Let's See: Geographic Map Definition
The introduction of satellite images into map search interfaces has excited both virtual sightseers and local app developers. Further innovations like Google’s Street View have geographic map definition Caused consternation from privacy advocates while further pumping up the buzz about online mapping. In 2008, we can expect further innovations that stretch the envelope while dynamic map interfaces solidify as basic table-stakes for all local sites. In gearing up for this year in local search, I thought I’d give you a pure entertainment piece—here’s a guide to the top coolest things to see in Google Maps.
Yum! Brands, Inc.’s subsidiary, KFC, built this brilliant ad back in 2006, geared to be view able by space aliens. It was purposefully built just off Extraterrestrial Highway, near Area 51:
I pointed out the swastika-shaped building below back in 2006, along with a few other map enthusiasts. In September of 2007, the U.S. Navy bowed to pressure from radio commentators and the Anti-Defamation League and agreed to change the building’s profile at a cost of $600k. In the media feeding-frenzy, I got accused of “costing the taxpayers $600k” on a few blogs and forums, and one or two flamewars broke out in the comments on my Flickr page.
When all the satellite pics are stitched together to allow users to pan continuously in mapping programs, there are frequently some funky effects which can happen at transition edges with geographic map definition. One common phenomenon is when two pics taken at different angles are spliced together, causing tall buildings and other structures to appear to be leaning sharply. This is called the “Escher Effect,” and this sample comes from downtown Dallas:
This is purportedly the largest Coca-Cola logo in the world, created near Arica, Chile, out of something like 70,000 coke bottles to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the company:
Back in January of 2007, Google publicly announced they were planning to send a plane over locations in Australia to update Google Maps images geographic map definition. Quite a few people attempted to communicate messages by displaying large text on the ground for the “Australia Day Flyover” as it was called, but very few actually accomplished it due to a miscommunication over the date of the flight. However, the Tourism Australia ministry managed it by paying a sand sculptor to form the letters of their domain name on Bond Beach near Sydney, Google Maps.
You Can Find Me On Maps!
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