Google Maps is dynamic. Making customized maps through the service isn't very difficult. But there are a variety of third-party tools on the Web that help you create fully customized Google Maps mashups. From Flickr geotag integration to wedding event mapping to just doodling, you can do it all.Mapping tools
GeotagIt With GeotagIt, you can quickly upload photos from your Flickr account or links from your Delicious page, then add geotags to them. (You can also do this within Flickr.) The link or photo is then displayed on the map in the area you chose. It shows the item's longitude and latitude on the page. It runs in Flash instead of Google Maps like the other services in this roundup. That makes moving around the map a little difficult. The mashup is in beta, so it can be buggy at times. But I found that adding pictures from Flickr worked beautifully. Plus, I liked GeotagIt more than than Flickr's geotagging feature. Adding multiple images at once was simpler. And with the help of its map search, finding friends' geotagged images took seconds.
Map Builder Map Builder is a powerful tool, but it's extremely simple to use. You can pick a location with city and state or ZIP code. Once the tool finds the location's latitude and longitude, it then gives you the option of adding a caption, a description, and picking the color and design of the marker. Unfortunately, the site lets you upload photos only if you use its real-estate service, which is subscription-based. The real-estate service is designed for real-estate professionals who want to map their listed properties for clients. It costs $19.95 per month. Other than that, I was quite happy with Map Builder. I think that it's an ideal service for companies that want to integrate a custom map into their Web site.
Mapicurious Mapicurious lets you mark your favorite locations, share hot spots with friends, or simply add points of interest. You can also upload pictures to your map. And adding all that content is made simple with the site's fine menu system. I was really impressed by Mapicurious.
MapTrot Adding points of interest to MapTrot takes just a few seconds. Once you decide to create a map, you can input the name or address of the place you want to add. You can include a description or direct people to Google Images. But there's not much else to MapTrot. I liked it, but it's not better than a site like Map Builder.… Read more
It may not be Google Earth, but Google's latest application for its Android operating system is headed in the direction of at least one Earth's layers--up.
Google Sky Map uses your exact whereabouts, including the direction you're facing and the tilt of your handset, to show you the stars and planets all around. Because the Android phone is an extremely portable device, unlike your desktop or even laptop, Sky Map can heavily lean on the phone's built-in GPS and its accelerometer. This lets you point the phone like a remote to see the sky above. Yet … Read more
I was looking through the Google Maps directory recently and found a variety of maps worth checking out. From up-to-date weather to barbershops, they should all be added to your list of Google Maps modules.
Barbershops: The map's description says "Barbershops are one of the last bastions of manliness today." And that's why the developer created a map providing locations to barbershops all over the U.S. Not every area is covered, but if you live in a major city, you'll find at least one or two barbershops to try out.
Best Nightclubs and Bars: If you want to find the best nighttime hangouts in major cities like New York; Scottsdale, Ariz.; or Las Vegas, the Best Nightclubs and Bars Map is for you. After picking an individual city to get a listing of hot spots, you should find all the places you're looking for. It would be nice if it supported more cities, though.
Chandra X-Ray Observatory: The Chandra X-Ray Observatory map gives you in-depth information about Harvard's Chandra X-Ray lab. It has dozens of markers around the world. Each time you click on a map marker, it explains exactly why the location is important to Chandra's operation. If you're interested in space and you want to learn more, this map is for you.
Current Air Quality: Those who have breathing problems will be happy to know that there is a Current Air Quality map that updates each hour with information gathered from government air quality sites. It only tracks the U.S., the U.K., and China, so if you live anywhere else, this probably won't do you much good. But I find it quite useful for where I live.
Distance Measurement Tool: Ever wanted to know what the distance is between Hoboken, N.J., and Tokyo? With the help of the Distance Measurement Tool, you can do just that. Simply click on one spot on the map, then click on another. The tool will show two markers and the distance.
Flickr Mapplet: It's not perfect, but the Flickr Mapplet is a neat addition to your Google Maps favorites. You can search for any kind of image. Once it finds photos that match your query, they will be indicated on the map with markers based on where the photographer claims the photos were taken. Once you click on the marker, you can view the pictures. Its search could be better, but it's still an interesting way to see photos.
Follow the Rainbow: If you want to go to Ireland, Follow the Rainbow is for you. It provides you with all the top spots for history, food, art, and music. When you click one of the markers (they're all color-coded, thus the "Rainbow" name), it tells you where it's located in the country, what it offers, and how to get there.… Read more
Arceyes Superget is touted as an advanced mapping system that utilizes Google's already stellar maps functionality, and it has a price tag to match its lofty claims. In reality, the developers of this download have not put in the necessary work for this program to function, and Arceyes is a mess.
We got off to a bad start with a series of program crashes before we even saw the interface. Once we OK'd several of these messages, the primary screen opened and simply asked us to input longitudinal and latitudinal coordinates. A test proved to cause more error … Read more
IBM is creating a computer that will go to battle against contestants on Jeopardy, and we envision that it will be something like an Internet-connected Google computer searching for the answers in real time. Something tells me this computer will be a little bit smarter than that. Also, Nicole Lee joins us to discuss a slew of cell phone-related news.Listen now: Download today's podcast EPISODE 961
Verizon and the iPhone: Nothing to report…yet http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-10227945-94.html
Investigated: Unlocked GSM Palm Pre on sale http://crave.cnet.co.uk/mobiles/0,39029453,49302115,00.htm… Read more
You got a better idea on how taxis should work? New York City is all ears.
On Tuesday, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) put out a request for information on how it can improve its taxi technology.
The TLC, in conjunction with the Design Trust for Public Space, staged an elaborate display at the New York International Auto Show in 2007 of taxis with innovative ideas on sustainability and design. Now it seems that the TLC wants to ensure that the public is aware of its interest in tech beyond hybrids.
The city's contracts with service providers for its tech tools program--referred to as the Taxicab Passenger Enhancement Program, or T-PEP--expire in about two years. The TLC seems to be shopping for options on how "to enhance the technology systems in each taxicab for the benefit of passengers, drivers, and owners alike," according to the announcement.… Read more
There are any number of amusements to be found on Google Maps, candid images of the world captured by Google's , but I couldn't resist passing this one along.
It looks as if southbound on Merchant Street in Pittsburgh, Pa., is a lousy spot to have a camera mounted on a stalk on the roof of your car.
Open the link above and click the forward arrows. You can watch as the car heads toward the low-clearance bridge, then see the view go askew, then see it corrected again, apparently because the camera was remounted correctly.
Or … Read more
Yahoo has signed up three new universities to participate in Internet-scale computing research, the Internet pioneer said Thursday.
The University of California-Berkeley, Cornell University, and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst have joined an effort that already included Carnegie Mellon University, Yahoo said Thursday. The universities get access to a cluster of Yahoo computers called M45 that runs open-source software called Hadoop that can be used to process data rapidly.
Yahoo is a major contributor to Hadoop, a project within the Apache Software Foundation's collection, but Google created the underlying technology through its MapReduce algorithm. MapReduce and Hadoop can be used … Read more
A vast improvement on its BlackBerry predecessor, Google Mobile App is primarily a search app that also serves as a portal to other Google Web apps. It's anchored by a search bar, with a string of icons along marching along the top. Click one to download or launch native Google apps like Gmail and maps, or to jump to mobile Web sites for the panoply of Google apps.
Warmly welcomed are autocomplete search suggestions, the ability to scroll through search history, and the ability to edit a misspelled search term and begin a new search. Brand new is a … Read more