, I’ll try to keep a consistent style.

Continue reading at Cyna C Design . . .