Posts Tagged ‘google maps’

Interactive Map: The Shaping of America (Atlantic Mag)

Friday, March 6th, 2009

[Editor’s note: Interactive Google Maps mashup based in Flex (Flash) animating maps of 3 themes showing the US cities and how they stand to benefit or loose from the current economic crises. From the Atlantic, “Urban theorist Richard Florida explains how the current meltdown will forever change our geography.” Thanks Laris!]

Republished from the Atlantic magazine.
Text by Richard Florida. Interactive by Charlie Szymanski.
March 2009 edition.

“No place in the United States is likely to escape a long and deep recession. Nonetheless, as the crisis continues to spread outward from New York, through industrial centers like Detroit, and into the Sun Belt, it will undoubtedly settle much more heavily on some places than on others. Some cities and regions will eventually spring back stronger than before. Others may never come back at all. As the crisis deepens, it will permanently and profoundly alter the country’s economic landscape. I believe it marks the end of a chapter in American economic history, and indeed, the end of a whole way of life.”

Continue reading full article at The Atlantic magazine . . .

View original interactive version. Two more views from the interactive.

A Year of Parking Tickets (NY Times)

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

[Editor's note: This Google Maps mashup inside Flash shows color coded streets in New York City based on the number of parking violations. Preset zooms are provided to certain hot spots and but users can still auto-zoom to their own street addresses.]

Republished from the New York Times.
By Matthew Bloch and Amanda Cox.
Orig. pub. date: Nov. 26, 2008.

New York City agencies issued 9,955,441 parking tickets from July 2007 to June 2008.

Interact with the orignal Flash graphic at New York Times . . .

Turn-By-Turn Voice Navigation Comes to Jailbroken iPhones (Gizmodo)

Friday, February 20th, 2009

[Editor's note: Not for the faint of hear, but great proof of concept of what the iPhone is capable of.]

Republished from Gizmodo.
By John Herrman
Original: 5:13 AM  on Feb 11 2009

Six months after the App Store was launched, the iPhone app gray market lives on: turn-by-turn navigation has come to jailbroken iPhones in the form of xGPS. UPDATED

xGPS uses Google’s map data and driving directions, adding a real-time navigation readout and a voice engine. You can also select a map area to download ahead of time, just in case you expect to lose your data connection during the drive. As you can see in ModMyi‘s video above, the app also supports a number of external GPS units, so 1st-gen iPhone and iPod Touch users can get in on the monotone fun too.

The project has been gestating for a few months now, but many vital features, including the voice engine, weren’t implemented until this release. xGPS 1.2 is now will soon be available in Cydia. UPDATE: An older version without vocalization in current available in the repositories, but the newest version is expected to be publicly available within the week. [xGPS via ModMyiThanks, Aleksey!]

Cheney Leaves VP Residence, Takes Pixelated Google Map with Him (GizModo)

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

[Editor's note: At first I thought this was pure humor but, for whatever reason, Google Maps does indeed now show detailed resolution at the Naval Observatory in Washington, DC, aka Cheney's secret hideout #1.]

Republished from Gizmodo.
By Mark Wilson, 12:10 PM on Mon Jan 26 2009

Google Maps’ satellite imagery has shown us clear shots of the White House, the Capitol and even the Pentagon. But one thing it never displayed properly was Dick Cheney’s house. Until now.

The Vice President’s quarters, located at the Naval Observatory since 1974, have been pixelated ever since Google has given the public an easy way to check them out—coincidentally ever since Dick Cheney has lived there. This censorship wasn’t by Google but those supplying Google the source images, the U.S. Geological Survey.

Now on the same week of Biden’s arrival, we’re suddenly allowed to see the VP’s house as clearly as the President’s. Who knows the exact reason for Cheney’s extra security…maybe he’d been nervous about the public catching wind of his Mini Cheney clone farm, or maybe he’s just prone to gardening in his shorts despite being self-conscious about his varicose veins. [Valleywag]

INTERACTIVE MAP: Explore D.C.’s Charter Schools (Kelso via Wash Post)

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

[Editor’s note: I created this Flash-based Google Mashup to accompany an investigative piece (1 | 2 | 3) about the Washington, D.C. Public Charter School system in Sunday’s Washington Post newspaper. Map markers can be turned on and off with check boxes or by using data range sliders to drill in on which schools are performing how well. Clicking on map markers brings up a little info window with some facts and figures about that school, and links to full database entry and comment areas. While publishing this interactive in Flash format may hinder viewing by some viewers, it sure is nice not having to program around HTML rendering funk!]

Republished from The Washington Post.

Use the map below to learn about every charter school in The District. The default view displays all 55 schools for which test score data is available; you can also map the schools with no data, as well as sites offering early childhood and adult education and GED programs. To narrow your search, click the buttons to hide or display school types, or move the sliders directly to the left of the map to display schools by test performance. A full list of all charter schools is also available.

Interact with the original. Downsized screenshot below.

SOURCES: The District of Columbia, individual schools and Washington Post research and analysis.

INTERACTIVE CREDITS: Nathaniel Vaughn-Kelso – The Washington Post, Sarah Sampsel – washingtonpost.com.

Google Earth… in your browser… on your Mac! (Google)

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

[Editor’s note: Google Earth web browser plugin finally arrives for Mac, too. See related article about Google Maps for Flash AS3 now working for AIR.]

Republished from Google Geo Developers Blog.

A long time ago, at a conference not too far away, Google launched the Google Earth Browser Plugin, with the Google Earth API. At the time, we promised that we would bring it to the Mac, and now we have.

Today, we’re excited to announce the release of the Google Earth Browser Plugin for Mac OS X 10.4+ (PowerPC and Intel). The Mac plugin is supported on Safari 3.1+ and Firefox 3.0+. The download link should now be available to all users from any Earth API-powered site. We also released a game, Puzzler, in honor of the new Mac plugin. It is, of course, playable on a PC as well. And as usual, it’s open source, so you’re free to adopt the code.

In addition to the Mac release, we’ve also upgraded the Windows version of the plugin. See the release notes for more details.

CrimeReports.com Mashup

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

I came across this nifty professional mashup while looking up a council resolution on my city’s website. CrimeReports.com works with police departments across the US to aggregate crime reports. Please note they only show crimes for the jurisdictions that are subscribed to this service (so in my case the county police reports are showing, but that doesn’t cover all crimes committed in my city). You can even get customized “Crime Alerts” for your neighborhood. They have neat filtering options for Sorting the crimes, Filtering by Date range, and some Location options. Their interface for this the best designed, most compact I’ve seen. Overlapping markers are merged into a marker set. The mashup response is fairly quick, especially considering this is done in the Google Maps JavaScript API. They also have nifty analysis charting options to see trends in the data.

View the mashup at CrimeReports.com . . .

Going West (Comic from XKCD)

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

Girl: I’m Sorry. The Google Maps team hired me.

Boy: But I can’t move to California!

Girl: Then I guess this is the end.

Boy: It can’t be! Listen… When I look deep into your eyes, I see a future for us.

Girl: Look deeper.

Boy: “We’re sorry but we don’t have imagery at this zoom level”? They… they have you already.

Republished from XKCD. A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language. Thanks Jo!

GPS Kit – New software app for iPhone 3G (Kelso)

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

 

Garafa published GPS Kit for the iPhone 3G on August 14th for $10. YouTube demonstration above from Garafa. I’ve spent the weekend experimenting with the app and the accuracy seems comparable to RunKeeper and iTrail which I reviewed last week. However, GPS Kit has better features, though by the time you read this iTrail will have nearly caught up. GPS Kit meets 10 of my 22 criteria for GPS on the iPhone, the same as iTrail but with GPS Kit having a higher price point but with slightly nicer package. 

The three main functions of GPS Kit are:

  • Dashboard
    • See real time information like latitude, longitude, speed, altitude, heading (cardinal direction, degree), and distance
    • User modifiable statistics (including averages) and units
  • Tracks
    • Intelligent data collection intervals: If you move fast, more points, if slow less points.
    • Save your route
    • View on iPhone in app
    • Share with anyone via email in Google Earth (KML) or Google Maps
  • Waypoints
    • Save points of interest 
    • See how far you are from each waypoint. 
    • View on iPhone in app
    • Share with anyone via email in Google Earth (KML) or Google Maps

Features I wish GPS Kit had:

  • Tracks
    • Better way to see live-GPS route tracking (now a several step process)
    • Resume dialog on restart of app after taking call or other interruption ala Distance Meter
    • Screen lock while recording tracks ala iTrail
    • View on live Google map (now just blank screen?) with both satellite, hybrid, and map tiles
    • Save with KML the stats that are currently displayed on screen for that segment of track
    • In KML record GPS accuracy (eg: accurate to 10m, 310m).
    • KML that does not have 3 nodes at each data point
    • Provide altitude readjustment by matching lat/long against SRTM elevations
    • Import tracks via KML or GPX
  • Waypoints
    • View on live Google map (now just blank screen?) with both satellite, hybrid, and map tiles
    • Set custom icon with preset of common icons
    • Import waypoints via KML or GPX
    • Attach photos to location (location is created on capture of photo)
    • See photo waypoints on the map as icons (multiple, not just active photo waypoint)
    • Click on the photo icon in map view get a big view of the photo and edit text description
    • Attach a longer text description to each location, not just the name

Screenshots of GPS Kit:

Other applications on the App Store that provide portions of similar functionality and their prices:

  • iTrail @ $3- in app map of route, plotting of statistics; has a screen lock while recording. Export to GPX and KML. No waypoint support (coming in version 1.3). Read my review.
  • RunKeeper @ $10- Geared more towards fitness activities with stats like “pace”. Needs to upload data to web service (free) to see route on map. Read my review.
  • GPS Tracker @ free – real-time tracking service including lat, long, altitude, speed, heading, and accuracy. Can export to CVS and KML. Requires web service to record and see on map.
  • gSpot @ $2 –  no privacy concerns (not published online for anyone to see as you move with the app on): lat, long, altitude, speed, heading, and accuracy. Can share waypoints via email. Can display waypoints in the iPhone’s mapping application. 
  • PathTracker @ $1 – real time map showing route/track; distance, time, average speed, current location and altitude; save your path and export in GPX and KML. Available in many different languages including Chinese, French, and Spanish.
  • gps Compass @ $2 – real time stats that are user modifiable; multiple languages including German and Japanese. No map.
  • Speedster GPS @ $1 – speed and altitude in real time with history of pervious data points. No map.
  • Distance Meter @ $3- distance, speed, and pace tracker. No map. Altitude and XY shown for current location only.
  • Geopher Lite @ $2 – distance and heading to waypoint. No map. Ability to turn GPS off in certain functions to save battery. 
  • OverHere @ $1 – email waypoint (current location). No map.
  • Altitude @ $1 – altitude with accuracy (but is it Z accuracy or XY accuracy?). No map.
  • Speed @ free – real time speedometer. No map.

All of these applications require an iPhone 3G with GPS for best performance. 

References: 

iPhone Chat.org and iPhoneFreakz.com.

Bikers, Pedestrians Seeking Better Web Maps (AP)

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

philla bike(Reprinted from the Associated Press’ Mobile News Network. Thanks Curt!)

By PATRICK WALTERS. Published: Jul 25, 2008

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — With the old gas-guzzler in the garage, you’ve got your bicycle ready and your sneakers laced up. Now all you need is a map of the quickest, safest routes for riding around town. Well, not so fast.

As more commuters consider ditching their cars to save money on gas, Internet mapping services, cities and community groups are being pushed to lay out the best routes for biking and walking — just like drivers have found online for years.

Technical and practical roadblocks stand between such a network becoming ubiquitous, but there are signs of progress in this world of $4-a-gallon gas.

Google Inc. just launched a walking-directions service. MapQuest is reporting more use of its “avoid highways” function and offering a walking directions service on cell phones. And some cities have developed detailed online maps to help walkers, bikers and transit-riders find the fastest routes.

“They haven’t yet reached the Holy Grail of ‘I want to go from here to there, show me my options,’” said Bryce Nesbitt, a walking and biking advocate in the San Francisco area.

The first challenge: how to account for factors that make bicycle and walking routes different from driving paths.

Pedestrians need sidewalks, but don’t have to abide by one-way streets. Walkers and bikers can cut through paths or trails not meant for cars, but they must avoid highways. Bikers, unlike walkers, need to think about whether a road is paved, and are prohibited from sidewalks in some cities.

All these variables mean the fastest, easiest route for a driver may not be the same as for someone on foot or riding a bike. And developing a comprehensive system for non-drivers requires a tricky step: collecting huge volumes of local metadata and getting them on national databases used by mapping services.

“In the U.S. we are primarily a driving country, or have been for a very, very long time,” said Christian Dwyer, MapQuest’s senior vice president and general manager.

Advocates believe making electronic walking and biking directions available on the Internet could help change that culture, especially in urban areas.

The technical challenge involves overlaying detailed information for walkers and bikers onto existing online maps, and then applying it to algorithms used to lay out the quickest routes. If some path, walkway or shortcut is on a map but not accounted for in the algorithm, it may be useless.

“There are some horror stories of the past of people being routed onto the Appalachian Trail or a couple driving off the ferry dock,” said Jay Benson, vice president of global strategic planning for Tele Atlas, an international mapping company that supplies data to Google, MapQuest and others.

But if these tweaks are done right, the Internet mapping services could tell a biker to use, say, a riverside trail to avoid congestion, while showing a walker to dart through a parking lot to cut off a corner — or at the very least to head against car traffic on one-way streets.

Some local efforts are already having some success.

In Atlanta, a nonprofit group set up a Web site last fall that lets people punch in whether they are walking, biking or using transit — and then get specific directions. New York also has a site that helps bikers avoid roads that aren’t meant for biking and make maximum use of roads with bike lanes and greenways.

In Broward County, Fla., planners are working on a project that would let users factor in things such as speed limits, traffic volume, lane widths and shortcuts.

The project, shooting for online launch by next summer, has programmers looking at aerial maps and punching key factors into the route-setting algorithms. They also incorporate things like where people or bikers can make left turns but cars can’t.

“I get a lot of calls from people, especially now with gas prices being up, looking for routes for how to get to work,” said Mark E. Horowitz, the county’s bicycle/pedestrian coordinator.

This week, Google Maps launched a feature that offers walking directions for trips shorter than 6.2 miles. That is being added to a feature already helping visitors find the best mass transit routes.

Mapmakers and route planners say they need to capitalize on existing community knowledge. That would be a change for companies like Tele Atlas, which typically goes out and test drives road routes itself. But it is open to accepting bike and pedestrian route information from cities and community groups if it can be verified from multiple sources.

In Philadelphia, for example, regular walkers and bikers know many shortcuts that save time. A bicycle commuter traveling from the northern edge of downtown to residential and commercial areas to the south knows he doesn’t need to meander through the congestion of Center City; taking a paved trail along the Schuylkill River takes time and heartache off the trip.

Such “secrets” could be shared with newcomers or tourists if they were added to online maps.

“The easier you make it for people … the more they’re going to do it,” said Joe Minott, executive director of Philadelphia’s Clean Air Council.