TreeHugger Picks: Mapmaker, Mapmaker, Make Me a Map
Mashing up different function with Google's mapping feature can yield lots of cool, green results, like the year-to-year tracking of solar photovoltaic installations in California. Here are our picks for other suave mashups.
1) When searching for directions, Google Transit makes it easy to find public transit alternatives; just click "Take Public Transit" and your route, directions and even cost (with a comparison versus driving) will pop right up. So easy, it's not even a mashup, technically; you can use it with regular Google maps in selected cities.
2) Use Walk Score to determine how walkable your neighborhood is. Just type in your address and it scores it, with a map of everything that's around; 70 to 90 is very walkable; 90 to a hundred is a walker's paradise. What's the use? Remember, walkable communities promotes better health, reduction in greenhouse gases, more transportation options, increased social capital and stronger local businesses.
3) Garage Sale Tips & Maps helps connects the people with the sales; all you do is type in your address, and the map does the rest. All registered garage sales happening around you pop up, and it'll help you get directions, add your own garage sale, and chat about your experience (and all the great stuff you saved from the landfill) in the forums. The original mashup and bowling with topography, after the jump...
4) The first Google mashup we saw was a green one; the map-based Web site has information about earth-friendly locations in five of the U.S.'s top travel destinations. It features information on and video tours of spots in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York and Orlando, Florida., as well as tips for "traveling green" during the summer using Google Maps.
5) The whole world is covered in wonderful topography that one can read from contour maps with a bit of training, but cannot feel without being there...until now, with Fluid Earth. The neat application uses data from Google Maps to create bowls with the topography of your city, town, or favorite place; that way, even if you can't be there every day, at least you can feel what it's like.