Friday, December 14, 2007

Keep Tabs on the BCS Series with the College Bowl Google Maps Mashup

Another fine mashup with a sports theme... this one enables you to see when and where the BCS games will take place and also see who's playing in them. A fine job - see

Friday, November 30, 2007

It's official... Google Will Apply to Participate in FCC Spectrum Auction

Google's formal application to participate in the 700 MHz auction will be filed with the FCC on Monday, December 3, 2007. Some details... As part of the nationally mandated transition to digital television, the 700 MHz spectrum auction -- which begins January 24, 2008 -- will free up spectrum airwaves for more efficient wireless Internet service for consumers. Advocacy by public interest groups and Google earlier this year helped ensure that regardless of which bidders win a key portion of the spectrum up for auction (the so-called "C Block"), they will be required to allow their users to download any software application they want on their mobile device, and to use any mobile devices they would like on that wireless network. The winner must ensure these rights for consumers if the reserve price of $4.6 billion for the C Block is met at auction.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Google Terrain Maps and some cool effects

I'm glad to see the Terrain button option now available on Google maps - see the upper left area next to the Satellite option. This enables users to now view a topo map style rendering with 3D hillshading. At first it may not be that impressive, if your in a flat area, however, once you move to an area with relief (like by Estes Park) the effect is very slick. This is a nice start... now I want to be able to create a 3D hillshading effect by draping the terrain over a streetmap view, maybe use a slider to change the transparency, then I also want to tilt the map and spin it around like in Google earth.. no doubt that's coming down the road I bet! Nice stuff Google. A tip, try adding some google mapplets, like contour lines to the terrain for some cool effects!

The Google Terrain map option

Viewing a Terrain view near Estes Park, CO

Add some contours using a Google Mapplet fur some cool effects!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Housefront Home Value mashup

Looking for home values? No worries, try this useful mashup at housefront. Simply enter the address and the property along with estimate is provided. Optionally, send the results to your mobile. see

Monday, October 29, 2007

Tutorial - enabling Google Ads on every post of your Google blog

Ever wonder how do I get google ads to appear not only on my blog (blogger) template but within every post that I make? No problem. Using the steps similar to adding to your template, simply click on template / Page Elements Tab then Click Edit. The scroll down and click the box that reads "show ads between posts" then select a size (note: the large rectangle looks bad as it will appear below every post that is listed on your blog home page. Voila.. quite simple really. Keep in mind that this will only work if you have a Google AdSense account associated with your Blogger login.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Wind on the water mashups

Thanks to John over at LizardTech for sharing this cool mashup of interest to those needing wind.. maybe you surf, windsurf ,fly kytes or maybe kyteboard... the application so far has been developed for the Pac NW (Washington and B.C, Canada) and California users and shows hot recreational spots where wind is an important factor. Click on a station location and retrieve real-time wind-speed data, barometric pressure, Web cameras, and forecasts.. nice! See:
Washington -
California -

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

LiveLook serves up Webcam locations via Google Maps - a great mashup!

Erik over at LiveLook has share details of a very cool mashup that they've developed.. enter LiveLook. This application uses the Google Maps API to mashup and present the location of webcams that are near you. By default it locates you (I assume based on IP) although you can optionally specify a region by city name etc... Check it out at

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Google Maps adds coverage to 54 countries - Asia gets 3x more data

Reports from the Google Maps team confirm that the online map service has just added additional data covering 54 countries including a 3-fold increase in coverage for Asia and Mexico city now covered. The list of newly acquired data include: Afghanistan, Aruba, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belize, Bermuda, Brunei Darussalam, Bhutan, Bolivia, Cambodia, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Mexico, Myanmar (Burma), Mongolia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Timor-Leste, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen. According to Dave Barth, Google Product Manager... "this is just the beginning..." - see the lat/long blog for details -

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Putting a Google Map on your site / Blog is a snap

Google has so many fantastic tools but its hard to keep them all straight. One great score is the ability to easily embed a map search onto your web page. One way is to use the Google Map Search Wizard - use this app to easily and quickly put a Searchable Map on Your Web Page.
Embed a searchable Google Map on your web page and let your users find places around you. Customize how the map should be displayed, and this wizard will write the code for you. See
to add a map to your blog or website. The sample map below shows you the Googleplex on a map. The code is quite lengthy but its generated using a very simple to use wizard.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The anti-nuke Google mashup from Action West

An interesting Google maps mashup at from the team at Peace Action West - this one maps all the nuclear facilities in the country (do we really want to be sharing all this info and making it so readily available?) and then provides additional info as well as a link to sign a petition to stop the facility. Obviously this resource caters to the anti-nukes crowd but you see they are we're going with it. A nice UI and clever app for this organization - please note: I'm simply sharing info about the map mashup and don't endorse the anti-site or nuclear facilities in any way - I'll just stay neutral here! This takes me back to my poli-sci days and I have to admit that I'm likely from the camp where the best defense is a good offence!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tutorial - Create a Google MyMap, add your flickr photos from a Mapplet, then embed

As of this week, adding a Google map, or even better, your Google "MyMaps", to your webpage is a snap (pardon the pun). You know how simple it is to embed a youTube video into your blog? Well, it's that simple. Here's a short tutorial to show you how simple it actually is. We'll create a custom google MyMap, add a Mapplet, embed some photos from our flickr account, save the map, and embed it within a website (in this article)... no problemmo! To finish I'll offer up a couple of photo geotagging tools for those of you with GPS-enabled cell phones and a tool for mannual geotagging for those with no access to GPS. If you enjoy Google maps, flickr, and geotagging photos then this tutorial is for you.

A photo tip - embed your flickr slideshow into your blog in seconds

Wow, just stumbled onto an awesomem flickr slideshow tool... you know that I'm a flickr fanatic, however, I didn't know about this app so I hope you enjoy as much as I do... this one will be really handy so be sure to bookmark this post! FlickrSlidr allows users to easily and quickly embed a flickr slideshow into your website(or blog). Alter the size, the flickr set to display, and then mess with the speed. See below for a slideshow of my 2007 ESRI User Conference photos.. enjoy!

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Embed your Google map (MyMap) into your blog, or website with youtube-ish ease

Another cool tidbit today out of the Google camp is embeddable maps in your blog.. think embed a youtube video into your blog and you'll know what I mean. Google has made it way simple to now embed your custom google maps (MyMaps) into your website. Simply open a map, click the "link to this page" link (upper right), copy the code, then embed into your map! Screenshot of this is below and the actual embedded map is provided at the bottom.. way cool.. thanks Google Maps team!

Embedding your gogole map is now a breeze, with youTube embed-like functionality!

See my Google MyMap below! Note: I've altered the default size

View Larger Map

Real Time traffic in Google earth

We've had traffic updates available in Google maps for some time, however, the Google Lat/Long blog has informed us that real-time traffic reports are now available for viewing in Google Earth.. nice! Simply enable teh traffic layer and view updates... pretty simple.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Wirecast software (podcasting) + Ogle Earth = Google Earth TV

Cool stuff from Stefan over at Ogle Earth as he's put together a very clever demo of some wow technology. Using software from Wirecast, his notebook, a green sheet, and Google Earth he's put together Google Earth TV. It's a bit rusty (don't give up your day job to become a news caster Stefan ;0) but you get the point of the type of thing "anyone" can accomplish using the right tools...nice stuff! Video provided via YouTube.

What's your favorite Google earth app?

What's the coolest, strangest, most interesting, most innovative or most useful thing that you like to do with Google Earth? Many of us regularly use G. Earth to track hurricanes, sightsee, check out National Geographic magazine, shop for real estate, or ??? I'm interested in hearing about what you'd must have Google Earth utility or tool is. Please share a small description and a website and/or KML link... I'll be summarizing some of the findings and sharing with readers. Respond with a comment or simply blast your submission to - what's one of my favorite things to do in Google Earth? Well, I like to check out the recent earthquakes recorded by the USGS ( its also cool to explore the Arctic. On a related note, I also am a fan of shopping on craigslist so the allurstuff app is way cool for an interesting gmaps mashup! Once again, send your submission to

Friday, August 17, 2007

Topographic map layers for Google Earth (KML)

The following links provide topographic map overlays for several countries

Follow Hurricanes Dean and Erin with Google earth

Hats off to Frank Taylor over at the Google Earth Blog once againn... Frank has provided a very handy utility for those of you (like me) who enjoy watching and chasing storms and weather related information. Using this habdy utility ( within Google Earth you'll have access to al the latest severe weather related data that you can ever need. Access real-time stream guage data, satellite imagery, web cameras, predicted tracks, lightning strikes, cloud cover, and much more. As we enter another hurricane season and follow the paths of hurricane Erin,m Dean and others this will no doubt be a very popular toolset. Kudos Frank and thanks!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Windsor, CO Police Speed Trap Google map mashup!

Yesterday I wish I would have had access to some known police hangouts via Google maps.. heck, there likely is a mashup out there that does this (there's one for everything else). After 25 years of clean driving I managed to get pulled over doing 40 in a 30 zone (I know, big freaking deal!) To help in my rehabilitation I've added a Police Speed Trap zone to MyMaps and maybe it will save some other unlucky sucker from falling into the same "trap" that I did. FYI, have you checked out the icons that are now at your fingertips in Google maps lately? Its a breeze to share a map like this with others, taking about one minute to create. Now if all of Windsor can pitch in and help map the rest of the traps we'll have a really useful resource ;0)

Loads of cool icons are now available for placing on your MyMap

Sunday, August 5, 2007

USGS Topo maps layer for Google Earth

I spent this morning flying around Northern Colorado looking for a place to swim in the Poudre River near Fort Collins (any ideas??) - I then had a need to add a USGS topo layer to my Google Earth session - enter good old Frank Taylor (aka. Google Earth Blog founder) and a solution! A great add-on for Google Earth from a company called 3D solar was found, enabling you to view USGS topos for your area of interest was located easily seaching his blog. Simply add the layer, wait a few seconds and the topo will appear.. toggle off when you don't need it... I'd love to see the ability to swipe the topo in/out with the google earth scene! Developed by 3D solar and KMZ streamed from the Google earth blog - here's the USGS topo layer KMZ.. enjoy!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

City of Nanaimo and more kudos from the media - here's details on what Nanaimo serves up for Gogole earth users

The City of Nanaimo, BC (that's on Vancouver Island where I used to live) is getting some great attention thanks to some recent comments from Gogole CTO Michael Jones made at GeoWeb event, Vancouver. An article hit the Victoria Times Colonist online but really didn't say too much unfortunately. From the article... With the quick click of a mouse, Google Earth will provide any Internet user with a 3-D image of buildings in downtown Nanaimo or the curved streets that cover the city's north end. That's pretty much all that the reporter provides their readers. Unfortunately they didn't really delve into the who, what, where, when, why or how to really explain the story.. too bad!

Of interest, I noted a year ago how the City of Nanaimo was putting their data up in KML and provided some detailed information about what users could do with these data. See the article here

Interesting to note that The City of Nanaimo is also very proactive AutoCAD house and user of OSGeo technology - aka MapGuide Open Source. The city's "GIS guru", Jason Birch has garnered pretty much zero attention or recognition in any of the recent press.. too bad as Jason has been quite instrumental in getting Google Earth data rolling out of the city's website.. Jason, you still there?? He's also their MapGuide expert and very involved with the open source movement. You can follow Jason on his Random Nodes blog - (hey Jason, where's the link to AnyGeo blog ;0)!!

Suggested Web Resources:

Add Maps to your cutom Google homepage (iGoogle) or your Google MyMaps

Imagine having the following on your desktop and constantly updating for you in real time...
traffic reports
world news headlines
KML samples
photos ser4ved via KML
a world sunlight map
images from Googleplex
Google map search
weather channel maps
virtual earth maps
traffic cams
mapquest driving directions
map of things to do in Sydney Australia
Yahoo! local maps
listing of map mashups from programmable web

These are but a few of the tools (map gadgets) now available via the Google Heomepage (custom) add stuff directory. Its also easy to add these as Mapplets to your Google Maps... The directory is accessed by clicking on the "Add content" link in the "My Maps" tab in Google Maps.

To add "Map" mapplets to your iGoogle custom homepage simply do the following:
- sign in to your google account
- go to your custom home page
- create a new tab, maybe call it "Map Stuff"
- Click Add Stuff (right side)
- Search homepage content using "maps"

For more information including documentation on how to create your own mapplet see
Don't forget you'll need an API key - see

Monday, July 30, 2007

Google making deals with BC Government on imagery - Nanaimo setting a fine example as an early adopter

Google was making a few headlines in BC at last week's GeoWeb event.. apparently the company has been discussing with the government the possibilities of providing users with additional 3D imagery and other data obtained from the BC Government. From the article... "In a Friday address at GeoWeb 2007 and later in an interview, Google Earth chief technology officer Michael Jones said Google Earth has been in talks with the provincial government, and if the initiative goes ahead B.C. would be the first Canadian province to supply information on such things as traffic and mineral resources to the mapping service. "The provincial government has been talking with us about providing data so that all citizens in the province who use our service will have the best possible data," said Jones. Jones met Thursday with Agriculture and Lands Minister Pat Bell to discuss the initiative." One paragraph in the article got may attention.. regarding the little town in BC that I used to live in... some municipalities are already doing this. Jones said Nanaimo is the most active city in the world when it comes to supplying geographic data to Google Earth. He predicted there will be a time when municipal, provincial and federal geographic information will be shared universally.
"With Nanaimo, they have mapped nearly every conceivable thing using Google Earth and Google Maps," said Jones. "Their citizens have more information about their city than the people of San Francisco." Kudos to the city and in particular Jason Birch! Funny, I was just looking around Google Earth this week-end with my family and was telling them, just wait until our city (Fort Collins) makes high-res imagery and other 3D data available to add to the Google Earth viewer... Nanaimo is setting a fine example although they were very early adopters... the early bird gets the worm!
One last thing, whay aren't there more local governments making their data available via KML / KMZ? With most GIS applications now exporting to KML and the availability of fine translation tools from Safe Software it's no longer rocket science. A TIP - For a useful listing of news items relating google maps, Google Earth etc.. see here. For Google earth related apps, tools and translators see here.

See Vancouver Sun Article

Friday, July 20, 2007

Google Earth + NASA Imagery = WOW!

From the LatLong blog... Google Earth team and NASA began a collaborative effort to bring awareness and promote knowledge of NASA's "earth" programs. After months of production, the "NASA" layer group is now live in Google earth.
The new "NASA" layer has three components:

  • Astronaut Photography of Earth
  • Satellite Imagery
  • Earth City Lights

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Maponics Neighborhood Boundaries - integrate these data into your Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft mashups

Maponics, LLC announced today the full release of Maponics Neighborhood Boundaries™. Until now, websites offering local search, including social marketing, real estate and Web 2.0 sites, have had to provide search results based upon ZIP Code or city name. By integrating Maponics Neighborhood Boundaries, search results for hundreds of cities can now be filtered and even mapped by universally accepted city neighborhood boundaries. The result - more relevant local search results, more loyal site visitors and higher ad revenue. More about the dataset... Covering hundreds of the top US cities, the Maponics Neighborhood Boundaries database includes all latitude and longitude coordinates for each neighborhood polygon. It is specifically designed for easy integration into Google™, Yahoo!®, or Microsoft® map mash-ups or into back-end data analysis applications.

The idea of mapping by neighborhood is a very clever one and I belive offers to amazing opportunities to the users of these data. Given the social and economic characteristics that residents of a "neighborhood" share this could indeed truly become a very powerful and useful data product... I can't wait to see where this goes as we see apps developed based on neighborhood data. See

Monday, July 9, 2007

Pilots Program To Expand the Universe of Gadgets

Google announced a new pilot initiative called Google Gadget Ventures aimed at bootstrapping an economic ecosystem around gadgets. Since the launch of Google Gadgets more than a year ago, we've seen an increasing opportunity for individuals and companies to build successful businesses around this technology and are piloting this program to help support additional growth. Google Gadget Ventures will offer third-party gadget development and gadget-related businesses two types of funding:

Grants of $5,000 to developers who've built gadgets in our directory that already receive at least 250,000 weekly page views. To apply, qualified Gadget developers will be asked to submit a one-page proposal.
Seed investments of $100,000 to previous Google Gadget Ventures grant recipients who'd like to build a business around the Google Gadgets platform. Qualified developers will be asked to submit a business plan. See

updates announced for Leica TITAN

Some recent updates announced for Leica TITAN... Leica TITAN (a solution for sharing your data). Recent updates include:
- Published data may be served and consumed by Google Earth
- Using the Geospatial Instant Messenger, images, terrain and feature data shared in Leica TITAN may also be viewed directly in Google Earth.
- With the base data provided by Google Earth, users may view and integrate large volumes of geospatial data.
- The Google Earth capability can also consume an OGC Web Mapping Service (WMS) published by users sharing geospatial data in Leica TITAN.
- New and improved user interface skin
More info listed at or see also

Some recent updates for Google Earth

Some recent updates found with Google Earth... New Road Layers - The following countries now have detailed roads: Croatia, Slovakia, and Slovenia, and Sweden. In Sweden you can do local business searches and get driving directions in addition to seeing the roads in Google Earth. Also, you can use a Swedish version of Google Maps:

New Global Awareness Layers

Global Heritage Fund (GHF) - The GHF Global Awareness layer explores cultural heritage sites around the world that GHF is working to preserve for future generations.
Earthwatch Expeditions - The Earthwatch Global Awareness layer enables users to virtually visit more than 100 volunteer Earthwatch expeditions in Google Earth
Fair Trade Certified - The TransFair USA layer introduces users to the over 70 Fair Trade Co-ops located throughout Latin America, Asia and Africa.

Google Earth Outreach,
Google Earth Outreach, a program designed to empower non-profit groups with the resources, tools, and inspiration that they need to leverage the power of Google Earth for their cause.
The following are but some of the recent updates for Google Earth...

New and improved Geo search
earch functionality is now available on both Google Earth and Google Maps, but more importantly it now also provides results from GeoRSS files and content created by users on Google Maps.

GuiWeather - Real-time Global Lightning

Last month, a new weather web site called GuiWeather introduced a Google Earth network link which lets you view real-time lightning data around the world. Not only do you get current lightning strike location information, but the data is time stamped and you can play an animation of strikes during the past 15-30 minutes. The data comes from a World Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN) which uses sferic sensors to detect lightning strikes.


Thursday, July 5, 2007

Map Mashup Software Allows Users to Easily Integrate Data with Google Maps and Google Earth

terra IMS announces the release of geoXtract, a powerful desktop application that provides users with an easy way to integrate existing data in a variety of formats with Google Maps and Google Earth. geoXtract™ provides an intuitive “wizard” interface that leads users through data selection, data configuration, data processing, and data publishing. All data processing is automated with geoXtract™, so there is no need for users to manually create each data point that will be displayed on the map. Users can easily integrate tens, hundreds, and even thousands of points with Google Maps™ and Google Earth™, and there is absolutely no programming required. See

Mappam - location-based advertising for Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, and virtual Earth

First we delivered details about Lat49 and their solution for serving contextual ads to Google maps, Yahoo! maps, and virtual Earth. Now there's another player entering this space... from the developer; With Mappam advertisers can within minutes create campaigns on targeted to geographic locales, paying only when users click through to the advertising website. Adverts are displayed to visitors on the maps of Mappam network partner websites as 16x16 pixel icons which when clicked on open a descriptive text and a link to the advertising website. See

Monday, July 2, 2007

Google Maps new draggable driving directions - so sweet, so easy

Have you seen Google Maps new draggable driving directions? Its very clever and amazing to se how all these pieces to the puzzle are coming together. Now with more "draggable" functionality users can easily update their routes to get more personal and logical results. Imagine this... you want to go from Seattle to San Fran and ask for teh default directions using "maps". Chances are that you'll get routed down I-5, however, maybe you want to make sure you spend a couple of days along the coast through Washington and Oregon... no problem. Simply enter a couple of locations along the coast that you want to visit (maybe Long Beach, and Astoria) - just drag your route over to the 101 and your route is updated. Also, try simply right-clicking to provide input for the common "directions from here" and "to here" functionality.. its very fast and handy. Be sure to give it a try -

Friday, June 29, 2007

ebook on the Google Maps API

This comes from our friend Eric at Geospatial Training... The fourth edition of our ebook on the Google Maps API covers everything you need to know about programming Google Maps to create dynamic web mapping applications with today's hottest mapping technology. You will learn how to create maps, add map controls for user interactions (zooming, and panning),
programmatically alter the map extent, add points of interest to the map, add custom icons, geocode addresses on the fly, read addresses from a database or XML file, display aerial photography, AJAX fundamentals, and event programming. New material in the fourth edition includes instructions on adding driving directions and traffic overlays in Google Maps, integration of Google Earth KML files, efficient management of large number of markers, and
much more.

To download a free copy of "Mashup Mania with Google Maps", please visit our
website at

Plazes + Google Earth

Now you can have loads of fun using the cool social networking app from inside Google Earth. Grab the Plazes KML file here and enjoy - - inspired by the Plazes blog. Speaking of Plaes... how about this Plazes / Yahoo! Pipes integration... nice!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

GeoImmersive video from IMC - the technology behind Google Street View imagery

Spotlight on GeoImmersive video from IMC - Terrestrial Views From Every Angle - Since 2005, IMC has been capturing 360 degree georeferenced spherical video of North America's major cities enabling everyone to experience terrestrial views from every angle. The company, currently getting loads of exposure for providing Google with their cool and sometimes controversial Street View data has been driving the country in VW Bugs housing the IMC Dodeca camera which capture the 360 degree imagery. According to the company, they are expanding their coverage of North American cities and expanding to Europe. Initially developed for the energy and utilities sector, GeoImmersive video from Immersive Media Company (IMC) is being adopted by many users for many interesting uses. This brief spotlight looks at the company, the device, the uses of the device, and the benefits to users


Slashdot It!

Three new Global Awareness layers for Google Earth

Google has announced three new Global Awareness layers for Google Earth - these are part of the new Google Earth Outreach offering...
Global Heritage Fund (GHF) - The GHF Global Awareness layer explores cultural heritage sites around the world that GHF is working to preserve for future generations. From ancient Mayan Mirador pyramids buried in Guatemalan forests threatened by clear cutting to the crumbling Lijiang Ancient Town in China, GHF takes users to these endangered archaeological treasures of human civilization and details the efforts to save them in partnership with local governments and resources.
Earthwatch Expeditions – The Earthwatch Global Awareness layer enables users to virtually visit more than 100 volunteer Earthwatch expeditions in Google Earth— from recording the activities of lemurs in Madagascar to determining the impact of climate change on grey whale populations in Mexico and Canada. Enthusiasts and would-be volunteers can explore scientific field research projects in progress around the world and learn how they can help collect field data in the areas of rainforest ecology, wildlife conservation, marine science, archaeology, and more.
Fair Trade Certified - The TransFair USA layer introduces users to the over 70 Fair Trade Co-ops located throughout Latin America, Asia and Africa. Fair trade is an innovative market-based approach to sustainable development that helps family farmers in developing countries gain direct access to markets and develop the business capacity necessary to compete in the global marketplace.
More details about Google Earth Outreach are available at

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Google Earth Outreach brings Environmental awareness to Google Earth users

A great new initiative from Google -- Google Outreach. Use this service to explore, share and create KML data to share with the world about your environmental awareness programs. From Google... As a non-profit or public benefit group, you can use Google Earth to capture the work you're doing, the people you're helping, the challenges you face and the change you're helping to enable - all in the visual context of the environment in which these stories take place. By downloading your KML files, anyone, anywhere can fly in Google Earth from where they live to where you do your work. This virtual visit to the projects and people you support gets users engaged and passionate about what you're doing and builds support for your cause. See

Monday, June 25, 2007

Google maps + Digg = diggmap

An interesting new real-time information provider is up and running with this mashup .Get the latest DIGGs displayed on a Google Map - think twittervision for DIGG - see

Friday, June 15, 2007

An Ajax-Mashup Sample Application on Sun Java

Here's an interesting read on the Sun DevNet - The sample displays the latest news, weather, stock-quote, traffic, and map information; also the results of user-initiated searches for videos, blogs, and photos. Besides Ajax and a mashup, key to the development of the sample are Really Simple Syndication (RSS) software and public Web-service APIs from Google, Yahoo!, Flickr, YouTube, and Includes an 8-minute Flash demo.

Local Search Control for Google Maps

This API is quite cool as it enables mashup developers to integrate a local search control into their map.. slick! From the post... The Local Search control for Google Maps is an implementation of GControl that performs AJAX Search API style Local Search on an existing map. See Herel

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A Mashup Advertising Engine to help monetize map mashups - monetize your map and maximize the use of screen real estate

Google has laid the foundation for map mashup development -- more tools, more exposure... etc... Now there's a solution (Beta) to help put more cash in the pockets of developers and map publishers. Those looking to advertise on mashups will find a really cool service that will get their ads served in a user-friendly, based on the geographic location being viewed by the map user.

Recall A Couple of Weeks Back

At Where2.0 and the recent Google Developer Conference Google announced a number of enhancements to their mapping solutions and APIs. Of particular interest was a focus on bringing more attention to mashups and making mashups more widely available to the Google search user base. Case in point... the google mashup editor, mapplets and google gadgets. Google VP Engineering, Jeff Huber noted at Developer Day that Developers are now creating apps in a 10th of the time that was required back in the day! Developers have access to more APIs, simple to use developer tools and web publishing environments. Of interest... the new model of application development includes open source, standards, mashups, and advertising.

Bringing more traffic to your mashup

Mashup Editor -- with this tool creating mashups with Google couldn't be easier. In a few lines of code and one click of a button you can publish your mashups for the world to see. Simply put, more mashups, simple publishing and sharing. Think of it as an online editor for creating your mashup with just a few lines of XML code. Test, deploy, and launch is what people want to do (experimental at this time).

Gadgets -- Recall commscore ranks google’s network as the largest on the web – half a billion users each month! So now we have the google gadgets API… popular, an open model, more than 100k gadgets created to date. Using the gadget page creator users can now put gadgets within their blogger weblog - take a gadget and embed it into your website you see where this is coming from now? Developers who create and author gadgets are inviting more traffic to their mashups. The formula: mashups + gadgets = $. With Gadgets your mashup is now widely available to more users

Mapplets - perhaps most significant to map-mashup developers is the launch of Google Mapplets... think mashups of mashups. Combining the gadgets API with the maps API Google is now enabling exploration and discovery of your content. Imagine combining your mapplets.. like hotel and weather data then toss in a crime data mashup. Enabling mashups of mashups. Once again, this is a great solution designed to bring more traffic and users to your mashup.

But where's the money?

A common question people ask is where is the money in mashups? Well, no doubt many developers are now farming out their services and earning a good living doing so... kudos! Some are also making money by authoring weblogs and writing books. But what about the revenues generated from all those people using your clever mashup map? Obviously many are embedding Google adsense ads within their web pages, however, this currently falls short of maximizing revenues based on traffic and usage. If you've ever panned and zoomed around a mashup map you've likely noticed those familiar google ads being served up on the page. One big problem though... as users zoom and move around the map advertisements don't update. Also, the ads are very often not relevant to the geographic area on the map or the topic of the web page.

A Solution... $$
Now that Google is offering a number of clever ways to increase the number of users of your mashup how to increase revenues for publishers? Lat49 is coming out with a very cool solution for mashup developers and those looking to earn some revenues from their websites and mashups. The Lat49 advertising engine will enable users to easily incorporate the engine's functionality into a mashup (regardless of which API being used - Google maps, Microsoft Live Search, Yahoo! maps, etc...) Developers will have the flexibility of embedding either text or graphic version of ads (or both) and have a little creative licensing over where and how the ads appear... the map author will be able to serve standard IAB ad formats and positioned in a user-friendly location on the map. Advertisers purchase their ads by geography (more on that later) with ads being served at either local, neighborhood, urban, or a branded level. The ad displayed to a user will depend on the map zoom-level and map center. As a user pans around or zooms in and out the ad(s) will update automatically... kaching $$$! Publishers need only embed a couple of lines of javascript in their app then customize the code accordingly. Revenues will be shared and get this... will be based on the number of ads being served (not simply on click-throughs). Additional revenues will be possible based on ad performance but is apparently not necessary to rake in some green. Obviously with ads updating regularly and changing with the user's map position performance will no doubt be very good compared to the current ad solutions available.

Typical banner ads that you currently would see on a website using a mashup - banner ads don't update or change when the position on the AJAX map changes. Another common practice would be to position Google adwords to surround the map. Map see is from

Using the Lat49 solution an ad (text or graphic) can be positioned on the map so it doesn't use up any valuable real estate. Various sizes can be displayed and the ad will change as the map center moves - notice the Lat49 graphic positioned where an ad would be seen.

Lat49 is currently in Beta and developers are encouraged to contact the company to help with the initial testing. More on this can be found at

Thanks to Tiffany and Chloe for giving me a first look at this very cool solution. I'll be really curious to see which mashups take the initiative to jump on this one first!

Google Maps Image Cutter - another cool tool

The Google Map Image Cutter is an application designed to take any image or digital photo and cut it into tiles which are displayed on a Google Map. Using this tool, large images can be published on the web in a format that allows the user to pan and zoom using the standard Google Maps interface. Although publishing large digital photos is the most obvious application, this technique can also be used for annotated maps of an area that are not to scale - how it works -- The Google Maps Image Cutter takes a large image and cuts it into lots of 256x256 pixel images. At the top level there is only one 256 pixel square which is a smaller copy of the original image. At the next level, there are four 256 pixel squares, then sixteen, sixty four and two hundred and fifty six. This corresponds to 256, 512, 1024, 2048 and 4096 pixel square images spread over the map tiles. The application automatically chooses the depth of the maximum zoom level to correspond to the original size of the image, so zooming in any further would make the image bigger and cause it to pixelate. Details at CASA

Google Map Creator - create google maps from your SHP files

This comes from CASA...The Google Map Creator is a freeware application designed to make thematic mapping using Google Maps simpler. The application takes a shapefile containing geographic areas linked with attributes and automatically generates a working Google Maps website from the data. It does this by pre-creating all the necessary files and saving them into a directory. Publishing the map on the web is then just a matter of copying files onto a web server, allowing Google Maps to be used with the majority of ISPs. Details instructions on how to get up and running are found at

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

55 Ways to Have Fun With Google

You probably use Google everyday, but do you know... the Google Snake Game? Googledromes? Memecodes? Googlesport? The Google Calculator? Googlepark and Google Weddings? Google hacking, fighting and rhyming? In this book, you’ll find Google-related games, cartoons, oddities, tips, stories and everything else that’s fun. Reading it, you won’t be the same searcher as before! (From the author of Google Blogoscoped.) See

Tip: Photoshop CS3 Extended Plug-In for Google 3D Warehouse

Photoshop® CS3 Extended Plug-in for Google 3D Warehouse is a free plug-in that enables you to search and download 3D models from Google 3D Warehouse™ directly from Adobe® Photoshop CS3 Extended. Once you have downloaded the plug-in, you can search Google 3D Warehouse from Photoshop CS3 Extended by going to File>Automate>Search Google for 3D Model.

Note: The Plug-In for Google 3D Warehouse is pre-release software. It has only been tested using an English operating system with an English version of Photoshop CS3 Extended. There may be bugs or other unknown issues. There is no installer for this plug-in —you must manually place the plug-in into the Photoshop plug-ins folder

Download from Adobe Labs Google Maps Real Estate Mashup is a service of Intero Real Estate Services and it focuses on the Silicon Valley market. The site provides instant access to multi-million dollar homes and condos for sale in Santa Clara county (California). Users can easily navigate, preview thumbnails and prices on the map and see full property details of the luxury homes on Intero's website thanks to a cool mapping UI powered by Google maps. Mouse-over the little house icons and get additional information on teh listings

Google Earth releases Large imagery/terrain update

News of this latest update comes from the BBS system...
New high resolution:
Canada: Whistler, BC; Waterloo & Toronto, Ontario; Nanaimo, BC; and
Fort Saskatchewan, AB
England: Base 50cm coverage of nearly entire country,
Germany: Cities/Regions of Greifswald, Trier, Köln, Stuttgart, Bonn,
Oldenburg, Rostock, Saarbrücken, Hamburg, Hannover, and Ritterhude
Austria: Villach region
France: Cities of Caen, Dijon, Metz, St Etienne, Toulouse and Rouen
Spain: Catalonia and Valencia
US: Imperial County (CA); Yellowstone National Park (WY);
Galveston/Houston (TX); Peterborough (NH); Cheyenne (WY); Burke, Wake,
and Cabarrus Counties (NC); Racine and Kenosha Counties (WI);
Washington, DC; St Paul (MN); and the State of Alabama
Japan: City/Regions of Kochi, Asahikawa, Koriyama, Miyazaki, Nagano,
Utsunomiya, Akita, and Toyama

Large Digital Globe (60cm) update includes areas in Sudan, expanded
Africa, Australia, Mexico coverage and smaller areas of coverage in
Asia, Polynesia, South America, Canada, Europe, Middle East plus some
interesting islands in Antarctica and Greenland.

Updated Imagery:
Americas: Bogotá, Columbia; Mission Viejo (CA, US); Hillsborough County (FL, US)
EU: Dublin, Ireland
Middle East/Africa: Beirut, Lebanon and Tripoli, Libya
Asia: Hong Kong and Manila, Philippines

Updated Terrain:
Western US 10m, Canary Islands 10m

Listening to your KML in Google earth - Wild Sanctuary

No doubt one of the coolest things I saw (and heard) at last week's where2.0 was listening to KMLs in Google earth - actually you can also listen using Google maps too. Bernie Krause of the Wild Sanctuary announced that he's sharing his vast collection of soundscapes with the World. So what you might think... well, think about this... this is likely one of the largest private collections of digital sounds of wildlife and various ecosystems that you'll ever find. Even better, the soundscapes are being shared via KML so now users of Google earth can enjoy listening to their 3D mapping experience while being immersed in the sounds of nature. The soundscapes are also available via Google Maps. See more on this at or grab the KML at - Here's a sample video clip I captured at Where2.0

Michael Jones, Google CTO at Where2.0- sports triquarter and Apple iPhone

Michael Jones, Google CTO took to the stage of Where2.0 carrying of all things… a triquarter. Why? Well, if you thought it would be impossible to be in possession of such a device Michael would like you to know that it is indeed possible... as is much more – like perhaps the 3D web! We all know by now that Google’s mission is organizing all of the World’s information. The Challenge though… there’s a second web, a geospatial web and Jones notes that it’s underserved… perhaps it’s a little less underserved after the Where 2.0 event! We were reminded about spatial modality and that what makes it great is the connectedness - think “The 3D spatial web”… Google is indeed working hard at not only organizing the World’s information but is also aggressively building out the 3D web. This week we’ve heard about Google’s high-res street-side imagery, the addition of mapplets, and recall SketchUp coming into the fold and being given away to the user community… today Jones confirmed that the company has indeed acquired Panoramio… all pieces of the puzzle in developing the 3D Web. I’m sure we’ll hear more about all of this tomorrow at the Google Developer day. Finally, in addition to the triquarter, Jones also brought with him an Apple iPhone (which also was sporting what else... maps!) - see video below from my youtube:

PLSS data - download, connect, or stream into Google Earth

Looking for PLS data for your GIS? Here's a couple of very useful resources you should consider. These include the Land Survey Information System (BLM) - available via download (SHP) or connection to a web service - and a cool utility from Earth Point enabling users to specify a location and map the data using Google Earth. Requested data are extracted and provided as a KMZ.Jump to the following section on the Earthpoint webpage - Users can elect to view data from the BLM or National Atlas. Then, enter some values like State, Meridian, Township, Range. The you simply fly to "Google Earth" - the data you selected will appear on a map within Google Earth. If you'd rather see coverage for the entire country then you can view either BLM Township, Range, and Section or National Atlas Township and Range.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Notes from Google VP Jeff Huber from Google Developer Day

A few notes I grabbed while attending Google's Developer Day a couple of weeks ago... VP Engineering, Jeff Huber kicked things off to more than 1,500 attendees/developers of Google Developer Day in San Jose, CA. Those electing not to make the trek to the “Valley” were also treated to a live broadcast which was estimated to have been viewed by more than 5,000 online attendees – note: the event is archived online and available via YouTube. We were reminded by Huber that in typical Google fashion the event was totally free and included free food as well (clap). This, as many of you know, was the first google Developer Day, although last year Google did host an event billed as Geo-Developer Day (I was fortunate enough to have been there also).

Remembering one year ago - Recall it was way back in 2005 when the Google maps API really kicked things off. It brought to the end user a new way of interacting with the web. The Google maps developer crew reverse engineered the API and created what was known as mashups. Remember the housingmaps mashup which enabled visualizing the location of available properties for rent? This first mashup is what really sent the developer team thinking and eventually coming up with the idea of throwing out an API for the developer world to take advantage of. Fast-forward to 2006 when we saw the AJAX search API and the emergence of the gdata API - exposing APIs as web services. 2007 will see several new products.

Some highlights from Huber’s introduction:

- Now after one year there are 10x more APIs to discuss

- there are 25 times the number of developers to reach via the developer event (hence the need to scramble with a larger venue at the last minute)

- The new model of application development includes open source, standards, mashups, and advertising

- Developers are now creating apps in a 10th of the time that was required back in the day!

Photos from Google Developer Day

The Google Earth iGoogle Gadget

No doubt you have your iGoogle page defined.. if not you better get to it! Something cool to add is the Google Earth Gadget... this gagdet offers up a cool new KML to fly over every day.. sweet! Grab the gadget here

updated and posted from Google - KML 2.2 Reference

Not sure if you noticed or not but yesterday Google posted an update to the KML reference. Some new features include a camera reference - a virtual camera that views the scene; additional support for attribution, and much more. See the KML 2.2 Reference (beta) at

Google map Mashups and show me the money

I noticed in some of the blogging going on this week that there was some questions regarding where the business (aka. revenues) lies in many of the new location-enabled applications and services that are coming online every day... a great question. Indeed at Where 2.0 a common topic of discussion was indeed just that - "the app looks really cool but where's the business model?" This is an even more important question when you look at companies like Fatdoor who launched a social networking service at Where - these guys had a big presence with loads of staff and all the free t-shirts you can handle! So where's the money? Well, much of that is still a mystery.. perhaps drumming up VC. Most of it I suspect will come from the obvious... advertising revenues - think Google! Yesterday at Google's developer day there was much discussion about the direction of the APIs. Something we were told we'll be seeing much more of is advertising... particularly in maps. Not just textual ads surrounding maps like we see everywhere but also, ads embedded within maps. Imagine as you look through your favorite mashup you will be presented with cool little graphic icons from Burger King or McDonalds etc... we were told that developers will have some control and be able to decide if they wish to serve these ads or not. More relevant ads are in the future as well and a move towards improvements like forcing new ads as you pan around the map or ads that change based on zoom level etc... the end result is more options for developers, more cash in their pockets, oh, and loads of advertising cash for Google as well. Enhancements to the Google Ajax Search API enabling users to display search results within their website, the Ajax feed API enabling users to easily load RSS and atom feeds into their websites will enable publishers to easily add compelling content to their sites... think more traffic. Also, on the flip side of ads.. those serving ads will be able to use Google Checkout and integrate the service into their ads.. think "buy now". With the new mashup editor, google gears and in particular, Mapplets, the number of people using google maps mashups is going to increase at an exponential rate for sure. Mapplets will enable people to mashup their mashups (eg. add a crimemapping mashup to your real estate mashup) so developers should be drooling over this as I suspect those that create mapplets will be rewarded with substantially larger adwords revenue checks than what they are used to. See

Google VP People Operations testifies regarding immigration , the H1B visa situation and Google

Google has recently commented on the current immigration issue and in particular touches on issues regarding the H1B visa. I myself follow this as I was once an H1B visa holder. Google VP, Laszlo Bock  commented "We would encourage Congress to significantly increase the annual cap of 65,000 H-1B visas, to a figure more reflective of the growth rate of our technology-driven economy." He also urged Congress to address the backlog of employment-based green cards for highly skilled workers. The entire text of the communication has been posted at 

Google maps and anti spam filtering

Recently I've noticed a new way for web masters to implement a nifty anti-spam solution into their contact forms. Recall "back in the day" when you typically would have to enter a string of letters/numbers that were displayed in a separate box - you know, those often non-legible scribbles that you had to retype in order to prove it was a real human posting through the form. Now google maps developers are integrating a map-based anti-spam solution when you need to look at a map, locate a place name that appears near the center of the map, then pick that name from a list. A clever way to avoid those pesky spammers who we all love to hate! I found this example over at locr - see - note: sometimes I find that the place name that I feel is near the center isn't in the list so its nbot perfect, but it is cool!

The Google maps anti-spam email solution - are you a human?

visited states google mashup

Thanks to Peter for a tip on this cool app that shows loads of potential... visited states let you create a map that shows what elese??? States I've visited.. cool! Below is my visited states map (red shows states where I've been). Be sure to check out the developer's website for pointers to tons of cool mashup projects - see

Manchester Cathedral 3D imagery - impressive and now used on new Sony game

Interesting news on CNN today as Sony seems to be in trouble with a church in the UK. Apparently the company has released a game that has players shooting up aliens inside a Cathedral. The church is upset for obvious reasons but what's interesting is that the photo-realistic 3D renderings of the Cathedral may become part of a huge legal matter. CNN seemed to indicate that the church wasn't sure how the 3D renderings were obtained but that the 3D imagery was very similar to what is available on the Cathedral's website. Perhaps the company that developed the imagery was contacted by Sony or ?? It should be noted that indeed an impressive 3D tour is provided when you access the following website - the 3D virtual tour can be seen at This technology comes from Mindwave ( Of interest, as I write this message Google Earth is making CNN headlines once again as there are now more calls for obscuring sensitive information from Google earth imagery. At the heart of the matter is the recently foiled terrorist attack on JFK airport. Google is boasting that much of the imagery is available via public sources.. so who's task is it to blurr out sensitive areas. Perhaps an even better question is what constitutes a sensitive area? Couldn't this include shopping malls, theatres, schools, public buildings, airports, ports, bus stations

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Ecosystem Sounds + KML = Wild Sanctuary Soundscapes

Now users of Google Earth and Google maps can listen to their data... At the recent Where2.0 event Bernie Krause of the Wild Sanctuary announced that he's sharing his vast collection of soundscapes with the World. So what you might think... well, think about this... this is likely one of the largest private collections of digital sounds of wildlife and various ecosystems that you'll ever find. Even better, the soundscapes are being shared via KML so now users of Google earth can enjoy listening to their 3D mapping experience while being immersed in the sounds of nature. The soundscapes are also available via Google Maps. See or - KML Application development was accomplished by 30Proof -

Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Live Search Maps at your fingertips

Been to the Idelix Labs lately? This is the developer resource where beta apps and other cool things the Vancouver-based company is working on are hosted. One such application launched last year is LookLocal... think of it as the ultimate map mashup where users can flip-flop their mapping between all the big boys in the mashup world - Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, and Live Search Maps. Oh... and perhaps coolest of all, integrate Idelix PDT into your mapping experience for a close up look and friendly navigation. Recall, PDT that nifty little "lens" for "magnifying" what appears on your computer display screen. See Idelix Labs - or
LookLocal -

tutorial - Converting a Maps API Mashup into a Mapplet

Here's a very handy document for mashup developers. The doc from Pamela Fox of Geo API Team describes in details exactly how to create a mapplet. From the tutorial... Google Mapplets allow developers to create Google Gadgets that can be loaded by Google Maps users onto the main "shared" map along with other Mapplets, enabling the Google Maps user to easily create "mashups of mashups". They're a great way to reach a large audience of users, so most maps developers should consider creating Mapplet versions of their Maps API mashups. With this conversion guide, you should be able to convert your Maps API site into a Mapplet (in 60 minutes or less!).  Grab the doc at

Google Earth Gallery

Have you seen the Google earth Gallery yet? It's not a gallery but it does provide a starting point for some cool things you can see and do in Google earth. See

Welcome to Any Google - Anything Google

This blog will initially serve to help me keep track of my placemarks and items of interest regarding Google's APIs including topics on Google maps, mapplets, and Google Earth.