Wednesday, April 06, 2005

More map tricks & annotations

I read about the release of satellite imagery for google maps first here. So I thought I'd mention it, to see how the annotation of major media works here.

Annotation is a term used in digital mapping, for almost any kind of category, tag, label, attribute, connection etc. It would be lovely to annotate Google's new map tool, to highlight environmental and community devastation. Currently, the only possible overlays are driving directions & search result points.

The neatest thing I've done with this, so far, is to trace back my local river to its sources. Which turned out to be reservoirs I've swum in. I think everyone is doing one of two things with this tool: exploring places they know well ("can I see myself?" "Is that what my old neighborhoodd looked like?") and exploring places they've dreamt of (unfortunately, only the US is available in any detail.)

One of the best features is the ability to switch back & forth between maps & satellite imagery. Even though I've been involved in GIS for years, I still can't get over how cartoon-like, and just plain inaccurate, a highway on a map looks, compared to the real thing.


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