Map Space

Map Space.

The $3.4 billion market for local search is heating up between Yahoo, Google, America Online, MSN Virtual Earth and Amazon's A-9, with mapping a key component.
But maps come in different flavors and may not have a search component.

Take, for example, the Akamai Net News Index. It offers a near real-time display of internet interests in major regions of the world.

helps speed delivery of 15 percent of the world's Internet traffic over
its network. Because its computers serve up billions of pages of news
to Internet readers each day, Akamai is in the unique position of being
able to track news consumption on a global scale.

Akamai's Net News Index can:

  • Aggregate, real-time visitors per minute on over 100 global news portals
  • Map site traffic levels by continent over a 24-hour period
  • Show historical trends and chronicle the world's collective attention.

But who (really) cares what's happening on a global scale. News,
like politics, is local. The rest is filler. Cyber maps of local news,
friends, and events might be more interesting — and useful.

Google Maps
was the real breakthrough. Their open API allowed developers to roll
their own interfaces, embedding Google Maps in their own web pages with
JavaScript. Soon map widgets were being profiled in Make Magazine, O'Reilly,,
Map Room,
GeoBloggers, Google Maps Mania and many others.

Google Earth (the
downloadable application), can swoop in from space and circle as you
please. Navigational tools let you zip around any locale, moving in and
out, panning around, and circling.

Even though Google Earth's world is mainly based on flat satellite photos, it does some trickery with perspective that results in a surprisingly three-dimensional look, such as in this view of Wrigley Park (above). is a submission-based catalog of wireless networks. Portland's WiFi hotspots use Google Maps.

O'Reily has collected a flood of new map hacks. Here's O'Reilly's Collection of Map Hacking Goodies:

Other novel maps include10×10 (above) and NewsMap. They're realtime PET scans of global consciousness. (above) has dozens of inspired maps of internet and global connectivity.

A real-time map might take the form of a sculptured shape; trees, mountains, a mascot or a baby in ElWire. Transform her.

U/C Berkeley has found a speedy way to capture a city. Using a concept dubbed “virtualized reality,” they mix LiDar with digital imaging to scan a city, and can build a 3D model of a whole city in about an hour.

Soon, $300 X-Boxes will produce real-time 3D graphics the likes
of which the world has never seen. 3D goggles will soon allow immersive
data mining. Cheap. Global. Real-time.

The Handheld Superpower. Watch it shift.  [Daily Wireless]

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