Google Maps Mashups 16

They Draw & Travel – World Map

They Draw & Travel is a collection of wonderful user submitted hand drawn maps.

The World Map lets you browse the maps submitted to They Draw & Travel on Google Maps. You can click on any of the map markers and view the hand drawn map submitted for that location.

One Day on Earth

On 10.10.10 One Day on Earth asked people around the world to create a video of their world. The goal of the project was to “create an open shareable archive and documentary film of the world on 10/10/10.”

You can browse and watch the thousands of videos that were contributed around the world on this Google Map.


I only found this map yesterday and it has already become a firm favourite.

#rorschmap uses the Google Maps API to create a kaleidoscope for any location on the Earth. Essentially the application displays the Google Maps satellite view of a location and, using the same principle of multiple reflection that you find in kaleidoscopes, creates an animated Rorschach test effect.

Great British Picnics

The Guardian newspaper is increasingly working with partners to produce useful Google Map based guides. The newspaper are collaborating with to create their City Guides. They have also worked with Enjoy England to create a Google Map based guide to great destinations in the UK.

The Guardian has now partnered with Country Life Butter to create a Google Maps guide to great picnic spots in the UK.

The map helps you search for a picnic spot by activity, for example spots that are good for hikers, photographers or wildlife fans. You can also search by environment, such as by beach, riverside or country park.

If you have a favourite picnic spot of your own you can add it to the map.

Maersk Fleet – Live Map

This Google Map allows you to track in real-time the the huge shipping containers of Maersk as they travel around the world.

The position of the ships are displayed live on this Google Map. You can click on any of the ship map markers to view a photograph of the ship and read further details, such as the ship’s destination and current speed.

This map presumably uses the Automatic Identification System (AIS), an automated tracking system used on ships to plot real-time positions.

Integrate Google Maps and Flickr into a Real-Time App

.net magazine has published a great tutorial on how to create a real-time animated Flickr map. The tutorial was written by James Christian and Ben Gannaway the creators of the excellent Net-a-Porter Live Google Map.

The tutorial explains how to create a Google Map that animates in near real-time through images posted on Flickr. The tutorial includes how to work with the Flickr API and how to customise the look of your map.

Alongside the tutorial is a demo map and a link to download the full source code.


Yellow Pages in Canada has released a useful application to help two or more people find the best place to meet.

To find a place to meet you need to enter your address and the address of the person you plan to meet. You can then select the type of venue where you wish to meet, for example a restaurant, a bar or a cafe.

Rendezview will then create a Google Map showing you the most convenient venues that you could meet (based on your selected preferences), roughly half-way between the two locations.

Japanese Castle Explorer

Daniel O’Grady’s excellent Japanese Castle Explorer has been updated to take advantage of all the new wonderful Street View imagery available for Japan.

This year the Street View trike has been very busy in Japan capturing a lot of beautiful new off-road imagery, particular in the grounds of some of Japan’s castles.

The Japanese Castle Explorer is a great map that shows the locations of Japan’s most famous (and plenty of lesser known) castles. The map allows you to view Japan’s castles in Google Maps satellite view. Now it is also possible, where available, to view the castles in Street View.

The map is available in English and Japanese versions. You can view an example of the Street View at Himeji Castle (use the link to ‘Other Castle Panoramas’ in the sidebar to navigate to view other castles in Street View).

The Bath Schools Map

The Bath Schools Map is designed to help parents choosing schools in Bath, in the UK, by displaying local schools and admissions and performance data on Google Maps.

In Bath parents are only allowed to indicate 3 schools as a preference for their children. Using the map it is possible to find the nearest ten schools and compare their academic mini-league tables on a range of metrics with a sidebar. This helps parents make school choices from a broad base of information rather than gearing towards a single metric.

Geobus is a nice little app that can find the nearest bus-stops for any location in the UK. Just enter a postcode or use the ‘locate me’ button and the nearest bus-stops to your current location will be displayed on a Google Map.

The application was developed as part of the recent Young Rewired State initiative.

England’s Health Data Map

The Guardian has used Fusion Tables to map the latest Health Profiles data from the Department of Health and the Public Health Observatories.

Using the Google Map it is possible to compare a number of health indicators for regions in the UK. For example, it is possible to view child obesity throughout the UK or view where the most people die from smoking.

There are still quite a lot of gaps in Street View’s coverage around the world. Luckily a number of other providers have created their own Google Maps based Street View applications to try and plug these gaps.

China – with City8

In China City8 have created extensive interactive 360 degree panoramas in 45 of the country’s biggest cities.


As well as providing Street View type imagery in the USA, Canada, Singapore and Sweden Mapjack has also ventured where Google Street View has so far feared to tread. MapJack has great coverage in Malaysia, Thailand and Puerto Rico.


Norc has great coverage in central and eastern Europe, including in Poland and Austria, where Google’s Street View cars have yet to drive.


Beautiful Google Maps

There has been two stand out maps this week.

SRMLive is a great live real-time map of the Tour de France. If you are a fan of the peloton then you will love following the riders on this map.

Intersect, on the other hand, is an excellent application for plotting your life stories, with the added bonus that you can see how your stories intersect with the stories of others.


Intersect is an interesting new website that allows you to map stories by time and place and share them with the world. Once you have mapped your story you can then see how your narrative interacts with other stories – by seeing what else happened at the same time and place.

Intersect uses a time-line and Google Maps to show the intersections between your story and the stories of others. Using the map and the time-line you can find out what important events in other people’s lives were happening at the same time and place.


It has taken a while but I have finally found a live real-time map of this year’s Tour de France.

The map shows the real-time position of 13 of the riders. The map sidebar shows the current speed of each rider and their current heartbeat. Beneath the map is an interactive elevation chart of the current stage.

Google Maps Applications

Mini Maps on Facebook

The most retweeted map on Google Maps Mania this week was definitely this racing game from Mini.

Mini Maps is a great driving game for Facebook that lets you race anywhere in the world on Google Maps. You can race on tracks created by other players, competing against the best track times or even race against others by inviting your Facebook friends to play.

Alternatively you can create your own tracks, set the best time and challenge others to try and beat you.


If you are tired of working out of coffee shops then you might want to give WorkSnug a go. WorkSnug uses Google Maps to show you your nearest workspaces with WiFi access.

To find your nearest workspace you just need to enter your location. The results will show you the nearest coffee shops with WiFi but will also show you nearby libraries and other communal spaces where you can work.

If you click on a mapped workspace you can click through to read details about the venue, which includes information about the availability of power, refreshments and the noise levels.

Cooler Planet: Solar Energy Installation Map

Cooler Planet has created an animated time-line with Google Maps to show the progress of solar installations in California from 1999 through to 2011.

Using data from Go Solar California Statistics the map lets you view time-lines of ‘total installs’, ‘total watts’, ‘watts per install’ and ‘total carbon saved’. It is fascinating using the map to view how solar power installations have blossomed in California over the last decade.


TripsQ is a data visualisation application that aims to help people make full use of the data that they have generated through Foursquare. It uses all the data you have gathered while travelling, by turning your check-ins at airports into useful travel statistics.

Everyone who uses Foursquare can easily sign in to tripsQ and visualise their trips and travel itineraries. TripsQ also provides users with detailed statistics on the distance they’ve travelled, the amount of CO² they’ve produced during each trip and other information about their travels.