Results tagged “Google Maps” from kwc blog

drag.googlemaps.jpgGoogle Maps has a major new update: you can adjust driving directions simply by dragging. Want to drive via the East Bay instead? Simply drag the route over to the East Bay and it instantaneously recalculates. It's so cool because you can actually use this to deliberate various driving directions on the fly, and it also gets around the fact that Google Maps driving directions have never been the best.

Update: there's more -- you can also click to set your starting/destination point, just in case you don't really know the address

Google Streetview: a stepping stone


Much was made of the Google's release of the Streetview maps, but I haven't seen any posts that really focus on what I see as the real potential here. Instead, there's been the fun efforts to find 'interesting' StreetViews as well as a cat in a window being elevated to a New York Times article on Google + privacy (note: you can have images removed by clicking on 'Street View Help', 'Report image as inappropriate'). Good and/or fun to discuss, but where is this going?

Following the thread in my previous post:

  • Google buys Keyhole and recoins their product Google Earth
  • Google buys SketchUp and makes it easy to create 3-D buildings for Google Earth
  • Google integrates 3D-like buildings into Google Maps
  • Google licenses technology from Stanford/Stanley for 3D license for creating drive-by 3D models of buildings.
  • Google releases StreetView, aka drive-by photos of buildings

I know its been obvious from the start that photo-textured 3D buildings is where Google is headed, but it sure seems like their getting much, much closer now. How long before the StreetView car gets a SICK laser?

I'll close with my own little StreetView find, something fit for Year Zero.


Google Maps adding 3D-like buildings


googlemap3d.b.jpg Google Operating System: 3D Buildings in Google's Street Maps

Google Maps now has isometric projections for buildings in select cities, possibly drawing on 3D building data they have been gathering with their Google Earth product. It's not as cool as Microsoft's Virtual Earth 3D, but at least it works in any 'ole browser.

Checkout Boston or read the Google OS blog entry for more.

First Google "My Map"


I made a map of my Hawaii Vacation to try out the new Google Maps "My Maps" feature. There are numerous sites out there that do something similar with Google Maps, but its nice to see that Google is now providing an in-house version. As an added bonus, you can export your map to KML, which is their format for Google Earth.

Update: Added some whale watching, Byodo-In temple, and Spitting Cave photos

My vacation map is a bit incomplete as I still haven't uploaded my photos of humpback whales or West Oahu yet. I similarly mapped my photos using Flickr's builtin mapping features, but this is much more fun as you can create your own distinct map instead of a single universal map of all your photos. Of course, it also takes a little more effort to do it the Google Maps way.




Cordurl mapPaul launched with a new toy I like: Cordurl. It's like tinyurl for geographical locations. For example, 'links' to a NASA Shuttle Landing Facility. Paul even integrated it with geonames so that links to related Wikipedia articles show up.

What are these blue spots?


I was playing around with Wikimapia, which seems to be a fun site because people have annotated a Google Map so that you can find out various things like apartment complex names, bike path entrances, sites of former dumps, etc... One of the best features of the site is that you can easily select a region of the map to post to your blog, like I did above.

The area above is the entrace to the Dish loop off of Junipero Serra -- anyone know what those blue spots are?

And speaking of maps: I hope to see the Old Maps group of Flickr grow.

30boxes: it's all coming together


30boxes.gifLast month, 30boxes added e-mail integration to their online calendar tool. You forward the e-mail to their add [at] address and whatever is in the subject line is used as the "one box" event information (e.g. "Birthday Party May31 5:30pm tag birthday"). Handy and essential, but not much of a "Wow!" factor for me.

More recently, 30boxes added event mapping support. If you add a location to an event, which they make pretty easy, it will mark it on a Google Map and display the weather forecast. The map nerd in my scores this with a wow factor, even if it isn't as useful as e-mail integration. Between the two it means that you can pull up a calendar event, check the e-mail that started it, look at where the event is, and even find out what the weather will be like when you get there -- pretty much everything that I might want to check prior to an event. You can even get the same mapping support with events from your calendar that have location data.

30boxes has worked with from the start and they keep coming up with more and more features between the two that increase my usage of both. I've signed up for a Google Calendar but 30boxes has held my attention. Google Calendar is a good Google product, but it does things the Google way. In order to support public calendars, Google crawls the entire Web and gathers every calendar it can find. That's great if I quickly want to find the Redskins' football schedule, but the Google way precludes great synergistic integrations like 30boxes and I'm sure the GCal + GMail integration will be fantastic, but with 30boxes is better targeted at a Web-savvy audience.

Neat Gmail feature, never noticed it


Turns out that there is a 'Map This' link that appears in the right-column of Gmail if you're reading an e-mail with an address in it. There's also similar links like "Track USPS package." I found out about it here, but according to their help documentation this feature may have been there since last August. Nice feature, but the ad column isn't the best place to get me to notice it.

Final links before I go


Fun tools and resources


Gmaps Pedometer: a great Google Maps hack that lets figure just how long that bike ride to work is and even send that route as a link to friends.

NumSum: for those simpler spreadsheets that don't need Excel (i.e. all of them).

Five Ingredient Recipes: when cooking for myself I try not to exceed three steps in my cooking process, which includes unwrapping the package to stick it in the microwave. Five ingredients implies at least five steps, but I may be willing to sacrifice.

Rapid Afterimage: this optical illusion still throws me.

Link roundup


As a followup to my Craigslist + Google Maps post, Josh sent me a link to urbanrenter, which does with the Craigslist/Maps brainmeld did, with a few bonus extras.

Urbanrenter uses data from Craigslist to display both macro- and micro-level rental details -- you can tell, for example, that living south of 280 is hecka expensive (darker map shading), and if you zoom in there are circles representing individual Craigslist listings. This provides a good resource for figuring out where you can afford to live as well as finding apartments for rent there.

Urbanrenter also features draggable maps like Google Maps, a feature that Peter Norvig noted as one of Google's "differentiating features" at the BayCHI panel two nights ago. The implementation is a little different -- Urbanrenter uses a single, over-sized map image, whereas Google Maps uses multiple map tiles, with some lying off-screen (somewhat akin to old videogame implementations). Google's implementation gets the nod for now (dynamically resizable, smoother loading), but it's good to see that others have this feature.

Overall, I'm also preferring the Craigslist + Google Maps meld to Urbanrenter for the task of finding an apartment. C+GM is easier to use overall -- Urbanrenter requires you to type in a street address or zip code (neither is an easy detail if you don't already live in the area) to get the listings, and the overlays showing the locations of listings is not as easy to read. These seem like small quibbles that could easily be fixed.

Craigslist + Google Maps


I've seen several Google Maps hacks since its recent release, but this one takes the prize for actually being useful: Craigslist + Google Maps

You can see all of the Craiglist apartment rent/sale listings overlaid on a Google Map, and if you click on a listing it will show you the details for that listing, including pictures. You can also narrow the listings down to your particular price range.

Having used Craigslist before to find housing, I know that this would have saved a lot of time and effort.