Monday, December 04, 2006

Map Digs

National Geographic had an article on GeoRSS a while ago, a good read. Plus there are some good surprises at their online series: Digital Places.

As you probably know by now, Google Maps (and Earth) accepts coordinates in formats like:

37 57 11.98 N 121 05 15.76 W

There is now a dedicated Geographical Search Engine at Geody (thanks Stefan). A similar if not the same syntax can be applied with results that will give you a lot to look for in a clean interface.

Map24, Mapsolute, MapTP

I ran into Map24 a while ago and now again with the news that mobile support has been added .

"Map24 Mobile 2.0 [...] shows routes in North and South America, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand [and Europe]."

Try their Ajax interface by drawing rectangles over the US map. Neat.

New Map Provider?

Looking under the hood you discover that Mapsolute (signing side by side with NavTeq as a map data provider) has a role similar to deCarta in US, a German-based company that launched as a portal available now "with localized content for fourteen countries."

Its map data provider technology is called MapTP and it: "distributes vector maps through the net, sending them compressed and incrementally."

Poking on C++ coders: "animated zooms and pans in Java, even faster [than] C++ painters."

Map data is provided by TeleAtlas, NavTeq and AND (yes, AND maps).

API's are provided for Java and C++. ActiveX components will be replaced by .Net and web services "interfaced by XML, HTTP or PHP."

Looking through the source of their map browsing page you can find a mix of Ajax, PHP and JavaScript that might teach you some tricks. It even surprised me with the URL of the original
news article that took me into this track. Tricky.

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