Buildings used to be designed less as big blocks and more as complex shapes, even shaped like letters, to minimize the distance to an exterior wall and maximize natural light and ventilation. In fact, in 1773, Johann David Steingruber (Google auto-translation) published Architectonisches Alphabet, or Architectural Alphabet (Archive.org), providing an alphabet (more or less) worth of floor plans. It's in German, so you'll probably skip ahead and start with A. Of course, you can still find plenty of letter-shaped buildings (and write geo-greetings), thanks to the ubiquity of aerial photography.
Corpseburg lays a zombie survival skin over Google Maps. Punch in an address to create a map. Scavenge local schools, businesses and hospitals for food, weapons, meds and barricade materials.
What happens when you zoom in too much on Google Maps. Discoveries by digital artist Kyle F. Williams.
Fake Online Locksmiths A locksmith’s shop on a street in Sun City, Ariz. [...] turned out to be a fiction that was created for the locksmith by a web design firm using Photoshop at what is, in fact, a vacant lot. [via marginal revolution] [more inside]
GlobalFishingWatch is a new tool that shows every traceable commercial fishing boat in the world nearly real time. Blinking lights video with a narrator. 9 out of every 10 big fish in the ocean is caught by humans.
Why not just quit your job and spend all of your savings on a horror-themed road trip where you visit the real locations of some iconic scary movies. If that sounds like too much effort, well we've done a Google-based trip ourselves.
Here's what we found... [more inside]
Here's what we found... [more inside]
A Digital Atlas of the Roman Empire is an OpenLayers map that uses a new geographical dataset constructed from the award-winning Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World (previously), along with several other sources. You can search for sites by place name or zoom in and click sites to get more information about them. It includes tagged data from virtually every known location in the ancient world, and was implemented in 2012 by Johan Åhlfeldt. The geographical dataset can also be used as a background layer with other maps - for example, here is a basic Google Maps version. Åhlfeldt has made the data freely available under the CC-BY license.
A few miles off the coast of Japan lies "Battleship Island," or Gunkanjima (軍艦島), the Japanese nickname for Hashima Island, due to its resemblance to the Japanese Tosa battleship. The island was formerly a densely populated coal mining town, purchased by Mitsubishi in 1890, but by the 1960s the coal was running out, and in 1974 the island was quickly vacated as Mitsubishi offered residents jobs elsewhere. Now, the island is an urban explorer's dream, though the island is not completely open to the public for tours. Last year, Google trekker walked the island, providing a virtual tour of the island. And if the roughly 40 year old ruins aren't foreboding enough, Bryan James put together a Chrome experiment called Hashima Island: Forgotten World, based on the Google maps tour of the site.
Africa Might Not Look Like You Think It Does
There is no such thing as an objective map. This was true of cave paintings, Roman tapestries, and colonialists' charts of Africa. It is also true of Google Maps.
Urban Jungle: post-apocalyptic Google Street View
Global Forest Watch uses satellites to monitor forest loss in near real-time (videos+images). It is now possible to see when forests (or even a couple big trees) are being cut down at the the time it happens, allowing officials and the public to notice and possibly take action. There is also a timeline showing forest loss/gain over time - how has your neighborhood fared?
To mark the 178th anniversary of Darwin’s first exploration of the Galapagos Islands, Google Maps has captured dozens of locations featuring the local biodiversity. It's the newest of Google's ongoing efforts to bring diverse locations to you via your computer.
GeoGuessr: 1. Look around the random Google Street View and try to figure out where you are. 2. Click the world map to guess! A game by Anton Wallén.
Google Maps surmounts four of the Seven Summits: Aconcagua (South America), Kilimanjaro (Africa), Everest Base Camp (Asia), and Mount Elbrus (Europe). It's not quite a "street" view of the Grand Canyon, but 360 degree panoramas.
"How do we engage technology sustainably and in a way that supports creativity and freedom?... One of the things I try to do... is to somehow interrupt the use of [new and emerging] technologies so that it causes people [an] unexpected and renewed awakening or sensibility of those devices being in our lives." [more inside]
Google Maps Street View Collections now includes Heron Island, a coral cay in Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
Chicago's WBEZ has created an interactive map of the city and where its various gangs operate, using data provided by the Chicago Police Department. Chicagoist considers the map and its implications while Progress Illinois discusses the changing nature of gang violence.
Enter a starting point and an ending point, and get a road trip mix tape created for you featuring music from artists from whatever area you may be driving through. How it works. [more inside]
Cube: navigate a rolling ball down streets towards a goal by tilting the entire world, like a cross between a balance-ball game and Katamari Damacy. (Browser with WebGL support required, Chrome recommended at this time). Part of the new Start Here guide to Google Maps.
Ever get that uncanny feeling of deja vu while walking down the street in some city that you've never been to before? Maybe you saw it in a movie some time ago. Maybe the combination of the scenery and the architecture and passersby being in the same places as the principal actors set it off. The Movie Mimic does this on purpose, and includes Google Maps of the sites in case you'd like to go there yourself and strike a pose.
Mix tower defense games and Google Maps and you get MapsTD.
"And with millions of chicks checking in daily, there's never been a better time to be on the hunt...."
A column by John Brownlee over at Cult of Mac yesterday highlighted his privacy concerns about the app Girls Around Me -- which used a mashup of FourSquare check-ins, Google Maps and Facebook public profile information to show the user women who were nearby. In response to the story, Foursquare cut off the app's API access to their data, effectively knocking it out of commission. CNET: How to prevent friends checking you into locations at Facebook Places. [more inside]
Earth in perspective:
- Stratocam takes the most beautiful landscape satellite photographs from Google Maps, as voted on by visitors, and switches them every few seconds, with a fullscreen mode.
- ChronoZoom is an interactive, zoomable HTML5 timeline of the entire history of the universe, from the Big Bang to Homo Sapiens, with embedded video and lectures.
Cartoo uses Google Maps to show you how far you could get by car, bike, or foot in a set amount of time.
Mapping out whiskey. Start here, swimming in Drunkards Channel: Map On Temperance, 1846. [more inside]
RealTimeWWII live tweets hourly events from the Second World War, delayed by 70 years. Charles Darwin writes entries in his diary as he travels the world a century earlier onboard The Beagle. The 1940 Chronicle covers events of the Battle of Britain as they happened day by day. For those more inclined to peripateticism, HistoryPin (previously) overlays historical imagery on modern scenes in Google Street View. If you'd like a perspective on your own activities in much shorter timeframe, TimeHop shows you what you were doing a year ago.
Semi-Related: 100 best blogs for your liberal arts education.
Semi-Related: 100 best blogs for your liberal arts education.
Vacations, diversions and roadtrips: On The Way suggests attractions and reststops for any route. The Weekend Map shows events and activities for 27 American cities for the coming weekend. Nerdy Day Trips (previously) suggests trips for geeks of all kinds, while Trazzler suggests daytrips for where you live. Don't have a car? Mapnificent (previously) shows you where you can get to from any point in a given time using public transit. EveryTrail suggests walks, rambles, strolls and hikes. Google's new HotelFinder service locates places to stay in a sketched area on a map, with a range of options. via
Architectural theorist David Gissen has recently been travelling through France to learn about wine. His dedicated Twitter account @100aocs has attracted the attention of sommeliers, importers, and winemakers. Edible Geography caught up with Gissen to discuss wine, wine culture, geography, and Gissen's re-thought wine map of France based on Metro maps such as London's Tube map. How Wine Became Metropolitan: An Interview with David Gissen.
Have you ever wondered which part of the other side of the earth is directly beneath you?
Rob Walker has written in the New York Times and elsewhere about many topics that have appeared in Metafilter: cool collections of things online, geography as entertainment, the much reviled mommyblogger, and even the vuvuzela. This week, he explores the structure and order behind KickStarter and shares the experience he had using it to fund a project in New Orleans. Also...
"Looking at the world through via Google Earth offers striking images of the diversity of our planet and the impact that humans have had on it. Today's entry is a puzzle. We're challenging you to figure out where in the world each of the images below is taken. (You'll find answers and links at the bottom of the entry.) North is not always up in these pictures, and, apart from a bit of contrast, they are unaltered images provided by Google and its mapping partners. So I invite you to open up Google Earth (or Google Maps), have a look at the images below, and dive in. Good luck!"
The Newspaper Map: browse thousands of local, regional and national newspapers from around the world, based on geographical location. Filter and translate languages, see newspaper archives back to the early 19th century, and find fourth estate Twitter and YouTube feeds. A mobile version is also available. via
The official "StreetView" map of China is eerily reminiscent of SimCity, rendered in perfect isometric perspective without a pixel out of place: Shanghai, the Forbidden City, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong. That hasn't stopped companies from trying to create a more true-to-life photographic alternative: there is coverage of Hong Kong and Macau in Google Street View; sanction to cover the rest of China appears to have been given to City8, which covers 40 cities. (The latter site is in Chinese, but Chrome or language plugins do a decent job of translating the content). [more inside]
With kettling becoming a commonly deployed tactic by the London Met, students from the University College London are fighting back with Sukey, launched this morning. [more inside]
The nuclear weapons simulator at CarlosLabs (previously) has been updated to include fallout wind drift, pressure and thermal events to evaluate the impact of everything from a suitcase nuke to the Tsar Bomba on your city. The Missile Range Tool can show if you are in the vicinity of any delivery systems currently in service, or compare your location to the range of those used historically, such as the V2. For the effects of the cosmic collisions of asteroids and comets (and featuring rather more science) there's the Earth Impact Effects Program.
"With the midterm elections in the U.S. Senate just six weeks away, everyone is wondering how the balance of power between Republicans and Democrats will shake out after November 2." Wonder no more with Google's 2010 U.S. Election Ratings Map. Information can be filtered by state, type of race (senate, governor, house), and by source. A Google Maps blog entry has more detailed info for those who want to dig deeper into the application. [via TechCrunch]
Hypercities, currently in beta, is a collaborative effort to enable users to travel forward and backward in time within major cities of the world, watching changes take place over both the short (political protests in Tehran) and long (history of the city of Rome) term. Locative technologies are pushing the same ability into smartphones: Walking Through Time (Android, iPhone) allows the user to overlay their current location with a map of the past. [more inside]