Sweden is hiding “secrets” visible from space


• Some of their “military secrets” are visible on Google Earth, but not on their local mapping sites (Hitta.se and Eniro.se).

• Google uses imagery from Lantmäteriet to cover parts of the country, and Lantmäteriet sensors some sensitive areas.
• There are two main underground control centers for Sweden’s air force; one is visible in Google Earth, the other isn’t.
• The one that is visible is because Google is using imagery from DigitalGlobe for that part of the country, and they’re not censoring it.

Stefan goes on to point out something even more interesting — historical imagery of the obscured area from a few years ago clearly reveals the facility, and the imagery was also from Lantmäteriet; they just weren’t obscuring it yet!

The bigger problem is the method of how the imagery is being obscured. In many cases, such as the Netherlands and the French nuclear plant we mentioned above, imagery is simply blurred to hide details of the buildings.



In the case of Sweden, the modify the imagery to look like fields and forests. While this could potentially help hide their secrets more effectively, it also puts into question the accuracy of all of their imagery.

Stefan shows the example of the village of Hästveda, seen below before and after the photoshopping that removed it from their imagery.



Google Maps Mashups 6

A cool Google Map mashup  of two French guys journey

Phillipe and Josue are two French guys who have taken a year’s sabbatical and decided to travel around the world. To help the world follow their journey they have created a cool Google Map of their journey that they call, 11 (onze) Mois sans toi(t)

The map shows all the stops that the pair have made on their journey so far. The information for each window includes Tweets, Facebook updates and photographs taken at that location. The map also includes the option for users of the map to add places of interest around the world that they think the guys should visit on their journey.

Your Story with Google Maps

I’m sure everyone has a story to tell – and you can tell yours with this Google Map.

Stories Unbound was created for the Melbourne Writers Festival. It is a social media platform (website and iPhone app), that lets users write and geotag stories wherever and whenever the mood strikes.

You can read submitted stories by selecting a marker on the map. It is also possible to select a story from the slide-out sidebar, where you can also submit your own story by selecting a location on the map.

The Google Maps interface for Stories Unbound uses Google Map Styles to create a map which is in keeping with the Melbourne Writers Festival brand. The clean look of the map, with most of the map labels removed, also creates a clean interface, which encourages the user to explore stories by location.

Google Maps for Flash

Google has announced that the Google Maps API for Flash has been deprecated. This means that no new features will be developed, and only critical bugs, regressions, and security issues will be fixed in the API.

Google says that “use of the Maps API for Flash remains a small percentage of overall Maps API traffic, with only a limited number of applications taking advantage of features unique to the Maps API for Flash.”

Perhaps the one unique feature available in the The Maps API for Flash and not available in the JavaScript API is the 3DMap object. The 3DMap object allows Flash map developers to create oblique map views and rotate Google Maps. It does seems to be a unique feature that was used very little.

The only map that I can remember that used this feature was a really cool application that let you create your own weather map. However the application no longer seems to exist. Luckily I did manage to video the application when it was released, so you can view the 3DMap object put to good use in the video below.

Sadly for map developers the Yahoo Maps API is also on the way out. From September 13th Yahoo will no longer support:

  • ActionScript 2 & 3 (Flash APIs)
  • AJAX Maps 3.6, 3.7, 3.8
  • REST API (Map Image API)
  • Simple API – (No coding)
  • GeoRSS – Version 2

Google Geo Developers Blog

Ghostly International Live Map

The record label and art company Ghostly International has created a Ghostly International – Live Map so that you can follow all their currently performing artists.

The Live Map lets you select an individual artist from the map sidebar and view all their upcoming events on a Google Map. When you select an artist from the sidebar an information window opens with a brief bio of the selected artist.

45° Imagery for 24 cities

Google Maps has had another big update of 45° (bird’s eye view) imagery. 24 new cities, including Lausanne, Switzerland and Girona, Spain, now have oblique view imagery in Google Maps.

To mark the occasion I have put together this Aerial View Slideshow, to highlight some of the best of the 45° imagery now available in Google Maps.

Google LatLong

Local Events with Google Maps

WeGooo is a Google Maps based application for finding nearby events.

Once you enter a location WeGooo displays a Google Map of the location with a time-line of nearby events. You can browse the events in chronological order from the time-line or find events by location by selecting a venue’s marker on the map.

It is possible to change your location on the map by dragging the ‘That’s me’ marker to a new position. If you select an event from the time-line the map will also display a route from your current location to the selected venue.

Fun with Google Maps

The Art of Running – A Tribute to Steve Jobs

Apparently someone called Steve Jobs got a new job this week, news of which seemed to send the world reeling. The news certainly seemed to have a strange effect on Joseph Tame.

Using his iPhone and RunKeeper Joseph set out to create a giant geoglyph of the Apple logo by running around Tokyo.

Don’t Pass Gas

City Slogans is a Google MyMap of witty slogans that towns in the U.S. have invented to try to entice you to visit.

Amongst the gems on offer is Hooker, OK with “It’s a location, not a vocation” and Algona, IA with “Home of the World’s Largest Cheeto”.

So Long and Thanks for all the Fish

The Google Maps Street View trike has taken a visit to Seaworld Orlando. On his visit he took a number of photographs including this shot of the performing dolphins.

Google Earth: Le Tour de France

The 2011 Tour de France has recently gotten underway, and Cycling the Alps has built some fun tools to help you see the conditions that the riders are up against.

We’ve shown you some of their work in the past, such as the great games that they added to the site earlier this year. Now they’ve combined that technology with the Tour de France and the result is quite cool.


They’ve gone through and created 3D tours, Streetview tours, profiles and games for every leg of the race. It’s quite an impressive list. Here are a few of the highlights to look for:

Stage 8

There are two stages in the Massif Central which are going to be very challenging, including the last two climbs in this stage: Col de la croix Saint Robert and Super-Besse Sancy.

Stage 12

In the Pyrenees and the climbs of this stage are epic. The Tourmalet is the most famous one but Luz-Ardiden gets a lot of attention in the media as well.

Stage 14

Stage 14 in the Pyrenees is probably the most difficult stage in the race, with six significant climbs.

Stage 18

This years tour is celebrating 100 years of high mountain stages, and every race featured a climb of the Col du Galibier. This year they’ll be climbing the pass two times; once from each side. In stage 18 they will even finish on the Galibier. This is the highest stage finish in the history of the Tour de France.

Stage 19

The next day they will climb the Col du Galibier from the other side, and all three climbs on the 19th stage are legendary.

There’s an amazing amount of info on this site about the Tour, and the games make it fun to ride around on each stage. Congrats to the CTA team for putting this all together.