Hacking Google Maps - Sites Exploiting Its Usefulness

Jun 13, 2005 • 12:46 pm | comments (1) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Other Google Topics

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.

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M Kat

01/04/2006 11:37 pm

I found an solid traceroute/google map hack. I found it at http://www.mapulator.com . This tool allows you to traceroute by IP address or host name to see the path the packets take. You can run the trace from their server or from your PC. It's pretty slick, and has some settings you can tweak for doing the traceroute. It also can also do “whois” queries when you click on one of the hops (to find out that hop's IP). And if you just want to know where any particular computer/server/IP is you can also type in the IP or host name in their ping tool and find out if the host is up, where it is, and get the “whois” record. Seems like a very useful site/tool.

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