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January 30, 2006

Google Maps Hacks: Mapping Online Gets Personal and Creative

Sebastopol, CA--Asking for directions has never been this much fun. Google Maps is changing the landscape of online mapping applications. Now finding local pizza places, the best meeting places, or even the cheapest gas stations, is an interactive experience that allows the user to get as much detail as desired. As with any great technology, individual users often figure out how to make it work even better. Google Maps Hacks (Erle and Gibson, O'Reilly, US $29.99) is the perfect book for anyone interested in creating customized, interactive maps for personal or commercial use.

With the tricks and techniques found in Google Maps Hacks, anyone can adapt Google's satellite map features to create interactive maps for personal applications or for businesses ranging from real estate, to package delivery, to home services, transportation, and more. Such diverse information as apartment listings, crime reporting or flight routes can be integrated with Google's satellite imagery in creative ways, to yield new and useful applications. Readers will learn how to:

  • Take advantage of Google's location search interfaces and map navigation shortcuts
  • Explore the world with maps, satellite photos, or a combination of both
  • Create personalized links to Google's maps
  • Put personalized markers--and more--on the map
  • Find mashups, sites in which Google's maps have been combined with other data
  • Use Google for navigation, wardriving, and even beating traffic tickets
  • Integrate personal GIS-based maps with Google's maps
  • Discover (and avoid) the errors made in maps
  • Add photos and Flash applets to Google's maps
  • Written by Schuyler Erle and Rich Gibson (with a foreword by Google Maps tech leads, Jens and Lars Rasmussen), "Google Maps Hacks" shares dozens of tricks for combining the capabilities of Google's Keyhole map feature with users' own datasets, so users can create interactive maps for unlimited personal and commercial applications.

    "We begin Google Maps Hacks with a complete introduction to the "standard" features of Google Maps. Then we continue our adventure with sixty useful and interesting mapping projects that demonstrate ways developers have added their own features to the maps," said Rich Gibson. "After that gets your brain percolating, you learn to apply the techniques and tools to add your own data to customize and manipulate Google Maps. It's a fun ride."

    Additional Resources:

    Google Maps Hacks
    Rich Gibson and Schuyler Erle
    ISBN: 0-596-10161-9, 366 pages, $29.99 US
    order@oreilly.com
    1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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