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Essential Resources for Google Maps

Essential Resources for Google Maps

Last Update: 2005/11/19 – Added GChart – What time is it application.
Update: For voting your favorite (thanks to J. Shirley’s recommendation), I have created a poll at Lifehack.Community. Cast your vote and feel free to recommend more implementation and I will add it on the poll list!

Google Maps is one of the web technologies that take the web to the next level. When Google introduced Google Maps with searchable and pannable interface, and recently released the API for adding implementation on the map, it creates many interest from users and developers.

Now information on the web does not need to bind to “what” and “how” already. Your piece of information can be also represent “where” with Google Maps.

For our readers, I want to provide some greatest implementations on Google Maps, to speed up your retrieval of information on “where”. This is the essential top resources for Google Maps.

If you got suggestions of other tools and resources, feel free to recommend. I will add them to the list if I see fit.

Google Maps

    Top 10 Google Maps implementations:

    CheapGas
    “Getting best prices in your city. It is comprised of 170 gas price information web sites that help consumers find low gasoline prices. Powered by GasBuddy.”

    Geobloggers
    “geobloggers is a site that’s built upon two great technologys. Google Maps takes care of the mapping side and Flickr takes care of the image hosting, scaling, and so on. geobloggers mushes those two together.”

    Gmaps Pedometer
    “This is a little hack that uses Google’s superb mapping application to help record distances traveled during a running or walking workout.”

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    Google-Yahoo Traffic-Weather Map
    Combined with Yahoo Traffic Feed with Google Map to show traffic condition.

    Weather Bonk
    “Weather maps lets you view real time weather information on a google map. This can provide some very interesting information, particularly in areas with microclimates, such as San Francisco. For example, summer in San Francisco can be particularly cold and foggy, and this map can help you to find a sunnier area of the city to visit. Clicking on the web cams give you a visual observation from a given location. Looking at wind direction can help you locate approaching weather fronts.”

    Global Coordinate
    “The idea behind globalcoordinate.com is to take a number of common but different web applications and put them together. You will find here an atlas, weblogs, photo-blogs, travel guides, weather reports, news sources, etc. The objective is to let users find the synergies between these concepts.”

    Cell Phone Reception and Tower Search
    “Consumers can search for the best carrier in their area. And with our graphical tower location search, users can pinpoint nearby tower locations. Even to the exact rooftop with satellite imagery and the help of Google Maps!”

    Housing Maps
    Powered by Craigslist. This Google Maps visualize where to buy houses, rent rooms around US

    Tagzania
    “Tagzania is about tags and places. If you register and log in, you can add places, points, to create and document your maps. When you add a point, you may tag it with keywords. That way, Tagzania is not only a place to build and keep your own maps, shared territories are created as well.”

    Gchart
    Quick way to find out what time is it around the world.

    Worth to mention:

    ChicagoCrime
    “This is a non-profit, freely browsable database of crimes reported in Chicago. It is not affiliated with the Chicago Police Department or with Google Maps. It is not an official source of crime information for the city of Chicago. Rather, it is an alternative view of public record that is available elsewhere. At any given point, this site contains crime-report information spanning a 90-day period. After 90 days, the crime data is removed.”

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    gWiFi: Using GoogleMaps to find free WiFi
    “This website is an attempt to make it easier for the road-warrior’s, students, free loaders etc to find locations that offer free wireless internet access in the New York City area by showing all free wireless nodes on a Map of New York.”

    Track visitors to your website using Google Maps
    “Lets you track the visitors to your website using Google Maps.”

    Earthquakes in the last week
    “Earthquakes of magnitude 2.5 or greater in the last 7 days. Click on the menu bar to choose a new map view or create your own view by clicking to re-center the map and then zooming in to get a closer look. Click ‘link to this page’ and then bookmark the new url so you can return to your new custom view.”

    Whereis
    “Geolocate where the server is on Google Maps from an URL.”

    ZippyWeather
    “Live Australian Weather.”

    Road Sign Math
    “How many road signs are there that have mathematical significance. I’ve looked at many, and there are very few. Road Sign Math is the game of finding road signs that have math in them.”

    toEat.com: Where do you want to eat?
    “toEat.com aims to be the central point for hungry people and restaurants to congregate. Our first release is the restaurant browser system, which is only a small piece of what is on the toEat.com roadmap.”

    beenmapped.com
    ” Never forget the location of that awesome place again. Bookmark it on BeenMapped.com!”

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    HotMaps
    “HotorNot + Google Maps = Finding Hot People (Male or Female) by Zip Code”

    Tools:

    gMap it!
    “gMap it is a mozilla Firefox extension that allows you to find directions from google maps based on publicly listed phone numbers.”

    Mobile GMaps – Google Maps on J2ME mobile phones
    “Mobile GMaps is a free piece of software that displays Google Maps and MSN Virtual Earth maps and satellite imagery on Java J2ME-enabled mobile phones or other devices.”

    MapBuilder
    “MapBuilder lets you build your own map with number of location and generate GoogleMap source code for this map. So you will be able to paste it directly into your web page and use it with your API key requested at Google http://www.google.com/apis/maps/signup.html. After creating your own map you will be able to save all locations with related information for future use. It means that you’ll be able to make some improvements for your map later.”

    HOW-TO: Make your own annotated multimedia Google map
    “This how-to will show you how to make your own annotated Google map from your own GPS data. Plus, you’ll be able to tie in images and video to create an interactive multimedia map. We’ll walk you through the steps we took to generate an annotated map of a walk we took recently through our hometown, now that it’s actually starting to get warm enough to want to walk about!”

    Hacking Maps with the Google Maps API
    Great guide on Google Maps API and how to make your own map implementation

    MapKi
    “This is meant to be a forum for sharing ideas, implementations, and help for the Google Maps API (http://www.google.com/apis/maps/documentation/). Any user can add to or edit any of the pages on the site, just like any wiki site.”

    Google Maps on your Website
    A how-to guide on putting a interactive map on your site

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    Integrating Google Maps into Your Web Applications
    Tutorial on how to integrate Google Maps.

    Resources:

    Google Maps Mania
    “An unofficial Google Maps blog tracking the websites, ideas and tools being influenced by Google Maps.”

    Google Maps on Wikipedia
    Good set of information on Google Maps by Wikipedia

    Google Maps Group

    Google Sightseeing
    A blog introduces some interesting place to look at by using Google Maps’ screenshots

    No particular order in each section.

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    Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

    Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

    There are many reasons why people might scream – they’re angry, scared, or in pain (or maybe they’re in a metal band!). Some might say that screaming is bad, but here’s why science says it’s good for you.

    “For the first time in the history of psychology there is a way to access feelings, hidden away, in a safe way and thus to reduce human suffering. It is, in essence, the first science of psychotherapy.” — Dr. Arthur Janov

    Primal Therapy

    Dr. Arthur Janov invented Primal Therapy in the late 1960’s. It is a practice that allows the patient to face their repressed emotions from past trauma head on and let those emotions go. This treatment is intended to cure any mental illness the patient may have that surfaced from this past trauma. In most cases, Primal Therapy has lead Dr. Janov’s patients to scream towards the end of their session, though it was not part of the original procedure. During a group therapy session that was at a standstill, Dr. Janov says that one of his patients, a student he called Danny, told a story that inspired him to implement a technique that he never would have thought of on his own.

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    How it Started

    “During a lull in our group therapy session, he told us a story about a man named Ortiz who was currently doing an act on the London stage in which he paraded around in diapers drinking bottles of milk. Throughout his number, Ortiz is shouting, ‘Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!’ at the top of his lungs. At the end of his act he vomits. Plastic bags are passed out, and the audience is requested to follow suit.”

    It doesn’t end there, though. Dr. Janov said that his patient was quite fascinated with that story, and that alone moved him to suggest something even he believed to be a little elementary.

    “I asked him to call out, ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ Danny refused, saying that he couldn’t see the sense in such a childish act, and frankly, neither could I. But I persisted, and finally, he gave in. As he began, he became noticeably upset. Suddenly he was writhing on the floor in agony. His breathing was rapid, spasmodic. ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ came out of his mouth almost involuntarily in loud screeches. He appeared to be in a coma or hypnotic state. The writhing gave way to small convulsions, and finally, he released a piercing, deathlike scream that rattled the walls of my office. The entire episode lasted only a few minutes, and neither Danny nor I had any idea what had happened. All he could say afterward was: ‘I made it! I don’t know what, but I can feel.’”

    Delving deeper

    Dr. Janov says he was baffled for months, but then he decided to experiment with another patient with the same method, which lead to a similar result as before. The patient started out calling “Mommy! Daddy!” then experienced convulsions, heavy breathing, and then eventually screamed. After the session, Dr. Janov says his patient was transformed and became “virtually another human being. He became alert… he seemed to understand himself.”

    Although the initial intention of this particular practice wasn’t to get the patient to scream, more than once did his Primal Therapy sessions end with the patient screaming and feeling lighter, revived, and relieved of stresses that were holding them down in life.

    Some Methods To Practice Screaming

    If you want to try it out for yourself, keep reading!

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    • Step 1: Be Alone — Be alone. If you live in a place that you can’t be alone, it might be a good idea to talk to your family or roommates and explain to them what you’re about to do and make sure they’re okay with it. If you’re good to go, move on to step 2.
    • Step 2: Lie Down — Lie down on a yoga mat on your back and place a pillow underneath your head. If you don’t own a yoga mat, you can use a rug or even a soft blanket.
    • Step 3: Think — Think of things that have hurt you or made you angry. It can be anything from your childhood or even something that happened recently to make yourself cry, if you’re not already crying or upset. You could even scream “Mommy! Daddy!” just like Dr. Janov’s patients did to get yourself started.
    • Step 4: Scream — Don’t hold anything back; cry and scream as loud as you can. You can also pound your fists on the ground, or just lie there and scream at the top of your lungs.

    After this, you should return your breathing to a normal and steady pace. You should feel lighter, like a weight has been lifted off of you. If not, you can also try these other methods.

    Scream Sing

    Scream singing” is referring to what a lot of lead singers in metal or screamo bands will do. I’ve tried it and although I wasn’t very good at it, it was fun and definitely relieved me of any stress I was feeling from before. It usually ends up sounding like a really loud grunt, but nonetheless, it’s considered screaming.

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    • Step 1 — Bear down and make a grunting sound.
    • Step 2 — Hiss like a snake and make sure to do this from your diaphragm (your stomach) for as long as you can.
    • Step 3 — Breathe and push your stomach out for more air when you are belting notes, kind of like you would if you were singing.
    • Step 4 — Try different ways to let out air to control how long the note will last, just make sure not to let out too much air.
    • Step 5 — Distort your voice by pushing air out from your throat, just be careful not to strain yourself.
    • Step 6 — Play around with the pitch of your screams and how wide your mouth is open – the wider your mouth is open, the higher the screams will sound. The narrower or rounder your mouth is (and most likely shaped like an “o”), the lower the screams will sound.
    • Step 7 — Start screaming to metal music. If you’re not a huge metal fan, it’s okay. You don’t have to use this method if you don’t want to.

    If you want a more thorough walkthrough of how to scream sing, here’s a good video tutorial. If this method is too strenuous on your vocal chords, stop. Also, make sure to stay hydrated when scream singing and drink lots of water.

    Scream into a pillow

    Grab a pillow and scream into it. This method is probably the fastest and easiest way to practice screaming. Just make sure to come up for air.

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    Always remember to make sure that you’re not going to disturb anyone while practicing any of these methods of screaming. And with that, happy screaming!

    Featured photo credit: Sharon Mollerus via flickr.com

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