In the old days, to figure out if your house, apartment, or place of work was good for walking, you'd have to go scout it out, or ask someone who knew the area. These days we have services such as Walk Score, a mashup that helps calculate how "walkable" an address is based on the services that surround it. It works by tallying up the distances to the surrounding attractions, and pulls them together in an average, which it gives you in a handy scale of 1 to 100. The higher the score, the more walk-friendly the … Read more
Google has acquired ImageAmerica, a company that builds high-resolution cameras and uses them to take aerial photographs.
The search engine giant announced the move Friday on its LatLong blog about Google Earth and its other mapping efforts. It didn't disclose terms of the deal.
"We're excited about how ImageAmerica's technology will contribute to our mapping services down the road," Product Manager Stephen Chau said on the blog. "Since we're in the research and development phase right now it may be some time before you see any of this imagery in Google Maps or … Read more
Google appears to be creating a fleet of Chevy Cobalts specially equipped with cameras to shoot street views for Google Maps, according to Gizmodo (post includes photos of the gray compacts).
Given Google's policy of paying employees $5,000 toward the price of a Toyota Prius, this is kind of odd.
A Google spokeswoman provided this statement in response to questions about the cars: "We are not providing details about the number of vehicles at this time; however we are constantly working to provide Street View imagery for more regions."
Imagine you are moving to a new city and you are considering different neighborhoods. If you want to find out if there are any cafes in a neighborhood, where the gas stations and post offices are, if there is a cinema nearby and what the crime is like, you typically have to consult multiple sources.
Not anymore. A new Web site set to launch on Tuesday called Terabitz offers all sorts of information in one place. The site is geared toward people looking for real estate, but it definitely will be helpful for a variety of purposes.
I recently moved … Read more
"Google Maps is changing the way we see the world," journalist Evan Ratliff declares in a June article for Wired magazine. I couldn't agree more. Google's universal mapping project isn't just changing the portals for viewing the world online, it's also changing offline understandings of how the world is best viewed--from Google's services, of course. Google has gained influence fast, by ambitiously developing innovative, interactive mapping software; integrating multiple online services into the majority of desktop and online apps; and familiarizing users with a particular Google-branded aesthetic.
In creating a suite of map apps to encourage users to contribute to Google's greater project and personalize locally-stored versions of a map, Google is not just bringing cartography to the masses, Ratliff points out, but is getting users to help build out its universe. This, of course, makes complete sense. With Google Earth, Google SketchUp, and MyMaps (watch the CNET News.com "how-to" video,) Google's mapping software has surpassed competitors like NASA in digitizing the world. In so doing, Google has captivated the imagination of loyal users who will return to the company's Earth and maps programs to find business listings, explore culturally significant architecture, and plant personal photos and videos.… Read more
Back when Windows Live originally released Windows Live Search for Mobile, I absolutely loved it. Windows Live Mobile Search is a killer app, especially if you have a Windows Mobile phone. Version 1 of the application included tight integration with Windows Live Local, with support for both standard and aerial map views. The most powerful features, though, are local search and directions. You can search for addresses, restaurants, hotels, or whatever in your area and get directions to get you there. I can't tell you how many times it has helped me to figure out where I needed to … Read more
You have to hand it to the developer behind iPh8ne, an iPhone-friendly version of Facebook, for (unofficially) calling their app helpful for "stalkers on the go" in their e-mail to us. iPh8ne takes Facebook and optimizes it for the iPhone's narrow screen. You can look at photo albums posted by you or your friends in a familiar iPod-like photo album viewer. You can also hop right to a Google Map of local food or entertainment near your friends, which iPh8ne pulls from their profiles.
The one thing missing is a way to view and interact with use … Read more
Getting lost isn't for everyone. While some people thrill from the challenge of navigating unknown geographies, the non-orienteering among us pout, or worse, panic. Vacations, with their endless opportunity to discover new territories, tend to spark the maddening frustration of getting, and staying, lost.
Take these mobile apps with you this extended Fourth of July weekend, or on any vacation, for seeking and finding your current location and future destination.
Loki for Firefox and Loki for Internet Explorer are browser toolbars that can act as a laptop GPS by locating your whereabouts. In addition, Loki can help you find businesses and landmarks nearby. Loki for Mobile performs the same trick for Windows Mobile devices.… Read more
There's really no better way to see how well you'll get coverage with a phone until you get your hands on it. This usually requires a purchase, or a friend or neighbor who has got the phone and service you're interested in. The next best thing is checking your carrier's site to see if it has a coverage map (here are links to AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint). A third option is SignalMap, a user-generated service that lets people search for and review cellular phone coverage by location.
It's about as simple as … Read more
Users of Google's free 411 service (1-800-GOOG-411), can now get maps sent straight to their phone. Once you've found your listing, just say "map it" to get a text message containing the address and a link to its location on Google Maps mobile. Users also get a link to turn-by-turn driving directions.
Since writing about the service in early April, I've become a regular user. Nine times out of 10, it works like a charm, while occasionally the voice recognition can and will fail--and when it does, it's often quite amusing.
If you're … Read more