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It’s Fab Friday again! This is getting fun, I like doing this. This week’s theme is Street View. First up, Andres Ferrate from Maps Developer Relations (or MDR as some of us are calling it these days) produced this screencast on incorporating Street View and Custom Panoramas into your app. Check it out:

Next up, we have Historypin. Historypin is a site that lets you upload and view historic photos in Google Maps. Better, you can actually view them on top of current Street View imagery. Here’s a screenshot from Florence, Italy:

Finally, there’s the fabulous gta4.net fan site that uses the Google Maps API Custom Street View Panorama API to render Liberty City entirely in Street View. Let me be clear, not the Liberty City of Florida, but the fictitious city in the video game Grand Theft Auto IV. Lots of fan hours went into doing screen capture, let me tell you.

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pyKML is an open source Python library for generating, parsing, and modifying KML, the geo-spatial data language used by Google Earth, Google Maps and a number of other GIS platforms.

I was motivated to create pyKML because I frequently need to visualize large, and often complex, environmental datasets. While the KML language has a wide range of options for styling, annotating and interacting with geo-spatial and temporal data, most programs that generate KML don’t take full advantage of these rich features. I created the pyKML library to address this problem by providing easy, programmatic access to all KML elements.

pyKML facilitates working with large and complex KML documents by leveraging the use of basic programming constructs (looping, branching, etc.). In this regard pyKML is similar to libkml, Google’s open source C++ library, but takes advantage of the highly readable syntax of the Python programming language and the processing capabilities of the popular lxml Python library.

As a simple example, check out this Python script that loops through a text string (“Hello World!”) and uses pyKML to create a series of KML Placemarks. You can download the resulting KML document, and below is a screenshot of how it looks in Google Earth.



This is just a teaser of what pyKML can do. For more complex examples, check out the pyKML documentation and the project’s Google Code site that includes sample code for: generating KML from CSV data, creating KML Tours, and visualizing ephermeris data for Stonehenge (e.g., orientation of the sun on different dates). pyKML can even be used to create “slides" for presentations!



To get started, browse the project’s documentation, install the library, try it out, and let us know what you think!



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We’ve been talking a lot recently around the Maps Developer Relations Team about heat maps. Heat maps use colors to represent the intensity of occurrence or certain values. Heat maps are a popular way to represent data. People often ask me how to create them themselves. So the other day when I ran across heatmap.js, with it's nifty Google Maps API Heatmap Overlay, I thought it would be perfect to share with you. Heatmap.js uses HTML5 Canvas to render the heatmap on top of the map. Apparently, it’s in early release, so feel free to help the developer, Patrick Wied out with some patches. Here's what it looks like:

On another note, we recently announced that several college campuses are now available in Google Street View, in areas outside roads. That data is now available to you in the Google Maps API. Here’s the Quad at Stanford:

Finally, if any of you are going to be at Strata, Chris Broadfoot and I will be presenting a workshop there March 1st called Beautiful Vectors. Check it out or just find us and say hi.

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Inspired by Scott Knaster over on the Google Code Blog, I’m starting a new tradition of Fab Friday on the Google Geo Developers Blog. On most Fridays I’m going to post about something cool going on in the world of Google Maps. Nothing formal! So please don’t wear a tie to read my posts.

I’ve got a couple of fun things today. The first one comes from a member of my team, Chris Broadfoot, who put together this great screencast on working with the Styled Maps feature of the Google Maps API:

I also found a cool map you might like. The Domesday Book was the result of a survey in England commissioned by William the Conquerer and completed in 1086. It was a survey of all the landholdings in most of England and parts of Wales. Open Domesday maps this survey. And it also has an API in case you want to play with the data yourself.

Domesday Map Image

I originally found it on Google Maps Mania. I also find cool maps on a variety of sites, including Mapperz and the Google Earth Blog.