Map fusion

2007-06-02

in Geek stuff, Internet matters

Annoyed that whichever mapping / aerial photography site you prefer doesn’t have a particular area in detail? Flash Earth may be helpful. The site compiles data from a number of mapping providers, including Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google. Switching between them is as simple as clicking a name in the list that hovers on the left-hand side of the page.

It also makes it easier to find the latitude and longitude of a place than any of the competing services do. Wadham College is 51˚ 45′ 21.0 ” N and 1˚ 15′ 15.8″ W. Our flat in Church Walk is 52.2″ N, 48.5″ W. My favourite Japanese restaurant is at 49˚ 17′ 18.8″ N and 123˚ 7′ 50.1″ W.

This ability to seamlessly and usefully combine data from multiple sources is one reason why open access to information can be so valuable.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Anon @ Wadh June 4, 2007 at 11:10 am

Too bad Flash Earth doesn’t offer directions between places, like most of the mapping sites do.

Milan June 4, 2007 at 1:08 pm

I agree that this is a limitation. That said, I think Flash Earth is mostly about finding out who has the best imagery. That is hardly necessary to plan a road trip.

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