Google Maps has added a new view layer to its repertoire today. It's called terrain view, and as the name suggests, it lets you get a detailed look at natural geographical features, as well as man made ones, like buildings and landmarks. Unlike Google Earth, you can't zoom around and change eye level to see how high something is, but Google has provided some degree of rendering on the surface of the earth to give it a 3D look and feel.
We're total suckers for video products that let us use our face. A few months back, Caroline put my head on a woman's body with the launch of JibJab's Starring You service, and shortly before that, Rafe played around with Fix8, which lets you overlay live video with avatar and object overlays. Both are vastly different technologies, but the idea is the same: quick entertainment with very little effort on the part of the end user. Along the same lines, Gizmoz, which has been providing 3-D face-mapping technology to the masses since late May, is launching a … Read more
Flickr has finally gotten around to rolling out their new Places feature. We got a note about it appearing sometime midday yesterday, but the service hadn't gone live yet until early today. Essentially it's a profile page for locations, letting you dig deep into both local photographers, and pictures taken around landmarks that have been matched up either by name, or geotags. Anytime people add their photos with the correct geography (something that's done through Flickr's organizer tool), the most recent shots will appear on the page. Each places page also links up with other Yahoo … Read more
There are a lot of sites to scan if you're looking for real estate (a house to buy, or a rental), but one of the most useful, I think, is HotPads. The site was started as a rentals locator, but it has recently expanded to include homes for sale as well.
Like other sites, HotPads displays properties on a zoomable and movable map. But where HotPads shines is its display of additional data. It will overlay heat maps showing data like household income and average rental price, and pop schools and transit stops on to the map as well. … Read more
This morning Google Maps has a handy new feature for users who want to give the free mapping service a little more precision. Users who are signed into Google Maps with their Google account can now edit where a marker appears on any location, be it a business or residential listing. The feature stemmed from some of the options found in Google's My Maps, which lets users create their own maps using specialized markers and road directions.
To curb potential abuse, users aren't able to edit the location of a business that has already verified its location via Google's Local Business Center. There's also an official review system that has to double check your edit if it's more than 200 meters away from the original location. If you come across a marker that's been moved, you can view its original location and you think is inaccurate, you can click a link to send it back to its original spot.
While you have to be signed in to make changes, other users can only see the first two letters of your name. Likewise, if any changes have been made you can track them in a history, which shows the original marker location, along with its new one, on a mini map.
Eventually the company hopes that this will let users with potentially mismarked residential listings rectify any confusion that results as a part of difficult to find entries--typically the kind of thing you find in tightly packed urban areas, or buildings with multiple entrances. Google has also put together an explanatory video, which I've embedded after the break.… Read more
I've never seen one of photo vans they use to make the images in Google Maps' Street View feature, but a few days ago I did see a close relative. While walking through San Francisco, I saw one of the Tele Atlas vans parked for a rest. If the bright orange color (and the large Tele Atlas lettering) didn't give it away, surely the six cameras perched on the roof did. The crew wasn't around so I couldn't get a peek inside, nor could I ask just how the GPS/mapping company was using the van. … Read more
Where are you right now? It's a simple question for humans to ask and answer, but for Web services, location is a complex and sometimes fuzzy concept. Right now, I'm in San Francisco, and I don't care who knows it. Where in San Francisco? That's not so public. I started writing this at home, with a specific address that I don't want to print here but that I'm OK with my friends knowing. Where's my house? It's in the Noe Valley neighborhood. Although, a real estate agent might be able to get … Read more
As of today, Google Earth can finally tell you what the weather is like while you zoom around the 3D representation of our planet. The app has a new layer that lets you toggle cloud cover, Doppler radar, and conditions and forecasts, which will show you what's on tap in each region using information aggregated from Weather.com. There's also an "information" link that has more background about each of the services and links to download the 6- and 24-hour cloud animations, which can be controlled using playback buttons in the top right of your screen. It looks just like you've seen on any TV weather report, except you have complete control on the playback slider, and can drag is backward and forward ad nauseum to bend the clouds to your will (it's great fun).
I couldn't manage to get the "conditions and forecasts" sublayer to activate with the latest build for Windows, but maybe that's just me. Everything else works marvelously, including the Doppler radar that Google claims is "near real-time," which is a reasonable considering it's updated every 15 minutes--about what you'd find at most weather sites. The data for Doppler comes from Weather.com and is limited to the contiguous United States, with plans to roll it out to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Europe "shortly." All other regions of the globe are limited to cloud cover and forecasts, which Google pins at somewhere around 50,000 cities worldwide.… Read more
Cars and maps are kind of a match made in heaven. People get lost, and roads are confusing. Luckily, pumping gas is not, and despite some states like Oregon requiring people to pump your gas for you, most other places are a self-serve affair. The Associated Press is reporting that a new line of gas pumps from Gilbarco Veeder-Root, due to ship next month, will be equipped with a touch-screen panel that includes a slightly stripped-down version of Google Maps to let you browse local attractions like hotels, amusement parks, and restaurants that have been handpicked by the gas station'… Read more
Google Maps has worked hard to place just about every capability you'd want when you stare at a map into its Web app. That includes the ability for third-party developers to ornament Google's maps with their own KML, or keyhole markup language, mapplets.
AccuWeather.com announced today its Forecast Snapshot for Google Maps. The add-on slips into the MyMaps tab of a user account and offers multiple ways to fetch the weather forecast while fixating on a particular locale.
Click the map, or enter the ZIP code or city into the AccuWeather.com search bar to grab meteorological data in Celsius or Fahrenheit. AccuWeather.com displays a three-day forecast in the sidebar and on the map face, but the widgetlike qualities stop there. Clicking for compressed or extended forecasts, animated radar, or anything else opens new tabs on AccuWeather.com.… Read more