Posts tagged as "google"

With the Demise of Google Maps Engine, What Next For GME Users?

At the beginning of 2013 Google launched Google Maps Engine Lite, a simpler and easier to use version of their commercial Maps Engine, which was designed as a successor to Google's My Maps feature. In essence, My Maps and GME were web based, simplified GIS tools, allowing a user to create maps with overlays of their own data. Call it GIS for people who don't know about GIS if you will. Maybe GME never got the traction Google hoped for but they have now announced that GME will be shutting down in a year's time. What happens next for GME users and what alternatives are there? Who will benefit from the demise of GME?

There's 3 likely contenders to the throne of the GIS-lite approach of GME; ArcGIS Online, CartoDB and MapBox via their new Turf product.

There’s much irony here, given that GME was originally positioned as a web savvy alternative to traditional GIS platforms. Both Esri and Mapbox will need a significant advertising push and awareness campaign to attract GME emigres. CartoDB on the other hand is positioning itself as the official successor to GME with the launch of CartoDB for Google Maps Platform, apparently developed in conjunction with Google.

Test Drive The New Google Maps Preview; With A Little Bit Of Cookie Hacking

There's a new version of Google Maps for the web but so far it's not for everyone. You need to request an invite and not everyone gets one of those it seems. But if you're impatient or curious and don't mind a tiny amount of technical hackery you can get to test drive the new version without the need to be one of those blessed with a preview invite.

If you go to Google Maps right now, you'll still see the current incarnation of Google's map. This is what the map of my home town looks like. The new preview version is there, you just can't see it.

After The Missing Manual For OpenStreetMap, Here's The Google Map Maker Version

The growth and uptake of today's internet and web allows us to do a lot of things that were previously the preserve of the professional. You can see this in the rise of words which now have citizen prepended to them. We don't just write blog posts, we're citizen journalists. We don't just take photographs, we're citizen photographers. To this list, we can now add citizen cartographer as well.

With the help of OpenStreetMap, HERE's Map Creator (which I work on) and Google's Map Maker, anyone with a modern web browser and an internet connection can now help to make maps where previously there were none and to improve and keep maps up to date, which still remains one of the biggest challenges to map making.

There's already been a book about OpenStreetMap, which I wrote about in April of 2011. As far as I know, no-one's written about HERE's Map Creator but for Google's Map Maker there's Limoke Oscar's Instant Google Map Maker Starter.

Map Push Pins vs. Dots? Google Map Engine vs. Dotspotting?

Yesterday, Google launched their Maps Engine Lite beta; a way of quickly and easily visualising small scale geographic data sets on (unsurprisingly) a Google map. The service allows you to upload a CSV file containing geographic information and style the resulting map with the data added to it. I thought I'd give it a try.

I turned to my tried and trusted data set for things like this; a data set I derived from a Flickr set of geotagged photos I'd taken of the London Elephant Parade in 2010. It's a known data source and I know what the results of this data set will give me; it lets me do a reasonably meaningful visual comparison of how a particular product or service interprets and displays the data.

Map Wars; Are Apple's Maps Really That Bad?

Making a map isn't easy. Making a map of streets and land features is hard. Making a map of streets and land features that stays up to date is harder. Making a map of streets, features and places, businesses, services, points of interest is harder still. Making a map of all of the previous that stays up to date is really hard. Making a map with all of the previous, wrapping it up in an app that runs on your smartphone and making it useable is verging on insanely difficult. Yet that's what Google and Nokia have been doing and with the release of iOS 6, that's what Apple is now doing as well. So how is Apple doing?

Making Maps Underground

Warning. This post contains a sweeping generalisation. Yes, I know that Places are not just part of today's digital maps; see the James Fee and Tyler Bell hangout The One Where Tyler Bell Defines Big Data as a proof point. But for the sake of this post, just assume that Places and maps are synonymous.

It's never been easier to make a map. Correction. It's never been easier to contribute to a map. Today we seem to be makingcontributing to maps everywhere, even underground, or should I say Underground?

To makecontribute to a map, you used to have to be a professional map maker, with easy access to an arsenal of surveying or an industrial grade GPS.

Foursquare Checkins, Maps And WordPress; Now With MOAR Maps

If you're an avid Foursquare user you can already display your last checkin, visualised on a map, in the sidebar of your WordPress powered site with the WP Quadratum plugin. Foursquare, checkins and maps ... what more could you ask for? Maybe the answer is more maps.

Version 1.1 of the WP Quadratum plugin, which went live this morning, now has added maps. The previous versions of the plugin used Nokia's maps, because I work for Nokia's Location & Commerce group and I wanted to use the maps that I work on. But if Nokia's maps aren't the maps for you then how about Google's, or maybe CloudMade's OpenStreetMap maps or perhaps OpenLayers' OpenStreetMap maps.

Is This Apple's New Map? (It Doesn't Look Like Google's)

Updated 8/3/12 at 12.20 GMT

Judging by comments to this blog post, on Twitter and on Google Plus, the consensus seems to be that yes, Apple is using OSM data from 2010 outside of the US; inside of the US it's (probably) TIGER data and no, there doesn't seem to be attribution and Apple may well be getting a communiqué from OSM to that effect. Other sources of information on this include * The iPhoto for iOS Not Using Google Maps thread on the OSM-Talk mailing list * Iván Sánchez Ortega has put up a nice map comparison between OSM and iPhoto's map tiles. * There's also another comparison between Apple's, OSM's and Google's map tiles. * Jonas. K has put up a blog post which comes right out and says that iPhoto is using OSM and other public domain mapping sources. * Finally, as a nice touch, this post seems to have made it into OSM Community Blogs.

Foursquare Goes With OpenStreetMap; On The Web

In web and location circles, much has been made of Foursquare's recent "little announcement" of the location based, check-in, company's decision to oust Google Maps and instead to go with OpenStreetMap data, by way of MapBox.

From reading a lot of the coverage you'd be forgiven for thinking that Foursquare has completely severed ties with Google's mapping APIs, but this isn't quite the story. As ReadWriteWeb notes in the last paragraph of its coverage, "Foursquare's iPhone and Android apps won't be affected" as the move is for Foursquare's home on the web,, only.

Costa Rica And Nicaragua; A Border Dispute In The Age Of Web Maps

The popular press and media likes nothing better to poke fun at people who seem to ignore their own senses and instead rely on their GPS sat-nav systems, which frequently results in people ending up in the middle of fields, in the middle of rivers or even, in extreme cases, almost driving off of the edge of a cliff.

But the strangest example of this sort of behaviour was in the first reports of recent events on the border of Costa Rica and Nicaragua that seemed to implicate Google Maps as justification for Nicaraguan troops crossing the border into Costa Rica and raising the Nicaraguan flag on Costa Rican territory. The dispute seems to hark back to the 1850's where the contested border between the two countries followed the course of the San Juan River, the course of which has since moved somewhat, as rivers are wont to do. Costa Rica asserts their sovereignty on the disputed land based on the 1850's arbitrated border which follows the course of the river and Nicaragua asserts theirs based on the fact that the river has moved so some land must be theirs.