Guest post by Bob Hitching, Director of Technology for Xumii, recently acquired by Myriad (Myriad Group AG), Europe's largest mobile technology company with software in over 2 billion phones.Bob also writes about mobile + geo + social on his blog and tweets as @hitching.
GeoMeme is a pet project of mine. It's a web app, and also a mobile web app for iPhone and Android, that measures real-time local twitter trends to work out what's happening where.
Visitors to GeoMeme choose a location on the map, and two search terms to compare. GeoMeme then measures and compares the number of matching tweets within the bounds of the map. Tweets are located using Twitter's brand new geotagging feature, and public data from a number of mobile twitter apps.
As an example, GeoMeme can work out that 'love' beats 'hate' in New York:
GeoMeme is packed full of geo goodness, and I am excited to share some details on how it all works in the following articles. I hope these are useful to those of you building your own geo apps.
This article explains how location-aware mobile web apps such as GeoMeme Mobile are now becoming a viable alternative to native mobile apps for iPhone &/or Android.
Also covered is how to combine various geolocation techniques to work out where on earth a mobile phone is located, and how to dynamically retrieve content local to the user for display on a mobile map.
Sample code is provided in the form of a 'Here I Am' location-aware mobile web app that combines geolocation techniques, and retrieves local photos from Panoramio for sharing on Twitter or Facebook.
As well as offering users the normal pan and zoom controls to move the map around, GeoMeme also adds an innovative geo-autocomplete control which provides a refreshingly quick way for users to re-position the map anywhere on the planet.
This article explains how the geo-autocomplete control uses the geocoder service from Google Maps v3 API to match location names as they are being typed, and then the new Static Maps v2 API to present the results as a menu of map thumbnails to choose from.
Sample code is provided in the form of a jQuery plugin for you to build your own geo-autocomplete controls.
GeoMeme generates a large amount of geo-data, and so arises a need shared by many geo apps: scalable, fast, and accurate spatial queries, to select a subset of geo-data for display as markers on a map.
This article is all about using Google App Engine to host scalable and fast geo apps, and using an optimised version of the geohash algorithm to perform your spatial queries.
There's a fun demo showing the effect of geohash faultlines, and the relative accuracy of spatial queries with or without faultline correction
Sample code is provided as a python module to handle faultline-friendly geo search, if you want to use this technique on your own geo apps.
We realize that some of your markers or infowindows may contain information that you don't want us to display in search results or on Google Maps. Your content may be personal in nature or perhaps you don't have the necessary rights to allow indexing of the content you are displaying. Maps API Premier customers in particular may not want their content indexed and displayed in Google Maps. To ensure that this new feature doesn't cause any issues, we have put a few controls in place:
We're excited about letting users easily find the wonderful mashups developers have created. As always, if you have any feedback for us, please use the Maps API Google Group.
Mickey Kataria, Product Manager
Hi, I'm John Clegg of ProjectX. We build a range of map applications such as journeyplanners and addressing tools in Wellington, New Zealand. We have been working on a library to add more functionality to Street View called Mapsicle.
Ever since the release of Google Street View in 2007, we have been thinking about how we could enhance it. It wasn't until Street View arrived in New Zealand in December 2008 that we finally decided to build a prototype called Mapsicle (Maps meets Popsicle).
The prototype showed how you could easily overlay content such as markers and InfoWindows onto Street View. We showed Mapsicle to a few people including the Google Maps API team who were excited about what it could do. We asked Google if we could submit Mapsicle into the Maps Util library to ensure that we accelerate the development of Street View as a maps application platform. After a couple of months of testing and bug fixing, we are happy to announce that Mapsicle v1.0 is now live.
What can Mapsicle do ?
Using Mapsicle library, you can do a lot of interesting things:
To try it out yourself, read through the developer's guide and reference, and check out the examples that show how to implement custom infowindows, markers, and map integration.
The world of possibilities
Now that Street View is being extended via the Street View partner program, Mapsicle could be used to create a whole range of maps applications…
As one example of the possibilities, we created a fun little mashup called StreetTag.
Thanks to the team
Kudos to the entire team at ProjectX, in particular:
We've had a lot of fun building Mapsicle and we're really excited to see what cool things geo developers are going to do with it. We'd love your help to build out Mapsicle and add more features. You can contribute to the project by joining the Google Maps API Utility Library, and you can let us know how you're using the library by posting in the forum. Enjoy!
We're really excited to announce two upcoming hackathons for our Google Geo APIs. The first will be held in New York City on November 20th followed by a second one in Mountain View on December 15th. This will be a great learning opportunity for any developer interested or currently involved in building Geo-enabled applications using our APIs. Come join us for a great session where you'll be able to hack away on your own projects alongside our engineers who'll be readily available to provide support.
Below is a list of the various Google Geo APIs you'll learn about:
Registration for these events are completely free, and space is limited. Reserve your spot now using the following links below!
Bring your laptops, your brains, and we'll see you soon!
Give us feedback in our Product Forums.