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Paperback Google Maps Hacks: Foreword by Jens & Lars Rasmussen, Google Maps Tech Leads Book

ISBN: 0596101619

ISBN13: 9780596101619

Google Maps Hacks: Foreword by Jens & Lars Rasmussen, Google Maps Tech Leads

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Foreword by Jens & Lars Rasmussen, Google Maps Tech Leads

Customer Reviews

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VERY VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

Google Maps Hacks: Tips & Tools for Geographic Searching and Remixing (Hacks) (Paperback) Are you a Google application developer? If you are, then this book is for you! Authors Rich Gibson and Schuyler Erle, have done an outstanding job of writing a book that shows you how to take full advantage of the mapping capabilities in Google Local. Gibson and Erle, begin by showing you how to look up locations, get driving directions, look at satellite pictures, share links to maps in e-mails and on web pages, generate links to maps from a spreadsheet, and use del.icio.us. Then, the authors show you how to put a map on your page, capture user clicks, create a slideshow connected with a map, create custom icons, and measure distances. Next, they cover a variety of mashups, from mapping the news, to seeing where criminals "work," to weather maps, to answering the question: where is the Space Telescope right now. The authors then help you find the cheapest gas near you, load driving directions into your GPS to take with you, look at your GPS track logs, explore hiking trails, figure out why your cell phone doesn't work at home, and even beat a traffic ticket. They continue by showing you how to geocode your photos on Flickr, set up a blog that knows about place, geocode literature, and examine the choices that go into which satellite images are included. Then, the authors show you how to tweak and extend the Google map. Finally, they show you how to use a clustering algorithm so that your own points fit properly on a map, create your own map tiles, connect to a database, use web standards to display other data on your maps, an even figure out if your kids are likely to barf. This most excellent book will show you how to make the most of Google Maps. More importantly, you'll find the tools and inspiration you need right in this book!

DIY Cartography

Everyone knows Google Maps. Google has gone out of its way to make Google Maps something that everyone knows about, uses, and talks about. There are blogs that are just about all the mash-ups and hacks people have come up with for Google Maps. And now, O'Reilly has released Google Maps Hacks, showing how anyone can use the Google Maps API for their own benefit, with a little help. The book starts off with a basic tutorial on how to add a Google Map to your site - if you're going to mash up, you have to have something to mash, after all! It also (in Hack 27) shows you how to use Greasemap to add Google Maps functionality to any web site (assuming you've already got Greasemonkey and Firefox is your browser). As with all hacks books, Google Maps Hacks includes some basic hacks that just about anyone can do (and points to some great places to see great hacks already done!), and some that are going to require a bit of work and some programming skill. There were several hacks in the book that I really loved. First, the book pointed me to a site promising to show me where I could find cheap gas. They've integrated Google Maps with GasBuddy to create something incredibly useful, though I wish it were updated more often. (My local station hasn't been updated since September of 2005!) To use the really good hacks, you'll need a GPS. Many of the mash-ups are best used when you're out on the road. (Hack 35 shows how to dump Google Maps data to your GPS system, and #37 shows how to reverse that process and import your GPS Tracklogs to Google Maps.) The most useful part of the book, though, is when we get to see how various mash-ups work. It's one thing to see a great use of the Google Maps API, it's another thing completely to understand how that's done so that you can do it yourself. And that's really what's valuable about the Hacks books - you're shown how something is done, so you can take that understanding and apply it to what you want to do. That's what hacking is all about - information and application of that information in new ways.

The power of mashups using Google Maps...

One of the most popular features to come out of Google has been their Google Maps site. In addition to just being able to see places and get directions, there's a whole application programming interface (API) behind it. Rich Gibson and Schuyler Erle start to show you what that can do in the book Google Maps Hacks: Tips & Tools for Geographic Searching and Remixing. Contents: You Are Here - Introducing Google Maps; Introducing the Google Maps API; Mashing Up Google Maps; On the Road with Google Maps; Google Maps in Words and Pictures; API Tips and Tricks; Extreme Google Maps Hacks; Index Gibson and Erle have bundled up 70 hacks that begin to show you the power and "coolness" of Google Maps. The whole "Web 2.0/Mashups" phenomenon has led to tools like Greasemonkey that allow you to mix and match features from various sites to create whole new pages where the sum is greater than the parts. For instance, there are a number of sites that take real-time traffic information, mix it with Google Maps, and give you a whole new way to avoid traffic (Hack #30 - Stay Out of Traffic Jams). Or let's say that you're tracking an internet packet to see the route it takes to get to you, and you want to add a visual element to it. Hack #26 - Follow Your Packets Across the Internet takes traceroute information, mixes with it Google Maps, and gives you a visual rendering of how things get from there to you. There's even a home-brew hack by the author who has spent too many car trips with barfing kids. Hack #70 - Will the Kids Barf? takes the straight-line distance between point A and B, then the distance via roads. If the Detour Index is over 120, experience has taught him that barf bags might be wise... There's an abundance of code examples in many of the hacks, so it should take little effort for you to personalize many of these hacks to your own use and locale. Great book, fun read, and a real eye-opener to the power of mashups. Well worth reading...

Fun Google Map mashups

This book is really about using Google Maps in conjunction with other services to create mashup applications. So it not only illustrates applications of the mapping technology, but also gives you great insight into how to stretch Maps for your own stuff. The hacks books aren't always about things you can use directly. Often they are like this book where your knowledge of the topic is stretched and inspired. Great book. Highly recommended.
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