World of Warcraft Online Google Map

I blogged this way back in January when it first came out. It’s a World of Warcaft Online Map using the Google Maps API. They’ve added a bunch of functionality to the map, with layers you can turn on and off. It includes both “photography” as well as point layers (like where treasure is located) and polyline layers(indicating common travel paths). It’s pretty fascinating the amount of detail they’ve put into this virtual resource. I stumbled across it again via their blog.

An interesting side note is the ranking of which college campuses play more World of Warcraft than others. While it’s a trivial example, I think it’s kinda neat the continued desire to link the physical with the virtual in some for of spatially accessible manner. Plus, I like seeing that our University beats Princeton as something for once (but only by one place!)

One Really Big Game

We don’t normally post computer game information here, but this one is noteworthy, I think. You play the part of a secret agent who runs around a geographic area doing missions. The noteworthy part is that the map is 390 square miles! In gaming perspective, the largest single player game made thus far is only 16 square miles! In real world terms, New York City is only 301 square miles, London is a little over 600 square miles. and Tokyo is 837 square miles. That’s one big game! What’s interesting is that we’re creating virtual worlds that relate, size wise, more closely to real world constructs of space. There’s a growing sense that people would like to mimic in the virtual world the scale they’re used to seeing in the real world.

Biodiesel Station in Ohio

Oberlin, Ohio to be exact. A little west of Cleveland. Full Circle Fuels is a quaint little station from the 1950’s that has converted itself into an alternative fuels spectacular. They currently or are about to stock all sorts of biodiesel and ethanol/diesel mixes for your converted supper SUV. Don’t have one of those, you say? No problem! Turns out the fellows at FCF will convert it for you in their garage! They also have some fairly eco and community friendly plans in the works, including:

  • Plans an auto repair self-help clinic for low-income residents
  • Is a pick-up and drop-off location for a local car-sharing program
  • Collects waste cooking oil from local establishments for use in converted vehicles and for biodiesel production

As one who drives one of those big honkin’ diesel trucks (what can I say? I live in the country), I can tell you I’d love to make a trip up to their place sometime and get a conversion kit. Now if they’d just setup a station around here so I can get the fuel…

Where’s Tim?

Tim lives in Lawerence, Kansas. He likes to travel. For instance, last tuesday, Tim traveled 103.25 miles to Prairie Village Kansas. How do I know this? Because Tim uploads his GPS location every 15 minutes and posts it on his Google Map! You can download the data into Google Earth and watch where Tim goes throughout his day. You can even do a flythrough of Tim’s daily route. Personally, I don’t think I’d like people to know where I go, but Tim doesn’t mind because he works for EnGraph, which makes GPS tracking software. It’s rather the perfect marketing tool, I guess.

UPDATE: Tim called (Thanks Tim!) to let us know that the data is actually updated every 15 seconds, not minutes. That’s even more impressive! Sorry I missed that (at least it shows we do check our voicemail).

Via Google Earth Blog

Follow the money!

This is a nice mashup for the politically minded out there. You input your zipcode and it spits back a map showing political contrabutions to either of the two major parties during the 2004 Presidential election. It’s rather interesting to see how much was garnered by each party in your area. We warned, it looks to be a beta and it has been Dug, so it may be slow to respond!

Get your spidey tracer!

Think Geek has a pretty cool device for all you spy fans out there (and a for those that aren’t). Use the portable GPS USB Tracker to track your pay throughout the day! Or, if you’re of the nefarious bent, plant it on someone else and see where they’ve been. When you get the device back to your computer, whether it’s because you have it in your pocket or because it was transfered back to you through a super-secret microfilm canister drop (because really? Who uses microfilm anymore?), you can get the data points about where the device has been. Then, it’s an easy plot into Google Earth, Mapquest, or any other free mapping app out there. Pretty fancy, and it’ll only set you back 250 clams!

Imagery For The Nation

Keith at the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority sent me an email (woohoo! I promise not to complain about it anymore!) about the National States Geographic Information Council’s “Imagery For The Nation (PDF)” initiative. The idea is to consolidate all the various ortho-imagery initiatives in the Federal government into one big batch. Then imagery can been taken for the whole US periodically that everyone can use. The eastern US is slated to get one foot data every three years while the rest of the US will get one meter resolution every year. That’s pretty cool stuff. NSGIC is running a survey (in the middle of the page to launch the survey) to see how geospatial professionals might use this data. The survey doesn’t take long and it will help get this initiative off the ground.

Thanks Keith! (Jersey Represent! Sorry, had to give a shout-out for my wife)