Some of yall might have seen some creative uses of Google Maps lately. Came across an interesting article this morning and some cool sites that people are using to hack this Google service. I personally can't get enough of the map interface Google has provided and I use it for everything now on my travels. I am even integrating the satellite map service into one of my own sites, and had the thought the other day that having it in my car would be pretty awesome, however not possible at the moment. There has been a rise recently in the use of Google Map hacks and those sites that are using it innovatively and creatively to accomplish tasks before not possible. A recent article at CNN that came out Friday talks about some of the sites that are taking Google Maps to the extreme. A site that came out a couple months ago using Maps in a very unique way. Housingmaps.com integrates the use of Craiglist listings with a the graphical interface of Google Maps to present where the houses in the listings reside. You can first start by clicking on a city, find house for rent or for sale, and then get a full listing from Craigslist of what is available. Very handy site and an accomplishment in usability as far as I can see.
Other people are using the hacks to create visual listings of sexual predators in a particular area. A Florida site outlining the addresses of these people in Florida has just done that. Or even better how about Google Maps integreted with the Seattle bus information and traffic cams data, check it out here at Busmonster.
So how do you hack Google Maps?
Well good question, as its not quite a simple as Yahoo Maps for instance. There is an excellent Wiki resource that compiles a lot of the work done by other developers to help share some of the hacks they have developed. You can visit Google Maps Hacking . Another Sourceforge resource is a recent thread on the subject here. Finally there is a Google Group on Map Hacking here as well. Some great places to start.