Posts Tagged ‘google maps

30
Nov
12

In Theaters Now – Caught Mapping, The Movie.

Ever wondered what goes into a map? We let the cameras behind the scenes at Maps.com to reveal the intricate and detailed work of our expert draftsmen and scouts. Its truly amazing some of the tricks they use to ensure that maps can be updated almost every 2 weeks! All done unmindful of gruelling road and weather conditions.

Vacuum frames, glass negatives and zinc plates – Enjoy this 9 minute vintage movie all about mapping for the modern motorist, keeping pace with the rapid change of America’s roads.

26
Nov
12

Sandy. No, the other one. The Island.

An intrepid team of Aussie researchers set out to find the prize of explorers for centuries, undiscovered lands. In this case, it was a small-ish island shown on some maps as lying between Australia and New Caledonia. There was some disagreement as to whether the island even existed. You see, some maps showed it, including Google, while others did not, like nautical charts. Which was right? Why were there no records of inhabitants on this island or previous landfalls. Could this be where Amelia Earhart landed? Or where all those missing from the Bermuda Triangle were transported?

Of course not. That’s because the island doesn’t exist. When the ship arrived at the place that was supposed to be an island, all they found was water. About 1400 feet deep of the stuff. When asked, Google merely said that the World is a constantly changing place, so maybe it sunk, or something to that affect.

All we could surmise was that the grant that the Aussies had was specifically to pay for a boat expedition. It would have been too fast to consult satellite imagery or too easy to fly a plane over the area. Had to be a boat. Hope they went fishing too.

Get the real story here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20442487?goback=%2Egde_1494267_member_188928862

24
May
12

5 ways to travel the united states and end up 100 miles (or less) from where you started

This article by Eric Wilder from our Local, National and International Travel Desk.

Have you ever scored tickets to the big game in the city over the weekend and been stuck without a car? Ever wanted to fly back home for the weekend to visit the ‘rents, rather than battle through traffic or miss the train? Ever needed to hop on a quick flight upstate to help your brother move out?

Winged Wonder

Someday I’ll fly away.

Sometimes, catching that 1-hour nonstop flight is no problem. Other times, you may want to bring your collection of USA Lonely Planet Travel Guides to kill time with some joy reading.

We researched 5 ways you can fly to a final destination that is less than 100 miles away and end up seeing much, much more of the country than you bargained for. How did we do it?

We picked a hypothetical travel day at random and went search-happy on various air travel booking websites to find some of the more absurd connections you could make on your next flight!

Live in Manhattan and need to catch a business meeting at your company’s satellite office in Hartford, CT, but don’t own a car and can’t use public transportation to get there? If you need to fly, you could book a flight that departs from NYC, touches down in Orlando and Atlanta, and finally, makes its way over to Hartford.

What if there are no nonstop flights to your destination? Take this one, for example: if you live in Ontario, CA and need to fly into LAX, you could get a flight that has layovers in Dallas and Chicago, en route to your Los Angeles destination. Sure, the Ontario and LAX airports may only be 57.1 miles apart in driving distance, but anything is fair game in air travel.

Trying to get from Daytona Beach to Orlando, FL? If time is a concern, we recommend that you avoid booking the flight with the layover in Atlanta, followed by the layover in Washington, DC, followed by the layover in Detroit. That’s a whopping 14 hour, 45 minute flight itinerary when all is said and done.

“Hurry, only 200 left at this price”.

Madison to Milwaukee, WI? Hope you enjoy Dallas-Fort Worth Airport and Denver International Airport. San Jose to San Francisco, CA? Better plan to pick up lunch in Salt Lake City and take a cat nap in San Diego.

Which of our routes gets you traveling the greatest distance, you ask? The Ontario to Los Angeles itinerary comes in victorious, traversing nearly 4,000 miles of American air. Being that we all enjoy a good map, we of course had to plot these routes. Below is a map that displays the simple straight-line distance of each of these ludicrous flight paths, for your cartographic viewing pleasure. More bang for your buck? More airline miles? More crying babies? Maybe, but one thing is for sure – if you are a crazy cartography geek and travel lover, there is no better way to fly the United States and end 100 miles from where you started.

Eric contributes regularly to Maps.com’s social media output. If you have suggestions, comments or ideas for new articles, or you have some of your own  ridiculous travel itineraries, let us know in the comments. Eric will have plenty of time to read them during his daily commute,  from Santa Barbara to Goleta, by cruise liner, stopping  at Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, en route.

Crazy air routes from a to b

Get quickly from A to B. Via F, D, R, S and Y.

18
May
12

another member of the axis of google-bashers speaks up

With China actively seeking to eliminate Google from its virtual shores, even going to the effort of creating its own version, Iran has turned up the heat on the internet mapping giant this week over its failure to label the Persian Gulf, according to a report from CNN.

National Geographic Bible Lands 1938

1938: National Geographic – The Bible Lands

The Iranians believe that Google is making a political statement by failing to use the Persian Gulf label, which has in recent years been re-titled ‘The Arabian Gulf’ by some believing it is more ‘politically correct’.

The Persian Gulf is coveted by Iranians as a statement of power and ownership over the gulf, and refers back to the nation’s history in the Persian Empire. Proponents of the Arabian Gulf name suggest that as 70% of the Gulf coast is NOT in Iran, that the Arabian Gulf is more appropriate, and that the use of Persia is an anachronism even in Iran, where the population is a mix of Persians, Arabs, Kurds and numerous other ethnic groups.

Iran has raised similar complaints against various institutions for decades. A simple Google search finds correspondence with the Dutch Airline KLM during the mid 1990’s after they referred to the Arabian Gulf in their in-flight magazine. More recently thousands of people protested through Facebook ’causes’ when the US Navy used Arabian Gulf, the Economist magazine was banned when it referred to the waterway as ‘The Gulf’ and reportedly the infamous Louvre gallery in Paris, France found itself in hot water when its guidebooks did the same.

A look at maps going back to the turn of the century in Maps.com’s National Geographic Classic Collection reveals, interestingly that published print maps have always typically used the Persian Gulf label. One edition from 1991 shows both Arabian Gulf and Persian Gulf labels, but was designed to highlight the various disputes and issues of the region at that time.

Referring to the International Hydrographic Organization, sometimes used by Cartographers as the ‘final word’ on water naming conventions (“The Vision of the IHO is to be the authoritative worldwide hydrographic body which actively engages all coastal and interested States to advance maritime safety and efficiency and which supports the protection and sustainable use of the marine environment” ) last updated its materials in 1953 and clearly refers to the water as The Persian Gulf. But for those who use the Times Atlas of the World there is a distinct lack of controversy as they opt to name it ‘The Gulf’ (what next, “The Ocean” and “The Land Mass”??)

National Geographic Middle East In Turmoil 1991

1991: National Geographic – Middle East States in Turmoil

Google is of course an easy, and high profile target when it comes to this type of dispute. For one, any assault on Google, the world’s third biggest superpower behind Apple and Microsoft, is bound to make headlines or at least come out near the top in a Bing search. And for two, any irate consumer who wants to bash the search engine giant can take their pick of lost cities and mislabeled waterways to rant about.

National Geographic Middle East

Today: National Geographic – The Middle East

What they can be accused of is sidestepping the issue a little. If you type ‘Persian Gulf’ into Google Maps, it will take you to the center of the unlabeled body of water with a nice red pin to mark the spot. If you type in Arabian Gulf, it suggests “Arabian Gulf, Kuwait” which when clicked takes you to the same body of water, very close to the coastline of Kuwait. Type in other waterways of lesser profile – Caspian Sea, English Channel, Baltic Sea, Strait of Gibraltar and every one of them is labeled. So maybe Google lost its nerve on this one. (Google maps in fact fails to label the East Sea, AKA The Sea of Japan, depending on whether you are from Korea or Japan – so it has previous form here).  An anonymous Google representative argued that they simply ‘dont have labels’ for every body of water. It can be really frustrating when you run out of labels. Perhaps they could have borrowed the one from “Ditch #1, Osceola AR.”

From our point of view at Maps.com, newly published maps follow the convention set by leading cartographic publishers and organizations like the IHO – and will continue to be ‘The Persian Gulf’ until further notice.

Maps.com World Map

Today: Maps.com – New Century World Map

11
May
12

apple dropping google in cartographic celebrity divorce?

According to several sources close to Apple, the new IOS6 operating system for iPhone will no longer include Google Maps, and will instead feature an Apple developed mapping service believed to be faster, cleaner and more reliable. It will also proudly boast awe inspiring 3d rendering developed by C3, a spin-off of the Swedish auto and aerospace manufacturer SAAB, which was purchased by Apple in July 2011. C3 specialized in developing 3d rendering from color aerial photography.

Rumors about this change have been circulating ever since the purchase of Placebase, a mapping software developer, was revealed in 2009. Initial evidence of a split was seen earlier this year when iPhoto for the iPad was found to be using Open Street Map instead of Google Maps as in previous versions and the outcome became an inevitability when Apple failed to renew its contract with Google that was due to expire at the end of 2012.

9to5Mac Mockup of 3D rendering comparisons

Whilst nothing has been officially announced it is expected that maps will once again be making the headlines at the forthcoming iOS6 launch. Who knows, maybe they can make some fundamental improvements like including the names of rivers in the new maps and find some of the more recently ‘lost cities’.

24
Feb
12

Map fun, but beware of the fallout

Ever wondered what would happen if the French targeted your house for a nuclear attack?

Or perhaps considered where you would need to be if a stray ‘Dong Feng’ (the largest nuclear missile tested by the Chinese) went off in your local branch of K-Mart?

This super mash-up lets you pinpoint your favorite target on the map, select your preferred choice of radiation delivery and hey presto – see how areas in the immediate vicinity will be affected by the fireball, air blast and thermal radiation.

The map includes a permalink feature so you can send your finished vision of Armageddon to your friends. It sure beats ‘Elf Yourself’.

Try it this weekend – You’ll have a blast!

Nuke Map - Maps.com

Effects of a direct strike on Maps.com HQ: Dont panic - this blog is hosted out of the danger zone.

03
Feb
12

Maps.com Teaches Cartography to Local Elementary School Students

By Eric Wilder, Cartographer, Maps.com.

Monte Vista Science Night Sign

It's Science Night

Last week marked an exciting time for Maps.com, as it was the culmination of the critically acclaimed Monte Vista Elementary School Science Night.

For many K-6 graders in Santa Barbara, Science Night is one of the most anticipated days of the year; Monte Vista Elementary School hosts dozens of local scientists from a wide variety of disciplines who enthusiastically share their profession with young minds of tomorrow. The evening gives students the opportunity to touch a human brain, hold a python, experience static electricity, and as of 2012, learn about MAPS!!!

As a past student of Monte Vista who vividly remembers the thrills of Science Night, I was ecstatic to see things come full circle and return 15 years later as a cartographer. Teamed up with my partner in crime, Maps 101Customer Account Specialist, Terry (also a proud Monte Vista graduate!), we prepared a presentation that we hoped would engage students and get them interested in maps.

Feeling on top of the world

Global Appeal

Despite the fact that the cartography exhibit was placed right next to the reptile exhibit – tough competition to say the least – it is safe to say that the kiddos were enthralled to learn about maps. Crowded around the big maps we brought with us, Monte Vista students were quickly able to spot their school’s location on a map, identify ways that the Santa Barbara area has changed in the past century using our Santa Barbara Antique Wall Map, find their California mission on our Maps 101 missions map, and discover the uses of imagery in mapmaking. You would be shocked to learn how many first, second, and third grade students have used Google Maps before!!

Kids show cartographer how to read a map

No, THIS is longitude, Mr.

Seeing that I once had a cartographer visit my classroom in fifth grade, we at Maps.com understand the value of introducing the science of cartography to our society’s next generation of geographers. After a very fun evening complete with prize giveaways and contests, it is without doubt that the future looks bright for the cartographers of tomorrow!




Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 325 other followers

%d bloggers like this: