There’s no denying that Twitter’s become an important part of our lives, bringing us a first hand view of the profane, mundane and everything in between from around the globe. By firing off a tweet, you’re not just speaking your mind, you’re adding to a far-reaching cultural mosaic that speaks of our thoughts, dreams, loves and hates, moment by moment. If you’ve ever wondered who’s reading the 140 character toots you’ve been spewing, you’ll love TweepsMap, our Cool Site of the Week.
Google announced last May that it intended to begin adding business interiors to Google Maps Street View. Now the first test images are rolling out. Users browsing maps will be invited into shops and offices that make use of the same 360-degree panning view that we’re used to with street view. Considering the very different nature of the content, Google has changed the way they acquire these images.
Here in the red-pill real world, the scenery’s a bit hit and miss. For every beautiful beach resort, there are a hundred ho-hum forgettable towns. Multiplayer maps in blue-pill PC gaming land suffer from the same problem. It shouldn’t come as a surprise; with hundreds of games sporting thousands of maps, most of them are bound to be filler. A few diamonds manage to rise above the mountain of coal, however, and they offer an amazing experience that simply begs to be played over and over again, preferably while wearing bright blue megaarmor and wielding a rocket launcher.
With the economy’s on-again-off-again struggle to crawl out of the toilet, holding on to your dough is the sensible thing to do. That means that extras like eating dinners out and updating your PC are out, and buying No-Name brand mac and cheese is very much in. Sooner or later, all of that spendthrift behavior’s bound to leave you with an itch to burn through some coin. When that itch hits, we recommend you blow a bit of dough on something that you, your family, or a friend can enjoy together like a day trip planned with DayZipping, our Chrome Web App of the Week.
Traditional print publishing may have been in some choppy waters these past few years, but the ship’s no where close to going down just yet. Ironically, the best proof of this out there comes to us from the interwebz. Thanks to a site called Newspaper Map, those of us who still love the smell and feel of newsprint with our morning coffee will always know where to find a newspaper, no matter where in the world we might be.
What did we do before the widespread adaptation of Google Maps and GPS? Well, if you're anything like me, you probably got lost. A lot. But maps are good for a lot more than finding your way around - especially if they're online, where they can also be a way to track trends and crimes, help find you a new apartment, search the night sky and test your knowledge of world geography.
The integration with maps and photography can help to tell a story, or create art. In honor of a long standing appreciation for cartrography in its many forms, we present to you twenty-six awesome (and mostly interactive) maps. Enjoy - and be sure to share your favorite maps in the comments!
Just when we thought BlackBerry World 2011 was going to be boring, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took the stage by storm as only he can. Ballmer told the crowd that Microsoft had joined with RIM to embed Bing search and maps in future BlackBerry products. This isn't as simple as setting a default, Microsoft will be right there at the OS level. Redmond is also coopertaing with RIM on a server product that changes the company's enterprise strategy.
Google has dropped the newest update to Google Maps into the Android Market today. This update contains some interesting new features, but as usual, not all phones will be feeling the love. The most obvious change is that instead of downloading rasterized tile images, Google Maps now uses vector graphics. The result is s much smoother zooming experience, and faster filling in of detail after zooming. This bit is available on any device running Android 1.6 and higher.
The new update is also making better use of multitouch. Users can tilt their view by swiping down with two fingers. Zooming in to street level also reveals a new feature. 3D skylines are available in over 100 cities. These are solid outlines, not actual images, but it is still very impressive. The last feature is potentially huge for the platform. Offline caching of map data will allow users to see areas of the map they often use without a data connection. This will be applied to Google Navigation to do offline rerouting and directions, but that specific part is being rolled out over the coming weeks. All this is only available on Android 2.0+.
It is also worth noting that some of the multitouch gestures are not fully supported by some fairly new devices. This includes the Nexus One, LG Ally, SE X10, and HTC Desire. Thank flaky touch sensors for that one. Have you tried the new Maps app? Let us know how you like it.
TomTom and HTC have announced that the navigation company's GPS maps will be showing up on HTC phones in the coming months. HTC's new HTC Locations software will have TomTom's maps built in. This app is free to use for checking maps and finding locations, but users will have to pay for actual turn-by-turn navigation.
The purchase will be made through the app, or with HTC's Sync software. This may be a tough sell on Android phones as Google's free navigation software is preloaded. The HTC navigation service may be more useful as the maps will be stored on the device. Google Navigation requires a net connection to use.
The new HTC Locations with TomTom will be rolled out on the HTC Desire HD and Desire Z first in Europe and Asia. Future smartphones for other regions will get the software as well. No details on how much the navigation capability will cost, but it will need to be low to lure people away from Google's free option.
The whole point of buying a GPS is so you don't have to worry about getting lost, but if you're cruising through unfamiliar territory with an outdated map, you could end up who knows where. For this reason -- and no doubt influenced by increasing competition from GPS-centric smartphone apps -- TomTom announced it is now offering free Lifetime Map Updates and Lifetime Traffic Updates.
"The nation's roads are changing every day, so TomTom is proud to offer Lifetime Map Updates on our portable navigation devices," said Tom Murray, vice president of market development for TomTom Inc. "This feature, in conjunction with TomTom's Lifetime Traffic Updates, offers our customers the assurance that they will always have the industry's most accurate maps and the real-time traffic information they need for hassle-free navigation."
Users of "select TomTom devices across the TomTom LX and TomTom XXL product lines" are eligible to download new maps every few months, which the company claims includes one million more miles than competing maps.