I have to admit that I love maps. I suppose that it makes sense that someone with a linguistics degree has an interest in seeing where in the world stuff is but its really the “new” interactive features that I love.
Recently I’d had an opportunity to spec out a project for a client in which we’d use some pretty simply “off the shelf” features to build a very informative Google map. I was impressed with how much data can be displayed via the API and how easily. In this case it was for a major film festival where we wanted folks to walk out of the theatre and make a last minute plan to see their next film. Of course they’d need theater locations and all that but the ability to show them bus routes, position on the route, walking time/distance, etc.. were all great ways to get someone to decide that they could catch another film.
I just remembered an old just-for-fun-project I’d done an eternity ago (4 years) in which I did an overlay from my Garmin GPS onto some forest service maps. It took a few steps and a bit of wrangling to get it to work out the way I wanted but now it would take next to nothing. In particular GPS Visualizer is a nice online tool to help make some pretty cool maps for visualizing a variety of information. Not all of them are “click and save” – meaning they take a little work – but they are still all relatively simple.
I need to start making some maps!