Google Maps Mashups

These days you find Google Maps Mashups sprouting everywhere on the internet. So what are these? Just like the name suggests, a Mashup is a combination of 2 or more products. In the internet context it would be a combination of 2 or more service functionality to create a brand new one. The definition in Wikipedia says, “In web development, a mashup is a web page or application that combines data or functionality from two or more external sources to create a new service.” For the geeks out there this translates into “easy, fast integration, frequently using open APIs and data sources to produce results that were not the original reason for producing the raw source data.”

As mentioned in Wikipedia, there are several types of mashups, such as consumer mashups, data mashups, and business mashups. The most common type of mashup is the consumer mashup, aimed at the general public. Among these, Google Maps Mashups would easily be the most popular. An example of a Google Maps Mashup is the use of cartographic data from Google Maps to add location information to real estate data, thereby creating a new and distinct Web service that was not originally provided by either source. For instance, has very effectively created a cool canonical mashup where data sourced from Craigslist is mashed up with Google Maps data in a visual form through map markers placed on the cartographic map. Popular social networking website Digg could be considered as another example of consumer mashup.

Let’s take a look at some cool mashups utilizing Google Maps as a source and for visual display.

Track Flight Status

Tracks US flights in real time. Displays departure and arrival information for the flight along with some additional flight information.

US Social Security Offices

Displays Tour de France drivers data live on a interactive Google map.

Tour de France

Displays Tour de France drivers data live on a interactive Google map.

CraigLook - Search Craigslist

Craiglook is a search and preview mashup for Craigslist. It lets you search by ZIP or radius, preview pictures and reply to Craigslist posts with no registration. It combines Google Maps, Yahoo Pipes and other APIs. One of the cool features is that it senses your zip code and suggests searches in your neighborhood.

H1N1 Swine Flu Tracker

If your’re worried about the the Swine Flu and its spread then the FluTracker mashup will help you track the progress of the H1N1 swine flu around the world. You can drill the data down to check your country/state/city.

Trip Advisor

An awesome site with Google Maps mashup of millions of hotel reviews with Google maps. The site is an invaluable resource for any vacation planner.

US Hospital Finder

Search hospitals near near or for any city or state. Along with the map, the site presents important hospital statistics.

Dog Park USA

Dog Park USA has created a very interesting Google Maps mashup to promote the awareness of public dog play areas in regional parks. You can check the street address on the Google map, fees, and other notes about the dog park. You can rate your park, write a review, see local dog events, or post your dog's picture. The site even offers a feature to add a dog park if its not in their database.

Google Maps Distance Calculator

You can use the Google Maps Distance Calculator to find out the distance between two or more points anywhere on the earth. In other words, the distance between A and B. Click once on the map to place the first marker and then click again to position the second marker. The distance between the points will then be displayed. You can also build up a series of locations to find a total distance.

Wings Google Maps Explorer

Wings is a flash implementation of Google maps. You fly as an eagle, climbing, diving and catching thermals to stay aloft. This game is in very BETA release, there are some 2000 world cities in the database, but not all have appropriate imagery.

Feed Chronicle

Feed Chronicle (The Collaborative Newspaper) is another classic example of community driven mashup. It is a customizable newspaper of blogs and news websites under user collaboration.

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