Posts Tagged ‘google map maker’

Google Maps tries physical landmarks for navigation

Posted in Mapping on December 18th, 2009 by Justin – Comments
landmark directions Google Maps tries physical landmarks for navigation
In countries with well-developed transportation infrastructure, it isn’t too weird to see mapped directions by street and split by distance. In other countries, and in some North American areas, the infrastructure isn’t that well developed and it becomes tough to navigate or give/take directions unless we make use of physical landmarks. Google Maps India is doing this, changing its way of offering mapped directions to include the use of physical landmarks, many of which have been added by the community through Google Map Maker.
According to the Google India blog:
Our new algorithm determines from available signals, which of these landmarks are most useful for navigation, based on importance and closeness to the turns that you’re making. We now combine landmark data, counted turns (”the 2nd right”), intersection names, and road names, and try to use whatever information is most relevant and useful for the direction you’re heading in.”
Not only will the new features be available with Google Maps on the desktop for providing information about where to turn and providing confirmation that travellers are on the right route, but also on Google Maps for Mobile for those with cellphones.

Global Mapping Competition rewards Google Map Maker users with $50, 000

Posted in Mapping on December 16th, 2009 by Justin – Comments

map maker logo Global Mapping Competition rewards Google Map Maker users with $50, 000Map-making fanatics who want to contribute to Google’s global mapping coverage now have the opportunity to do it for dollars. Announced at an event in New York organized by both Google and the United Nations, Global Mapping Competition, which started yesterday, will reward the mapper that adds the most hospitals, schools, universities and medical clinics into Google Map Maker with a $50, 000 UNICEF donation to the winner’s country of choice. The donation will be used to empower citizens through technology.

Google Map Maker is currently available in 170 countries and 6 different languages. Users can add details to Google’s base maps by comparing to its satellite and hybrid imagery, so even if you live in one country, you can contribute to the map of another.

Global Mapping Competition requires registration here. It ends January 31, 2010 and the winner will be announced February 15.

Google Map Maker hits Mexico

Posted in Mapping on August 19th, 2009 by Justin – Comments

Google this morning announced editable Map Maker maps for Mexico.  Google Map Maker lets users add details to Google Maps, a tremendously popular platform for some non-profits and NGOs that are attempting to assist in mapping several developing countries.  The addition of Mexico extends Map Maker’s Latin American coverage which previously included several countries located from the Caribbean to South America.

Earlier this week, Google Map Maker launched in a bunch of Eastern European countries.  The two new Map Maker additions this week have resulted in a doubling of the number of users that can now edit Google Maps.

Google Map Maker expands to Eastern Europe

Posted in Mapping on August 17th, 2009 by Justin – Comments

Google Map Maker, the company’s editable version of Google Maps, now has a few new Eastern European countries available for community map edits.  Included new countries include Romania, Belarus, Kosovo, Albania, Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro.  Outside of Eastern Europe, Map Maker now includes editable maps of Malaysia and Brunei.

One area that non-profit competitor Open Street Map has Google Map Maker beat is in African coverage and data accessibility.  Google is looking to close a loophole here too, extending its Kenyan pilot project and making the entire African dataset freely available for download.

Google Map Maker now covers 170 countries.

Google Earth adds business listings, Map Maker gets 64 new countries

Posted in Geospatial Technology, Mapping on May 27th, 2009 by Justin – Comments

It seems like we hear about something substantial coming from Google Earth every week, whether it be new features from the Google Earth team or interesting layers from third party developers.

Today Google made an announcement that could have profound goog earth biz Google Earth adds business listings, Map Maker gets 64 new countriesimplications for several businesses I can think of.  That announcement: a “Businesses” layer has been added to both Google Earth for the iPhone and the desktop version via the “Geographic Web” folder.  I think it’ll be a much more useful feature on the iPhone for the obvious reason that a desktop isn’t quite as mobile, even in the case of a laptop.

When you open Google Earth now on you’re iPhone you’ll easily find the Businesses layer which (you guessed it) overlays local businesses on top of the usual satellite imagery.  As you zoom in you’ll see more businesses listed.

This makes me wonder how much Google will infringe on other business listing-related and business review websites like Yelp and Citysearch in the future.  Such businesses should definitely find a way to respond to this.

As an aside, I want to mention that Disney has added its Paris theme park to Google Earth.  And I’m not just talking a simple business listing here, but the full 3D rendition, similar to what it did last year with its Orlando park (they also have a location-based iPhone app).  You can find it in it in the Gallery folder of Google Earth 5.0.

disney paris Google Earth adds business listings, Map Maker gets 64 new countries

Finally, the Google Maps team announced the addition of 64 new countries to its Google Map Maker program, which encourages local citizens to contribute mapping data in underdeveloped countries.  The new countries include:

American Samoa, Anguilla, Armenia, Aruba, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belize, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, Chad, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Comoros, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guadeloupe, Guinea, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Malawi, Martinique, Mauritania, Mongolia, Montserrat, Mozambique, Myanmar (Burma), Nauru, Netherlands Antilles, Niger, Nigeria, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands, Pakistan, Reunion, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Togo, Tokelau, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Wallis and Futuna, Zambia.

I’m not sure how successful Map Maker has been compared to the Open Street Map project.  I know the latter has had great success teaming up with non-profits and non-governmental organizations.  Because Open Street Map is an open source project it doesn’t cost money to use its map data, an important consideration for non-profits.  In return non-profit organizations often return rich map data from developing countries.  I don’t think I’ve seen this with Google Maps but I could be wrong here.

Google updates Map Maker languages, adds more cities to Google Maps Transit Layer

Posted in Mapping on February 20th, 2009 by Justin – Comments

Google announced a few updates to its Google Transit layer and crowdsourced Map Maker community yesterday. 

In addition to recent full schedules for Transit in a variety of global cities, Google has added its Transit Layer to the following new cities: Adelaide, Atlanta, Bonn, Calgary, Davis, Hamilton, Pilsen, Sacramento, Torino, Toronto York region and updates for Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria.  Google Transit Layer allows you to view public transportation routes as an overlay on Google Maps.

Google Map Maker, which lets communities add to its area maps, is now available in 27 languages, representing the primary or secondary language of more than 500 million people in Map Maker’s 164 countries.  Data can be added in any language your keyboard supports and if your native language isn’t covered, you can use Google in Your Language for translation.

Developers can also grab Map Maker updates for their mashups through the Google Maps API or as static maps.  You can get more information about the API changes at the Google Geo Developers Blog.

 Google updates Map Maker languages, adds more cities to Google Maps Transit Layer