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Friday, April 22, 2005

More mapping

I am a huge map fan. A lot of people say this but I'm not kidding. I even studied geography in college and have done mapping professionally for almost 10 years.

So you can imagine my excitement at seeing the new Google Maps. Wow! Not only does this service have outstanding functionality, but the maps are beautiful. This is not to be underestimated in my book. I didn't study cartography for nothing.

Well, one of my first thoughts at seeing Google Maps was to wonder how I could customize it for my own purposes. I'm not the only one who has wondered this.

Big kudos go out to Phil at who has done extensive work showing how Google Maps can be customized. Phil has set up a standalone service that allows you to add your own custom points to Google Maps.

After reading some of Phil's documentation, I decided to create my own XML file to contain my points. I also decided to automate this process a bit since I didn't want to manually find all the lat/lons.

I have created an ArcView script that enables me to click on a point on a map and then enter all the information that appears in the Google Map popups. This script pulls the lat/lon from the map and creates the XML file for me.

As a test, I have created a customized map of some locations in Atlanta.

Please email me with any problems you have viewing this map or any suggestions. Thanks!

Click on the map below to check it out. Once the map has opened, click on the markers for more details.

Update: Phil has informed me that this application is now compatible with IE and does not need the Greasemonkey extension.

Update: I created another cool map. This shows all the places I have visited.

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