I had a lot more fun exploring Google Maps than I thought I would. Thus far my experience with Google Maps has been to get driving directions or to record mileage for business travel; although I was aware of the mashup capabilities, I never really had a need to use it, or so I thought.
If I had said cell phone, I would also frequent the Starbucks locator and Hotspotr, a wifi hotspot map. I particularly liked that Hotspotr included reviews of the wireless, food, and outlet situation at wifi spots, and I even added my own review of a coffee shop I recently visited, warning others that the wifi was nice but the coffee was not.
…users hold the phone’s camera against a spectacular mountain range and see the names and heights displayed as overlay mapped with the mountains in the camera. Users may look out of an airplane window to see what is down there. Users may walk through a city like Seville, Spain, holding the phone’s camera against a building and Wikitude tells what it is.
Other mashups I enjoyed were MapVivo, which I would like to use the next time I go on a journal-worthy trip, and If I Dig a Very Deep Hole, Where Will I End Up?, which taught me that the hole I started in my backyard would not actually take me to China, but to the middle of the Indian Ocean – poor planning on my part.
With all that can be done with Google Maps, it made me wonder if some of the teachers who use Google Earth in the classroom might be able to use Google Maps instead. Doing so would both save on bandwidth and also allow those teachers to use the mobile lab, which does not have Google Earth installed; this could help alleviate issues we’ve had with lab scheduling and our limited bandwidth. I bet students could even create some very cool mashups of their own. This is definitely one Thing I want to explore further.