How Google Maps cleverly avoids getting entangled in border disputes

gizmodo

Gif courtesy of Gizmodo

You can’t please all of the people all of the time – but when it comes to disputed borders, Google Maps gives it a very good try.

According to this wikipedia page, there are more than 200 disputed borders in the world – territories that are claimed by more than one country. Even the USA and Canada argue about who owns two islands, three straits and one sea. That’s more than 200 opportunities for Google Maps to cause offence …  Read more

Google kicks off April Fools’ Day w/ Pokemon Master job listing & mini-game in Maps

It looks like Google’s usual April Fools festivities have just kicked off as we officially roll into April 1st in Japan. Google’s first gag is the recruiting video above looking for a qualified “Pokemon Master” for the Google Maps team and comes alongside a mini-game easter egg in the Google Maps app for iOS and Android.

While the video above showing some type of augmented reality style Pokemon game integrated with Google Maps is almost certainly just for a bit of April Fools fun, an easter egg already live in the Google Maps app on iOS and Android actually lets users play a Pokemon mini-game:

As you can see in the screenshots above, small Pokemon characters are appearing scattered throughout the Google Maps app. You can tap the characters to catch them and also a view a detailed Pokedex that shows artwork, character details, and the Pokemon you still have to catch.

Those that catch all the Pokemon between now and April 2nd will go on to Google for a final challenge to crown the true Pokemon Master for the Google Maps team. To turn on the mini-game, tap the search bar in the Google Maps app followed by “Press Start.”  Read more

Don’t look for missing Malaysian Airlines flight on Google Maps – but you can help with this other crowdsource site

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The Malaysian Star (via the Huffington Post) reports that it has had calls from readers who have been looking for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 … on Google Maps. Spotting static images of aircraft in flight, they have been reporting them as downed aircraft.

With the search entering its fourth day on Tuesday, several concerned citizens called The Star, believing that they have discovered the missing airplane after scrolling through the Google Maps satellite images.

While Google Maps images are of course typically months to years old, surprisingly it is possible for Internet users to help search for the plane in contemporary satellite images …  Read more

Cute corners of the Google Maps world: fictitious towns & polar bears

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Search for Agloe, NY, in Google Maps and the small town will duly appear. Which is odd, as Agloe doesn’t exist, and never has.

BigThink reports that Agloe was one of a number of ‘paper towns,’ places that were invented by early map-makers back in the 1930s in order to catch out rival companies who stole their work.

How do you prove someone stole your map, if that map accurately reflects reality? The answer: add fantasy! Mapmakers had been able to take their competitors to court by pointing out fake places (a.k.a. paper towns) on their maps that were copied from their original work! For this reason, fictitious roads are often called trap streets: because they entrap the company copying them onto their own maps …  Read more

Create your own Street View style tours with new Google service

Google Street View has taken us to some pretty funky places, including the world’s tallest skyscraper, the Eiffel Tower, a Bond villain’s lair, a trek up to the top of Mount Fuji , animal park tours, a Venice Gondola ride and visits inside Dr Who’s TARDIS, CERN’s Large Hadron Collider and a submarine.

But there are still some places Street View doesn’t yet reach, so if you have a favourite hike, cycle ride or rock climb you want to share with others, you can now create your own Street View style tours through Google’s Views community.

Have you ever tried to convey the feeling of walking through your favorite park? Or have you wanted to create a virtual tour of your business to attract customers? Well, starting today, it’s now possible for you to build your own Street View experiences to do just that. Using a new feature in our Views community, you can easily connect your photo spheres to create 360º virtual tours of the places you love, then share them with the world on Google Maps …

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