Wednesday, April 9, 2008

More Maps: Exercise 32

There is a wonderful list of map mashups available from the Google Maps Mania Blog. Included are all kinds of sites that use maps in new and innovative ways. Calculate cab fares, see cloud maps, find a job, a U.S. mailbox, create a running route, etc. Wow!

But the one that really intrigued me is called Walk Score.com. On this site, you can put in an address and it tells you exactly how far that place is from coffee shops, grocery stores, libraries, bookstores, etc. (Maybe the world is becoming a greener place. The higher gas prices get, people are really thinking more about how to get around more efficiently.) Real estate sites are using these maps to help people find neighborhoods they might want to live in, and actually walk or bike around in. Walk Score told me exactly how far it is from my home to several libraries, including one I never heard of before -- the American Brahman Breeders Association Library(?!). If you live in a neighborhood with a high walk score, you can get to lots of places easily on foot. My home address only got a score of 51 out of 100. The library address received a score of 68(for Houston, it's in a fairly walkable neighborhood). Very interesting.

Another fun map site: Terra Server. Lots of aerial photos, including scenic landmarks, skyscrapers, sports venues, etc. We also looked at the Global Incident Map site, which is enough to make anyone crawl into a cave and stay there. Best of all in a very dreamy way: the EarthNow Landsat Image Viewer, which continually updates aerial photographs taken from various satellites monitoring our Earth. Terrific!

Image: Luniverse collage by KAO

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