TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Thinking Maps

Thinking Maps

Monty Solomon (
Sun, 17 Jul 2005 23:37:00 -0400

By Joshua Glenn

LATE LAST MONTH, the Internet search company Google announced it would
share its cutting-edge Google Maps technology with 'outside Web
developers.' That is to say, hackers, who've been using the online
cartographic service to create unauthorized interactive maps of
everything from cheap nationwide gas prices to local street crime ever
since Google's speedy, responsive service was launched in February.

Google had originally envisioned people using its European-style
streetmaps and creepily close-up satellite images to size up
neighborhoods where an apartment was for rent, for example, or to
check out a vacation spot's proximity to the beach. But civic-minded
computer jockeys had other visions. Matching the latitude and
longitude points from Google Maps (which provides virtual push-pin
markers for physical addresses typed into a search field; see marker
on map at right) with locations from police blotters, real estate
listings, and other databases, they've created free searchable maps of
crime in Chicago, sexual predators in Florida, and apartments for rent
in New York, to cite just three examples.

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