30 November 2006

ThinkPad T60 with Google Maps in Motion

Gimmick or practical you decide...

Source: Crave
Related Source:bulknews

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29 November 2006

Google Earth vs ArcGIS Explorer

Google Earth vs ArcGIS Explorer which is better?

Google Earth Wins

Well this was one of the quickest tests mapperz has ever done.

Google Earth Wins! by a mile.

The simplest of tasks - search for '10 Downing Street, London, UK'

Google Earth - 3 seconds to rotate the earth and zoom right into Downing Street and display the aerial photographs at full resolution.

ArcGIS Explorer - Place not Found, Please check your spelling....
(login needed)

ESRI can we please have ArcGIS service pack 1 before the end of the year?
(ESRI software users know about the x.0 curse)

Mapperz recommends Google Earth for the time-being.

Is it 10 Downing Street, London?
Okay so now you can find 10 Downing Street, London, UK
After entering 3 Input Boxes and Scrolling through a long list to Find Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Then it did not actually find it after asking for conformation.

But look at the image it's not clear and does not show the real location.
Took 34 seconds to do this in ArcGIS Explorer and this result is not really what the 'User' wants.

Google Earth still wins... in our book.

The other very annoying feature is you cannot add personal geodatabases to ArcExplorer.

Time to convert .mdb into .kml??

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ArcGIS Online (Beta) - ArcGIS Explorer

Update: ESRI's answer to Google Earth is available here (login required)
ArcGIS Explorer

ESRI has finally released ArcGIS Online (Beta) for the ArcGIS 9.2 products

ArcGIS Online Beta

If your lucky enough to have 9.2 (Arc installed and running you will be able to use this service.
You are required to login (can use your existing ESRI account).

Take a look at the National Geographic Maps in ArcGIS 9.2
(yes mapperz helped make them)

"Using ArcGIS Online, you can:
  • Explore data for many digital worlds seamlessly in both 2D and 3D maps—for example using ArcGIS Explorer, the free 3D application for ArcGIS.
  • Create your own digital worlds in 2D and 3D by combining ArcGIS Online services with your local data and services from ArcGIS Server, ArcIMS, Open Geospatial Consortium WMS services, and KML Services.
  • Embed ArcGIS Online services into your own maps and applications and share the results with others.
  • Add user tasks from your own secure servers and fuse them with services from ArcGIS Online and other servers—for example, visibility modeling, proximity search, or demographic analysis."
ArcGIS Onlline can be used with the following software:

* ArcGIS Explorer 9.2
* ArcMap 9.2
* ArcGlobe 9.2
* ArcReader 9.2
* ArcCatalog 9.2

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28 November 2006

Real-time Sunrise and Sunset Tracking Map

Track the Sun setting or rising in real-time.
Sunset Sunrise Tracking Map - Zoomed Out

The map displays- in real time- the lines between the light (day) and dark (night) sides of the earth. This dividing line is known as the terminator. The parts of the earth that are crossing the terminator are where sunrises and sunsets occur.

As the map runs in real-time, you can watch different parts of the earth move from night to day (and vice versa).

Sunrise and sunset

You can choose between close-up views of the sunrise (night-to-day) and sunset (day-to-night) halves of the terminator. Sunrise (the part of the earth moving out of the shadow) is shown in yellow, moving across the landscape. Sunset (the parts of the earth moving into shadow) is shown in blue.


Latitude is how far north or south of the equator (from 0 to 90 degrees) a place is. You can choose which latitude you want the view centred on. Either click the map (you may find navigation easier if you zoom out first) to centre on that latitude, or enter a value from +90 degrees (the North Pole) to -90 degrees (the South Pole).

Note that areas within the Arctic and Antarctic circles may be in permanent daylight or night during winter or summer, so it's impossible to show sunrise and sunset in such cases.

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27 November 2006

Interactive Map - Oxford

Interactive Map of Oxford
Clean and simple interactive map with panaromic views of Oxford.

Source:World Travel Blog

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v-Trafic Beta - French Traffic Congestion Mapped

v-Trafic Beta - Traffic Congestion
Nice clear mapping overlay on a google map.
This shows in near real-time traffic congestion for the whole of France.

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26 November 2006

gTraffic updated with Timeline

A nice update from gTraffic incorporating time to a Google Maps Mashup.
gTraffic Timeline MapgTraffic Timeline Chart

Using something called "GWT wrapper"

Looks like a first to Mapperz. Very well done.

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Google Maps Directions via KML Google Earth

Some google mappers have noticed that you can create kml files from google maps
Directions SW1 to SW2 on Google Maps

Example directions from SW1 to SW2 in London

to create the kml simply add '&output=kml' to the end of the url in google maps

This will create a kml file for you to either save or open in Google Earth.
Directions SW1 to SW2 in Google Earth
Now for the clever bit, as google maps api does not support directions.

copy the file and rename it .xml and not .kml

if you have a webserver you can upload, like here

then create a page with your route like this


KML (keyhole markup language) a google earth format (which is xml) which allows users to create directions from google maps (not the api).

110mb.com is a free hosting service that supports mysql and php.
(but does not allow cross domain parsing of javascript - for security issues)

Thanks to Mike Williams web page.

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23 November 2006

Google Map Editor - in Alpha (A GIS)

Stefan Blanke has been working on a very sophisticated Google Map Editor

Map Editor in Alpha
The screenshot does not do the 'Editor' justice as there are many editing functions hidden in the tabs.

The Map Editor use a very up-to-date version of the Google Map API (version 2.68 to the coders)
The includes creating Polygon though not implement (maybe version 2.69 needed)
Very Good work though.

To see editing polygons using that 2.69 version pop over to ESA.
Very good Example of Editing Live on Google Maps.
ESA Edit Polygon Live on a Google Map

So how long before Google Maps becomes 'GOOGLE GIS API'?
At this rate "Early 2007"

Another High End Database (Oracle XE) potential is Oracle XE and Google Maps (though we haven't actually seen the map and data working yet - pre Alpha?)

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Animated Features in Google Earth

Using the Time Element it is possible to Animate features within Google Earth 4 (Beta 6).
version 4.0.2091+

Time Animation (4D) in 3D - Google Earth
This Ferris wheel in Vienna is animated by time in Google Earth
KMZ for Google Earth Beta 4 here

Top Tip
Select the clock button on the left of the time slider to bring up a panel to adjust the Animation Speed.

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22 November 2006

Animated Icons - Transmitter Map

Nice to see animated icons coming into Google Maps.
Virgin Radio Transmitters Animated
Transmitters increase and decrease in size.

Expect to see more. Weather forecasting animations will be coming soon...

Static Example (official)

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Google Maps 'Ads' Sponsored Links

Google Maps 'Ads' Sponsored Links

Google Maps Ads Sponsored Links
They were always going to add adverts (sponsored links) to the Map now it is happening.

source: Google Operating System (Unofficial Blog)

Example link

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21 November 2006

Mapperz requests Testers for UK Geocoding

Since the hot topic. UK Addresses -Geocoded via Google Maps API
and then our hopes dashed. Mapperz has done some research and development into Geocoding UK Addresses for Free.

(A bold claim, as due to 'contractual reasons' it cannot be done in the UK, as the USA & Canada can with the Google Maps API)

Official source
Unofficial source

Well it is here:
UK Address Geocoder Alpha - 10 Downing Street - Zoomed OutUK Address Geocoder Alpha - 221B Baker Street - Zoomed InUK Address Geocoder Alpha - 12 College Road - Zoomed InAddress Geocoder Alpha - 30 Royal Avenue,Belfast - Zoomed In

What we are after are people willing to test the accuarcy of this service. It is not 100% accurate (more 93%) but for free it is worth it.
email mapperz@gmail.com [Subject: UK Geocoder Tester Request]
Invites will be sent out: Starting with 10 (5 reserved), 15 then 25 users.
Needed are developers, coders, de-buggers, and normal web users.

Please say why you would like to test it.

This is using resources already available on the web. Just previewing and getting permisson to request information across domains and check this does not break any terms.

Anyone interested in the code please contact mapperz@gmail.com [Subject: Code Request Please]

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Cartograms Updated - WorldMapper

Based in the Geography department at the University of Sheffield they been busy creating new cartograms.

Cartograms Updated - WorldMapper
Also available to view in PDF format like the image above (Aircraft Passengers)
Too many too list but here is a link to the end of the index

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Google Web Search Integrates Map

Google are seeming to be testing Map Integration into their Web Search results

This seems to work only when using
rather than google.com
Google Web Search Integrates Map
and scroll down to see the result.

source: threadwatch

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20 November 2006

Global Climate Map and Charts

Average weather charts for 4305 global locations. Most show precipitation, many show high and low temperatures, some also have humidity.

Interactive Climate Map

When you zoom in, some more locations will show up in a few seconds.

This site is for Tourists, other travelers, students, meteorologists, climatologists, or anyone else interested in climate around the world.

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19 November 2006


London: A Life in Maps
Interested in exploring the history of London through maps?
Visit this exhibition at the British Library (until 4 March 2007)
Free admission

From the page: "Take a look at London as you have never seen it before. This once-in-a-lifetime exhibition brings to life London's lost lanes and landmarks, parks and palaces, riots and railways, towers and temptations.

Maps, views, letters, and ephemera from the British Library collections, show the city's transformation from a Roman outpost to the huge, heaving metropolis of today - and look to the Olympic and post-Olympic future.

In a series of magnificent maps and panoramas, London's growth spreads before you through disease and fire, property booms and commercial expansion, war and comprehensive redevelopment. At the same time lesser-known images will enable you to see why and how these changes happened, and to catch a glimpse of Londoners' lives and values, hopes and fears, preoccupations and aspirations through the ages.

Discover the `lost' Londons you never knew - the great estates and the workhouses, the palaces and prisons, the grand churches and vast dockyards, the ancient villages and vanishing fields."

By way of The Map Room

Update: Mash-up

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17 November 2006

News has Location - Headline Map

Google Maps Mania posts are filled with the lastest google maps mashups.
Headline Map is one that stands out...

Headline Map

Rich in multiple data sources cross referenced with location. This provides the user with World Headlines, Continental, Regional and Country News. This site is clean and responsive to the user. Users can submit feeds into this site. Mapperz gives this the thumbs up.
Well Done Headline Map.

Headline Map gives its credit to:
  • Google, for providing the amazing Google Map API
  • Topix.net, for providing granularity to this site due to their vast coverage
  • Flickr, for providing the pics of each location

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16 November 2006

Yahoo Maps Released

Yahoo Maps released out of Beta.
Yahoo Maps Out of Beta
and the European Data has been updated.

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15 November 2006

Google Map Search Wizard

A simple way to create a Google Map with Search. Ideal for all non-coders...

Google AJAX Search API Google Map Wizard
Working Example in the right hand panel >>>

(Well the Map works but not the search, a beta blogger bug?? anyone know better?)

Create yours here

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Google Maps - Click to Call

Google have added 'Click to Call' on the North American maps (http://maps.google.com/) but not available in the UK (http://maps.google.co.uk) as yet.
Google Maps Click to Call
(Pizzas in Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

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14 November 2006

AA Travel Planner Updated

The AA Travel Planner has been updated. Points of Interest (POI) have been now included into the Travel Planner and the Street by Street Map Finder

New Features are:
Speed Cameras or Safety Cameras to be PC (Static Only) Plotted on your route.
Petrol Stations (though not all)
Traffic Blackspots
AA Travel Planner- Speed Cameras

Map Finder uses the AA Street by Street products in digital format
but with the added features
  • Postcode
  • Private Streets
  • Places of Interest
AA Travel Planner - Street By Street - MapVu DataAA Travel Planner - Street By Street - AA Data
Top MapVu speced to AA spec - Bottom AA Street by Street Digital

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Create a Google Map in Minutes

A new mapping website that helps the non-coder create a web map with points of interest (POI).
Aardvark Map will help you create a Google Map in easy 3 Steps

Aardvark Map Examples

Step 1
Zoom in to the required part of the world:
  • Regional Quicklinks allows you to jump to regions and countries quickly.
  • To centre the map, double click on it (very handy before zooming).
  • Zooming is done using the zoom ladder on the left or the +/- signs on the top/bottom.

  • Optionally plot your own marker icons on the map:
  • Zoom in fairly close then click once on the map to add the marker.
  • Zoom in closer and drag the marker to the appropriate point.

Step 2
Allows you to automatically add extra icons to the maps

Along with your own custom icons placed in step 1, Aardvark Map gives you the option to automatically add other content onto your map from our partner sites. If you don't want any of this extra content, skip to step 3.

To add the content overlays, simply select select the appropriate checkboxes below.

Step 3
Saves the map and provides you with the unique map code:
Once any custom points and content overlays have been added, you can generate the map code.

It's that easy even Mapperz can do it.
Aardvark Mapperz Map

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13 November 2006

Google Maps Africa but....

Good to see that Google are expanding data coverage across the world. But be very wary on the accuracy of the data.
Info:Geek Tip - Map Tiles Version 31 not available in the API as yet.

Overall the Major Cities are coverage and general very good.

Though this a prime example of which worries mapperz.

Shabunda Congo Africa Map - Map View
Shabunda,Democratic Republic of the Congo, Africa
Map (looks fair good road crossing the river...)

Now switch to hybrid.
Shabunda Congo Africa Map - Hybrid View

Now your need a lot of Bridges! (5 in fact!)

So just be careful.

Another example where cartographic generalization can be a bit too extreme!

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11 November 2006

Sat Nav loses to Road Atlas

Interesting to see the outcome of this test.

Garmin Sat Nav LosesAA Great Road Atlas 2007 Winner
Four users were to Navigate through London:

One was given an AA's Great Road Atlas 2007
Another used the satellite navigation system (a Garmin unit)
The third was supplied with a printed map using Microsoft Autoroute 2006
The four participant made use of the Government's free Transport Direct website.

Results were surprising.

1st in 1 hour and 35 minutes for the AA's Great Road Atlas 2007.
2nd 1 hour and 43 minutes for the Garmin Sat Nav.

3rd 1 hour 49 minutes for the printed Autoroute map.
4th 1 hour 56 minutes for the Transport Direct map.

but why?

It is true technology guides and helps us all in performing tasks.

However it is the way the information is communicated to the user.
So in this case the Cartography wins this task by providing the user with clear instructions that can be applied in the real world.

Until 'Sat Nav' companies use cartographers to help them present the data and have cartographic editors to verify and double check the source data is correct the hardcopy map will win.

Look out for the New AA 1:100,000 (currently 1:200,000)
Road Atlas going to print soon, this goes head to head with the Philips Scale of Road Altas.

Philips Navigator Road Atlas

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09 November 2006

Local Live does.... 3D Geocoding of UK Addresses

Mapperz reported back in August 2006 about UK Geocoding using Local Live and the permalink feature. This contains the Longitude and Latitude of the Centre of the Map.

UK Geocoding LIVE Local Virtual Earth

Now it is possible using the Virtual Earth SDK

Virtual Earth SDK
No live examples for the UK to date.

But here is a UK first, Geocoding Addresses in 3D using Virtual Earth 4

"10 Downing Street, London, UK"

simply enter the parameters:
then click permalink under Share>View Permalink
this creates a url:

notice the updated format that now contains longitude, latitude, zoom level, tilt, direction and altitude
So where is the geocoding in 3D?

Mapperz tried this in IE7 with the VE4 plugin pre-installed

so what if we parse the address with the 3D information will it work?

enter in local live
then click hybrid mode

produces 3D UK Geocoding

Geocoding UK Addresses in 3D in Virtual Earth

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UK Addresses - Geocoded via Google Maps API

22 November
New UK Geocoding Addresses Service in Testing

Final Update on this hot topic

For UK Geocoding of UK Postcodes is still possible via the Google AJAX Search
A very good Live example of this is Online Archaeology

1:45:05 pm
Mapperz from the mapperz blog
Joel from the Google Map API Team
"There are no intended changes to the geocoding API - results in the UK and Japan should still be returning the 603 error code. We're tracking down the change now and hope to resolve it shortly. I'm sorry for the inconvenience!"

12 noon 9th November 2006.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Google Maps API have pulled the plug on UK Geocoding.

(It's all down to Crown Copyright of the Data - Royal Mail and Ordnance Survey)

UK Address Geocoding Blocked

UK Addresses - Geocoded via Google Maps API

UK Addresses Geocoded using Google Maps API
Finally but NOT any offical word on it from the Google Maps API Blog hence no linking URL
(on request only. mapperz@gmail.com subject:UK Geocoding)

but you can tinker with the code on your own webserver:

UK Addresses Geocoded Code
sorry beta blogger hates html code pasted in.

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07 November 2006

Live Local - 3D London bits

3D London Local Live with Driving Directions
Live Local in 3D in London with driving directions.

The good bits:
Free, 3D Views with tilt (Ctrl+left mouse click)
Aerial Photography (orthorectified) is better than other app (google earth/maps, world wind, skyline globe etc)

The poor bits
It does not work in FireFox.
But is a bit clunky on a 2MB broadband connection (yes the hardware is accelerated to max).
Why the user needs to install plugins (that failed). Used VirtualEarth3D.msi to solve the problem.

Tips Navigate 3D maps with the mouse or keyboard
Pan the map

Choose any of the following options:

* Click one of the four directional arrows in the compass to pan the map in that direction.
* Click a point on the map, and then drag the map in any direction.
* Use the arrow keys.
Pivot the map

Choose any of the following options:

* Click on the ring of the compass, and then drag the ring in any direction.
* Press the CTRL key while you drag the map to the left or to the right.
* Press the CTRL key, and then press either the left or right arrow key.
Turn the map view

Choose any of the following options:

* Press the SHIFT key while you drag the map to the left or to the right.
* Press the SHIFT key, and then press either the left or right arrow key.
Tilt the map

Choose any of the following options:

* Drag the small slider inside the ring of the compass.
* Press the CTRL key while you drag the map up or down.
* Press the CTRL key, and then press either the up or down arrow key.
Change your pitch

Choose any of the following options:

* Press the SHIFT key while you drag the map forward or backward.
* Press the SHIFT key, and then press either the up or down arrow key.
Change your altitude

Choose any of the following options:

* Press the SHIFT key while you rotate the mouse wheel.
* Press the page up or page down key.

Zoom in or out on the map

Choose any of the following options:

* Rotate the mouse wheel forward or back.
* Press the CTRL key and rotate the mouse wheel forward or back to zoom toward or away from the pointer.
Press the hyphen (-) or the equal (=) key on the keyboard.

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Skyline Globe - Another 3D Earth App

has quietly released TerraExplorer
The desktop version is a small download - smaller than google earth.

Skyline Globe 3D - Sydney Opera House
  • Smooth, interactive flight over streaming 3D terrains and urban environments
  • Large database of imagery, streets, 3D textured buildings and information layers
  • Fly to any address in the US , get driving directions and search for businesses
  • Add and create content, build photo albums, chat and collaborate with friends.
  • Show live video on terrain, trace GPS feeds and measure distances and areas.
There is a web version of this and does require the user to install activex applets and dll's.
Once these are installed you get a web browser.

Skyline Globe 3D - Grand Canyon
Web version has more content and more features.

For buisness that don't need a GIS the SkylineGlobe Pro
is a good lightweight application, where buisnesses can add their own content and perform simple spatial analysis of there data.

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Virtual Earth 3D Launches

Official News Blog

Local Live updated - Virtual Earth Version 4

Virtual Earth 3DVirtual Earth 3D

Microsoft uses aerial cameras that take photos of cities and render the images into Microsoft's Virtual Earth 3D, announced on Monday, allows advertisers to buy banner ads that float above buildings in photorealistic environments. The application, which downloads into a browser, melds together Virtual Earth's 3D features and Microsoft map and local search. In this screen shot, Zip Realty ads appear on virtual billboards

3D graphics for the new Virtual Earth 3D application, which downloads into a browser. The rendering creates photorealistic scenes featuring buildings, roadways and bodies of water.

Microsoft's Virtual Earth 3D melds together photorealistic cityscapes with its existing online mapping services, such as traffic reports shows color-coded freeways in Los Angeles indicating which roadways are congested and which are clear.

Microsoft's new Virtual Earth 3D online mapping interface allows people to "fly" through cities much as they would in virtual reality scenes and online games, with graphics that are as realistically rendered.

Three-dimensional models are available initially for 15 U.S. cities: San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Detroit, Phoenix, Houston, Baltimore, Atlanta, Denver, Dallas and Fort Worth. Terrain imagery in 3-D is available globally, and Microsoft expects to offer 3-D imagery in an ever expanding set of cities. Other features provided by Live Search include access to real-time traffic information in select major U.S. cities, and access to business listings "yellow pages" and people listings "white pages" that allows consumers to easily find local information and act on it.

IE6 & IE7 only
to view 3D you need this plugin (but who wants to install another plugin?)
Mircosoft Servers are having serious issues at the moment (surprise, surprise).
Looks good when works!

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06 November 2006

Map 24 - 3D Maps on Mobile

Map 24 - 3D on your Mobile (need to sign up for free download)

http://www.uk.map24.com/ >click on Products

3D Map on Mobile Phone
  • Complete map of Europe:
  • North America, South America, Middle East,
    Australia/New Zealand New!
  • Several languages: Arabic, Czech, English, Finnish, French, German, Icelandic, Polish New!
  • Easy to use
  • High-speed map display
  • Clear city maps
  • One search entry field
  • Easy route planing
  • Points of Interest (POI) like car parks, hotels, car rentals and places of interest
  • Import of personal MyMap24 address book
  • Always up-to-date map data from the Map24 server
  • 2D- or 3D-map view.

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