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Google to Unite Mapping Mashups 59

jihadist writes "Hoping to make it even easier to turn its online maps into collages of local information, Google Inc. is introducing tools that will stitch together applications from a hodgepodge of Web sites."
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Google to Unite Mapping Mashups

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  • Mapplets, Eh? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ronadams ( 987516 ) on Wednesday July 11, 2007 @09:00AM (#19824201) Homepage
    From TFA:

    Google is hoping to unite the information mishmash by encouraging mashup developers to package the creations into mini-applications called "mapplets" that will be posted under the "My Maps" section of Google's Web site.
    It will be interesting to see what the TOS for mapplets will be, and how this might effect existing mashups. Already there are mashups used to generate profit for companies, and mashups that require paid access to use. Will Google attempt to swallow all mashups via centralization, and perhaps making it very difficult to create future mashups except through this forthcoming service? In other words, is Google trying to corner the mashup market?
  • Mapplets not Apps (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11, 2007 @09:01AM (#19824207)

    Now, users with Google log-ins will be able to pick from more than 100 mapplets to customize and save their own maps. Google expects the number of mapplets to increase as word about the service spreads. To encourage the phenomenon, Google's own engineers also contributed mapplets.
    It sounds like this is still going to be just mapplets, not applications like the summary says.

    I also think this explains why they've been adamant about everyone who uses Google Maps having to ping their servers--if you're using overlays of data or information, they want it as an option for users of these mashups.

    God, I hate these new terms but I suppose I'll be using them on a daily basis in the future like everyone else.
  • by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Wednesday July 11, 2007 @09:09AM (#19824267)
    I used to be an avid Mapquest user till I discovered Google maps. The map application from Google is much better than that of Mapquest in my opinion and I find that Yahoo maps is always wrong when it comes to Canadian locations.

    I still wonder why Mapquest is so much popular as compared to Google Maps.

    • It's all about habit formation. Changing consumer habits is like pushing water up hill. MapQuest was first to market, so in most minds, it is still the de-facto 'direction finder thingy'. ...and agreed - Google Maps/Directions trumps MapQuest big time.
      • I'd imagine it's also the thousands of existing sites like phone books, real estate sites, etc. that link to Mapquest for mapping services. I'd be interested to know how many PEOPLE visit Google Maps vs. Mapquest if you take those embedded, no choice links out of the picture.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by EMeta ( 860558 )
      In the states at least, Mapquest's directions engine is slightly better than Google Maps'. Usually they're identical, but when they differ, 95% of the time Mapquest is better. But it's so much less pretty, & doesn't integrate business or address search as well, so I still primarily use Google's, myself.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by IndieKid ( 1061106 )
      I must admit I just had to look up MapQuest as I'd never heard of it. I live in the UK and over here services such as Streetmap [streetmap.co.uk] and Multimap [multimap.com] are probably the most popular 'legacy' services. I wouldn't be surprised if Google Maps was the most popular these days though.

      I've been using the My Maps functionality of Google Maps quite a lot recently to keep private maps of where my friends live etc. - especially useful for those I don't visit very often as it works like a geo-tagged address book. I can certainl
    • Well, for one thing, Mapquest is RESTful by default, while Google maps isn't. You can copy the html link from Mapquest and insert it into an email or a webpage. In order to do this with Google maps, you have to click on the cleverly hidden "Link to this page" link and then copy it out. Much easier for people to use Mapquest.
    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      I still wonder why Mapquest is so much popular as compared to Google Maps.

      Maybe because it's good. Maybe because it was there first. Maybe because not everybody loves Google unconditionally. Maybe because you don't need a satellite image to find directions. I don't know.

      • by ByteofK ( 952750 )
        I used to swear by Mapquest. But then they took away their services, and they also reduced the size of the available map. Since then I think both have returned, but too late. I like Google Maps above all, and will only switch to Microsoft's maps when I need some better imaging (for example the town I live in has aerial shots whereas Google only has very low detailed satellite images), or Mapquest when I want county lines. Or Multimap when I want actual maps from the UK.
  • Ironic (Score:4, Funny)

    by WegianWarrior ( 649800 ) on Wednesday July 11, 2007 @09:12AM (#19824287) Journal
    News on Google, reported by Yahoo...

    Irony, thy name is Internet.
    • FTA:

      Google's maps attracted 28.9 million U.S. visitors, a 28 percent increase from the same time last year [...]. Meanwhile, Yahoo's mapping traffic fell 12 percent [...]
      Very ironic indeed...
  • by molo ( 94384 ) on Wednesday July 11, 2007 @09:17AM (#19824331) Journal
    Here is the documentation on mapplets [google.com].

  • So, basically, Google takes the Google Maps mashups and makes a mashup of them, if you want to think of it like that?

    Or, perhaps, might one better think of it as potato flakes -- i.e. making it so users can get their mashups pre-mashed.
    • Well Microsoft has a product called Popfly.com that does mashups with anybody's maps and many other sites and services.

      Is Google ripping the idea off of MS?
  • This is a great idea because it'll take the work that everyone else did and lump it into a site that all google users can access. It'll take what was so good about google maps (the ability to build 'maplets') and make them easily accesible. I'm sure they'll create them in a way that the third parties can still make money off their own applications too.
  • Sounds like a great idea to me, the only real hurdle I can see remaining is the source data these mashups use which, at least in the UK, are owned by the government but strangely not available for the use of the people.

    The UK postcode database is one such example which isn't available except at vast expense but there are others, the most relevant currently being flood data which is gathered, at the taxpayers expense, but not available for use except, again, at a large cost.

    Since the government clearly aren'
  • by jolyonr ( 560227 ) on Wednesday July 11, 2007 @09:22AM (#19824387) Homepage
    This was announced at the Google Developer Day back in May, and has been pretty much public knowledge since then.

    • by caluml ( 551744 )
      Perhaps it's news to those of us that don't hang out with Google employees, or attend their Developer Days, or subscribe to "The Google Times".

      What you really wanted to say was: "Oooh, look at me - I'm so l33t that I heard about this in May. Give me your cred points now."
  • And here I was dreaming of them adding their My Maps interface into their standard api. Looks like they're more interested in adding your site to their service, rather than the other way around.
    • by Sloppy ( 14984 )

      Looks like they're more interested in adding your site to their service, rather than the other way around.

      Exactly. Seems like every time I check out some cool new feature from Google, I come to the conclusion that even if I like what they've done, I can't really work with them; they're the competition.

      Not blaming anyone or complaining.

      Everybody wants to be "on top" and use the other guys as components. What it really comes down to is this: users, please look at the ads from our sponsors.

  • Really makes you wonder what google will add to their maps next.
    I was thinking that they will end up linking live video streams similar to the way they have the 1st person intersection photos. I think this must come in the end..There are so many folks out there who will have the iPhone and as we all know you MUST use it with "all you can eat" data plan. So its not a stretch to assume that this could be a feature built into an iphone or any other phone. Just a thought though..plus it would be cool to see wh
  • I could use something like this right now. I'm trying to find an apartment in Houston. The trouble is, all of these apartment complexes mostly have the same amenities. For the most part, they all accept cats, they all have a pool, a fitness center, and a balcony/porch. They all have onsite laundry or in-unit washer-dryer. The amenity differentiators so far seem to be the inclusion or exclusion of AC from the rent, and the inclusion of cable or internet. The only other thing separating these places is
  • by wombert ( 858309 ) on Wednesday July 11, 2007 @10:41AM (#19825187)
    Do they form the shape of a large robot and fight evil?

  • So a lot of the mashup's I have seen usually have some google ads on the mashup site, thus giving the developer a few pennies for their work. Now google wants developers to write the code so it can be displayed on google's own site thus google get the code for free, and they get their adwords money from advertisers, removing the adsense payout part.
    Good idea google, kudos.
  • One map to rule them all and in the darkness bind them.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Right now using Google API I can't integrate routes direction services, but just static maps. I would like to be able to embed mapplets for my own project. But they are available only on Google Maps website.

    Also for Google Maps there are Navteq maps, while if use Google API you have Tele Atlas that are less accurate.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"