Sightseeing The busiest airports of 2011


Over the years, the folks at Google Sightseeing have continually produced excellent content. They tend to use Google Maps for their views, so we always like to see how their locations look in Google Earth as well. In the past year or so, we’ve shown you some of their items such as the set of “Wipeout” and exploring the deserts.

Their latest feature covers the Top 5 Busiest Airports of 2011. Living in Atlanta, home of the world’s busiest airport, these kinds of stories always interest me. The numbers shown below are the total number of passengers from January-May, 2011. Let’s get to the list.

5. Los Angeleas International Airport (LAX) — 24,230,832


4. O’Hare International Airport (ORD) — 25,986,415


3. London Heathrow Airport (LHR) — 26,733,585



2. Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) — 31,080,482


1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) — 36,548,629



Another neat image of the Atlanta Airport comes from the folks at Trendsmap. They captured all of the geo-located tweets in the Atlanta area over the course of a year, then plotted them against a dark background. The result is quite cool, as you can clearly see the various terminals of the airport, which are connected by underground tunnels. (details on Flickr)



For other interesting airports in Google Earth, check out the scariest airports in the Caribbean, or perhaps Peter Olsen’s amazing recreation of the 1977 Tenerife Airport disaster.



Google Maps Mashups 7

John Harlin Live Google Map


American author and adventurer John Harlin has set out on an epic journey to follow the entire Swiss border under his own power, a 2,000km odyssey with more than 170,000m of climbing. You can follow John’s journey on’s John Harlin Live Google Map.

The map shows John’s current position (at the time of writing he appears to be approaching the Matterhorn). The map also includes the amazing photographs that John has taken on his journey, links to John’s daily reports and some of the interesting features and points of interest that John is passing on his epic journey.


Browse the New York Times by Location

You can now browse the New York Times by location using the Longitude Google Map.

Geotagged news stories are displayed on the map with a Times ‘T’ logo. If you click on a map marker an information window opens with ten recent articles from the paper for that location.

Beneath the map you can view a list of locations from today’s edition of the paper. Clicking on these links will also open the relevant information window on the map.

Read Write Web

Vermont Flooding 2011 Google Map

Google Crisis Response has released a Vermont Flooding 2011 Google Map.

The map shows road and bridge closures in the state. It is also possible to overlay other layers on the map showing:

  • cloud imagery
  • USGS Real-time Streamflow
  • significant river flood outlook
  • Red Cross shelters
  • Vermont county borders

Build a Google Map

Build-A-Map is a new Google Maps creation tool to help users build visually appealing, functionally rich, and interactive maps with minimal effort.

Using the simple point-and-click interface users can create custom maps, publish the map on Build-A-Map’s servers and then simply embed it in their own website or application. You can view examples of Google Maps created with Build-A-Map on the demo page.

Currently Build-A-Map is in beta testing. You can sign up now to be an early user.

The Circle Count Top 100 Google+ Users Map

Everyone knows that the real purpose of social networks is to gauge how popular you are by the number of followers you can collect. Circle Count is a new website that is tracking the most followed people on Google+.

Circle Count lets you enter your own Google+ profile and find your own Circle Rank based on the number of your followers. You can even get a button for your website or blog that shows how many followers you have on Google+. The application also provides a nice graph that shows your follower history.

The Circle Count Top 100 Google+ Users Map is a Google Map of the top 100 Google+ users worldwide (based on the number of followers). The top 100 is actually a pretty good list of some of the most important and influential players on the internet (and Ashton Kutcher).

If you want to follow Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Pete Cashmore, Vic Gundotra (the top 5) or connect with other important people on Google+ then this is a pretty good place to start.

Map of New York Evacuation Zones

The New York Times’ New York City Hurricane Evacuation Zones Google Map shows the three evacuation zones in New York.

The zones are based on the strength of the hurricane making landfall. New York is preparing for the threat of storm surges with the closure of the entire public transportation system.

Climate Central has created a Google Map showing the areas in lower Manhattan, New Jersey and Brooklyn that are most at risk of storm surges from Hurricane Irene.

Yesterday Google released their Crisis Response 2011 Hurricane Season Google Map. Today they have created a map just for New York City: 2011 Hurricane Irene New York City.

The New York City map shows the forecasted track of Hurricane Irene as well as the evacuation zones and evacuation centers. It is also possible to view additional layers on the map showing:

  • Storm Surge Probabilities
  • The Red Cross National Shelter System
  • Cloud Imagery
  • Evacuation Routes

Did Street View capture images of Phillip Garrido…?


You can read Jaycee’s story on Wikipedia (or almost any news site), but the short version is that she was kidnapped in 1991 and wasn’t found for 18 years! Police visited Garrido’s house various times over the years, but never looked in the back yard where Dugard was being held.

Viewing the home in Google Earth (KML) doesn’t show much, but if you switch to Street View mode you’ll see Garrido pull out of his driveway and follow the Street View car down the road.



To get that close-up shot of him, continue south down Walnut and then west on Bown until you reach Viera Ave. At that stop sign, he gets right up behind the StreetView car as shown above. Of course, there’s a chance that this isn’t Phillip, but it seems quite likely that it is — it’s his van, coming from his house, and it’s a male driving.

There have been a handful of famous people (possibly) spotted in Street View, but this is certainly one of the most high-profile. For other interesting sites in Street View, check out StreetViewFun or the Street View section on Google Earth Hacks.