Google Maps – Ads EVERYWHERE

As the jokes were flying about how distasteful Google’s new Map’s info ad venue was, I became curious as to exactly how unseemly it really was. So I looked.

As Glen Gabe pointed out it may very well be necessary for SMB’s to take out ads defensively. Greg Sterling suggested that Google think about a Pandora like subscription so you could search ad free. For me, Google’s ads on the Map info bubble reminds me of ads on “park benches” that sit amid the fumes on street corners.

Here is a slide show that I assembled in 5 minutes to explore the possibilities. Bing is advertising on Zuccotti Park, Bank of America of course advertising on themselves, Chase is advertising on the Lexington Ave  women’s shelter and CPRProfessor advertising on the American Red Cross…. wow. You can click to see a slide show of some of these ads:

Bing Maps: How to Overlay Weather and Traffic Conditions

How to overlay traffic and weather information on Bing Maps.


You can get weather information from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The NOAA expose a number of WMS layers showing, for example, cloud coverage, real-time radar data, wind speed and sea levels across the U.S. and territories. (Sadly, I’m not aware of an equivalent data source for the rest of the world). You can find information on the various layers available from

The data is exposed as WMS layers, so start by following my previous posts explaining how to access and overlay WMS layers on the AJAX v7 or Silverlight control. Replace the URLTemplate in these examples with the URL of the NOAA WMS service, as follows:

string urlTemplate = “

This example retrieves the RAS_RIDGE_NEXRAD layer, which is a RADAR mosaic for CONUS, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Alaska, and Guam. When overlaid on Bing Maps, it looks like this (illustrating the weather currently affecting the Mississippi river area):


If you want to add several different weather layers from the NOAA and control them separately you can make several separate requests to the WMS service, changing the URL template each time to request the appropriate layer. Otherwise, you can make a single request that merges several types of information in one layer, by passing a comma-separated list in the LAYERS parameter. E.g. to retrieve a single layer that displays both the land surface temperature (OBS_MET_TEMP) and the sea surface temperature point observations (OBS_MAR_SSTF) in a single layer, you can use the following URL template:

string urlTemplate = “{0}&SRS=EPSG:4326&width=256&height=256&transparent=true&Layers=OBS_MET_TEMP,OBS_MAR_SSTF”;


Bing Maps v6.x contained an inbuilt option to display traffic using the VEMap.LoadTraffic method. This method does not exist in v7 or in the Silverlight control, but you can still access the same tileset as used by the v6.x control. The URL at which these tiles are located is:{quadkey}.png

Note that, this time, these are tiles that have already been cut into the Bing Maps quadkey system, so you don’t need to add the intermediate WMS handler step as with the weather example above. Instead, you can directly add a tilesource pointing to the traffic tile data as follows:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8">
<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>
<script type="text/javascript">
var map = null;
var tilelayer = null;
function GetMap()
// Initialize the map
map = new Microsoft.Maps.Map(document.getElementById("mapDiv"),{credentials:"Your Bing Maps Key",
center:new Microsoft.Maps.Location(47.9,-122), zoom:9, mapTypeId:"r"});

// Create the tile layer source
var tileSource = new Microsoft.Maps.TileSource({ uriConstructor: ‘{quadkey}.png’ });

// Construct the layer using the tile source
tilelayer= new Microsoft.Maps.TileLayer({ mercator: tileSource, opacity: 1.0 });

// Push the tile layer to the map
<body onload="GetMap();">
<div id=’mapDiv’ style="position:relative; width:640px; height:480px;"></div>



Sadly, once again, this data is for the US only. Also note that there are a few clauses in the Bing Maps Terms of Use specifically governing the use of traffic data.

YouTube: raising the user creativity

Have you ever been in the process of creating a video and just needed that one perfect clip to make it pop? Maybe you were creating your own music video and needed an aerial video of Los Angeles at night to spice it up. Unless you had a helicopter, a pretty powerful camera and some fierce editing skills, this would have been a big challenge. Now, look no further than the Creative Commons library accessible through YouTube Video Editor to make this happen. Creative Commons provides a simple way to license and use creative works.

You can now access an ever-expanding library of Creative Commons videos to edit and incorporate into your own projects. To find a video, just search in the YouTube search bar or from within the YouTube Video Editor. We’re working with organizations like C-SPAN,, Voice of America, Al Jazeera and others, so that over 10,000 Creative Commons videos are available for your creative use.

To get started, visit and select the CC tab:

Any video you create using Creative Commons content will automatically show the source videos’ titles underneath the video player:

As part of the launch of Creative Commons licensing on YouTube, you’ll also be able to mark any or all of your videos with the Creative Commons CC-BY license that lets others share and remix your work, so long as they give you credit. To mark your video with the Creative Commons license, select ‘Creative Commons Attribution license’ on the upload page or on the Video Description page:

You can learn more about Creative Commons on YouTube at our help center, and remember that all content must still follow the rules in our Copyright Center.