Plotting Katrina on Google Maps - when will government start mashing up maps?

Plotting Katrina on Google Maps - when will government start mashing up maps?

Summary: The Central Florida Hurricane Center has an unofficial Google Map of the path of Hurricane Katrina across southern Florida. It's just one of hundreds of so-called "mashups" that combine data with software like Google Maps that uses open APIs.

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The Central Florida Hurricane Center has an unofficial Google Map of the path of Hurricane Katrina across southern Florida. The map lets you see the track of the storm, zoom in to any time/location coordinate, and overlay satellite imagery on top of the map. It's just one of hundreds of so-called "mashups" that combine data with software like Google Maps that uses open APIs.

Many of these mashups have government applications. In addition to storm data, there's pothole data in New York; crime in Chicago; and sex offenders around the country, as detailed in an Associated Press article.

So far, although much of this stuff is based on government-supplied data, we haven't seen any mashups created by government agencies. This would be really be e-government and citizen-based government in action. Do you know of any? Would your agency consider it? Why or why not?  

Topics: Google, Government, Government US

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  • Government Mashup

    Larimer County Colorado has just started publishing a Gmaps mashup of registered sex offenders at www.larimer.org/sheriff/sexoffenders
    smoore@...
  • Example of Government Mashup

    I've been using GMaps on our agency's site for weeks now:

    http://www.fightthebite.net/

    Click the maps on the front page to load the "spray zones" overlayed on our counties.

    The zone data is stored in a spatial database (PostGIS) and is queried on the fly by an XMLHTTP object (AJAX!).
    MattPF
  • Reason for government agencies to not do mash-ups

    Though I am a huge supporter of goverment agencies making their geospatial data much, much more available, I'm quite hesitant about the idea of them just creating google mash-ups. The API is subject to some restrictions that I don't think my government should follow - most prominent Google's retaining the right to put advertisements on the mash-up sites at any time they like. I think the much more sane approach would be for Google to support open standards like Web Feature Service and Web Map Service, and government agencies could then buy commercial servers or leverage open source solutions like GeoServer and MapServer. The GeoSpatial web should be open - you wouldn't want the world wide web built on proprietary Microsoft protocols. Though Google's API is 'open', it is still a proprietary standard that they can change the conditions on at any time they like. And Google is not a foundation devoted to propagating good in the world, they are huge, profit oriented corporation, despite what their clever marketing would have you believe.
    chomie@...