Weblog for the UW-Madison SLIS summer GIS and information agencies course run by Greg Downey. Members may post something new.
posted by Greg Downey @ 4:06 PM
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Agreed with Ben -- while this map is perhaps the easiest to use (enter address --> street map), it is also the most limited. You cannot track data beyond addresses. Color satellite was a bonus - but does anyone know if this is "real time" (as opposed to the Terraserver satellite which is years old)?
I feel indifferent to Google Maps. It appears to do what it is meant to do, i.e. find locations and give directions, adequately. I do like the satellite imagery, I hadn't noticed the satellite feature at first. The only bad thing is that depending on where you are at, the satellite imagery doesn't get to such a fine scale. The coverage for my neighborhood is good, but if you look at Madison on a city scale, the west side coverage is not as good.
Like some other people have said, this site is easy to use. That doesn't mean I like it a lot though. The detail available on the map isn't as good as some of the other sites. I did like the satellite image, but wish it covered my neighborhood. Overall, I would use a different site until this is improved.
Google mapping website provides satellite photo as well as map. In addition, it provides lots of spatial information by retrieving request like search engine. I was surprised by the fact that it has the Korean restaurants information in Madison. It seems like contributing strategic marketing more efficiently.
While I was unable to make any community planning and development info show in HUD, Google maps quicky identified civic and community organizaitons. I agree that there are no layers in Google maps, simply location and direction. I do *think* that the Google satellite image is more recent than the Terraserver, see my Terraserver entry. The no zoom-in restricts what you can really discern from the satellite, but I am charmed by the rural patchwork I found when looking up my parents Iowa farm. Didn't yield anything I would be interested in bringing into ArcView.
One quirky and interesting aspect of the satellite view is that you can scroll left and right and it recycles over and over around the world, as if it were a circular drum...like the earth really is. When you do this up and down, however, you get stuck at the poles. I feel like this tells us something about how we traditionally use imagery to represent the earth. In theory there's nothing special about looking at a sphere in a particular manner (left to right with the equator in the middle), but it is so ingrained via conventional, normative mapping that there's not even data to scroll up and down in a similar recycling manner. The thing that amazed me about google maps was that they are (I think) the only online mapping service to play with and offer real time zooming. No reloads for scale changes! They haven't quite got it yet though because sliding up and down the scale bar doesn't change the data set from which the image draws. It just makes the pixels bigger or smaller, and zooming way out doesn't change the spatial extent of the map. The three services google maps provides are "go to a location," "find a business," and "get directions." These are all intuitive and useful query options in my opinion. The best thing is that they are all interrelated, i.e. if you go to a location, the interface makes it simple to then find a type of business (like a restaurant) or get directions to and from that location. For example, I searched for "jazz" in New York City as a business type and it came up with about 15 places in Manhattan represented by pins. Scrolling over the pins exposes a bubble with the exact address and a web link to that business. Then I typed in "get directions from" my Madison address and found that it functions much like mapquest. I think they could get by with about four different scales instead of 9 or 10 because much of the information doesn't change until you jump 3 or 4 scales anyways, the picture just gets bigger or smaller. I noticed that the data is generated and powered by NAVTEQ and Tele Atlas.
Our readings presented the idea that interactive mapping is capable of producing maps relevant for a paticular moment in time, which would not be logical to produce in other ways. Example: Today is Middleton's community garage sale and my neighborhood was teeming with minivans before 8. Plugging in address information to Google maps (if it allowed you to save previous address info or search for more than one address simultaneously) or another interface to produce a Garage Sales Today Map would be of interest to the shoppers, helping them to plot an efficient path through the used goods. And it would aleviate low-speed cruising and abrupt stopping.
I agree with many of the other comments. This site is really easy to use and I think that in some ways it fulfills exactly what many people are looking for: addresses, directions, searches for businesss and "cheap drinks," and the ability to se a satellite image of their neighborhood. That doesn't mean there isn't a LOT of room for improvement, however. I think it would be great if they could do more than just the general street, city, country, global maps. I think that people would really find the ability to add layers to these maps very useful, especially considering the fact that the popularity of Google means that people will tend to turn toward google maps before other mapping sites. I also think that there is always room for improvement in the searching capabilities as well. My search for vintage clothing stores (using a variety of search terms) produced more book stores and Jamacian restaraunts than clothing stores.
For the purpose of the assignment, I was able to pinpoint my house in the context of a 4 sq. mi. area. The site shows the relative position of roads and housing tracts in their true proportions, rather than distorted like the census tracts. Again, current information on local features is poor. I was unable to locate a Catholic church right across the street from our house.The satellite map is nice but the level of definition when zooming in is awful. Printing a satellite view of an area as specific as the state of Wisconsin would require a lot of effort.
This is my "required" responding blog comment. First, a general comment, I think one should keep this site in perspective--it's strictly to help you find an address and the satellite's a bonus. Compare this with mapquest...this is way better!Just quickly first with respect to Elizabeth..no, I do not believe it's real-time for a variety of reasons. Not all of the data is freely available...even some of these images were not, when owned by keyhole... google purchased it and put it out there for "free" use. This is reflected in the absence or differences in resolution available. In response to Nick's comment on this site, I am glad someone had a chance to play with the imagery, which is fun and more interesting. This made me go and check out the terraserver site again--I think it is limited in terms of how far north or south it can go in relation to a particular address...but one were to look at a place search, it appears to to the North Pole but has many missing segments.
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