Sightsmap

Using geo data from photos uploaded by users to Google’s Panoramio, Sightsmap generates an interactive heatmap of the most frequently photographed spots around the world. It reminds me a little of the Heat Map I made back in 2006, which could be applied to any geolocational data (including photos).

Travel Map

TripAdvisor Travel Map

As I wait in jittery, excited anticipation of my big trip back to the old country to see the rustic villa where my grandfather was born in 1909, I have been asking a number of friends about their recommended off-the-beaten-path must-dos in Italy.

I was initially quite proud of this until I visited some of the travel maps of friends, which look like glitteringly decadent Christmas trees. My lowly map, if you notice, has no dots west of the Mississippi—which will change for Todd’s wedding this July—and only sparse locations in Eastern Europe. I’ve been to less than half of the world’s continents and have predominantly traded in dollars, pounds and euros (and pre-euro currencies). And while I’m struggling to become less sedentary, I’m merely posting this pitiful map to show to the friends who’ve asked about my previous travel experiences.

That said, if you find yourself in any of the following locations this June, let’s get a Prosecco and Peroni:

– Rome
– Naples
– Siena
– Florence
– Chianti
– Anywhere in Tuscany
– Anywhere on the Amalfi Coast
– Anywhere on the Ligurian Sea

And, if you’ve been there before, let me know of some things you recommend!

Make any image into Google Maps, with UMapper

I’ve been following the success of UMapper (formerly GMap, provided by the good folks at AFComponents.com) since a client of mine asked era//404 to build a dating search with results based on proximity around a geographic area. And while the site has taken a slightly different direction since then, UMapper piqued my interest. In their latest newsletter, they cited creating Google Maps-style widgets from any image. And sure enough, it works!

I started to think of all the useful applications this could have for my companies and clients. For instance, Lyrek CEMS, which manages our clients’ contacts, events and venues, could plot their contacts on a world map. Clients seeking geographic searches (such as the dating site, previously mentioned) could now brand and custom design their national or global maps. Game developers and Facebook Application developers could use this functionality for GeoDart Games and MapWikis. And who is to say that the map has to be a geographical representation of land? Any application where a user would want to plot points of interest/note on a 2D plane would work: It could be a hi-rez scan of an organ or anatomical figure for physician studies, or a zoomed micro electron slide of pond water for biological research. The possibilities are endless.

And with AFComponents/UMapper’s analytics tools, you can also create surveys, questionnaires, tests/quizzes, census studies and a whole host of other information-gathering applications.

Watch their video, here:

Manahatta: (NYC Subway Map v. 1937 Buffalo Nickel)

Every time I look at the MTA’s system map, I always see a Native American’s face in profile: Manhattan is the stately bridge of the nose, Riker’s Island is the gleaming eye, and even the Rockaways are a feathered headdress. Partially because of this physiognomy, but more due to its sartorial charm, I presume it looks the most like Sioux, Crow— probably the ethnicity of my great-grandfather on my mother’s side—Blackfeet, Cheyenne, or Plains Cree.