The introduction of satellite images into map search interfaces has excited both virtual sightseers and local app developers. Further innovations like Google’s Street View have caused consternation from privacy advocates while further pumping up the buzz about online mapping. In 2008, we can expect further innovations that stretch the envelope while dynamic map interfaces solidify as basic table-stakes for all local sites. In gearing up for this year in local search, I thought I’d give you a pure entertainment piece—here’s a guide to the top coolest things to see in Google Maps. Yum! Brands, Inc.’s subsidiary, KFC, built this brilliant ad back in 2006, geared to be viewable by space aliens. It was purposefully built just off Extraterrestrial Highway, near Area 51: I pointed out the swastika-shaped building below back in 2006, along with a few other map enthusiasts. In September of 2007, the U.S. Navy bowed to pressure from radio commentators and the … [Read more...] about 20 Awesome Images Found In Google Maps
Google maps satellite update
The city of Sunrise, Florida, is back on the map. On Google Maps. It mysteriously vanished more than a month ago, making it impossible to find anything in Sunrise via a Google search. Some local businesses have reported significant declines in online sales. The city’s mayor, after contacting Google and failing to get a call back, sent a letter to CEO Eric Schmidt last week. National and local media picked up the story this week. And then yesterday, more than a month after the problem was first reported, Sunrise — and all of its businesses, attractions, and places — finally regained its visibility on Google Maps. Google has apologized to Sunrise Mayor Mike Ryan “for the frustration and difficulty the mistake has caused.” Local business owners are no doubt relieved that the mistake has been fixed, but at least one wonders how long Sunrise would’ve remained gone without the media exposure and pressure from city officials. She’s promising to make … [Read more...] about Sunrise, Florida, Reemerges From Google Maps’ Bermuda Triangle
Is Google responsible for giving out bad directions through its Google Maps service? We’re about to find out. After Googling walking directions for a trip in Park City, Utah, Lauren Rosenberg claims she was led onto a busy highway, where she was struck by a vehicle. She’s now suing Google for damages. The case, Rosenberg v. Harwood, was filed in Utah, in the US District Court’s Central Division (Gary Price of ResourceShelf tipped us to it today). Harwood is Patrick Harwood, the person who actually hit Rosenberg, according to the suit. Both Harwood and Google are being sued in the same case, for damages “in excess of $100,000.” Rosenberg used Google Maps on January 19, 2009, via her Blackberry, to get directions between 96 Daly Street, Park City, Utah and 1710 Prospector Avenue, Park City, Utah. Google provided these, telling her as part of the route to walk for about 1/2 mile along the calm-sounding “Deer Valley Drive.” That’s an … [Read more...] about Woman Follows Google Maps “Walking” Directions, Gets Hit, Sues
I remember distinctly how Google reacted during the 9/11 attacks. Miserably, having to resort to using its ad space and special links on its home page to keep people informed, because its results were so out of date. How things have changed, in so many ways. Google On 9/11 Recall Google back on September 11. The screenshot below is four hours after the attack: You can see how Google was literally telling people not to try searching, putting links to news sites on its home page (unprecedented, for Google). That’s because the results people got, if they did do a search, were chilling, sad and not reflective of the tragedy that had just unfolded. Here’s how they looked four hours after the attack: “View from WTCA Headquarters” — like I said, sad, chilling and not reflective of what had happened. Eventually, Google had to use its ad space to help inform people. This was six hours after the attack: At the top of the results, you can see the ad unit being … [Read more...] about Google & The Death Of Osama Bin Laden
Google goes back to pre-Katrina maps from USA Today reports that Google Mapshas changed their satellite imagery of New Orleans to show pre-Katrina images,getting some local residents angry and wondering if there’s some type ofcover-up in the works. However, it’s unclear if these are pre-Katrina images ornot — and the situation’s just as confusing with mapping services from othersearch engines. USA Today writes: Google’s popular map portal has replaced post-Hurricane Katrina satelliteimagery with pictures taken before the storm, leaving locals feeling likethey’re in a time loop and even fueling suspicions of a conspiracy. Scroll across the city and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and everything isback to normal: Marinas are filled with boats, bridges are intact and parksare filled with healthy, full-bodied trees. "Come on," said an incredulous Ruston Henry, president of the economicdevelopment association in New Orleans’ devastated Lower 9th Ward. … [Read more...] about Google Under Fire For Showing Pre-Katrina New Orleans Images; Others Doing The Same?