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Bucket List Maps Project: Making Maps Awesome Again!

“They were maps that lived, maps that one could study, frown over, and add to; maps, in short, that really meant something.” – Gerald Durrel, Author of the book “My Family and Other animals”

Maps were once regarded as a canvas where the artist, in this case the cartographer not only tried to represent the information he had to but also added that artistic touch to it! Maps were one of the very first drawing that humans created to understand the world around them better. Maps have an aura around them or rather had the aura. Looks like they don’t these days!

Where does the art of maps stand today?!

Is this the best we could do?

Is this the best we could do?

Is this really the way we want maps to look from now! Maps no longer look like art, they lack the charm and elegance that we usually associate with powerful visualizations like maps.  Even maps emerging out of Hollywood movies look better than the ones that are supposed to created by artists – the Cartographers.  Map making was considered an art and the map on top certainly looks rather drab.

A fictional map: Pirates of the Caribbean - the fountain of youth

A fictional map: Pirates of the Caribbean – the fountain of youth

Guess I wasn’t the only one who thought maps were getting boring.

A venture by a group of “bearded” Germans (as they call themselves) “The Bucket List Maps” is aiming to “Put the Awesome Back in Maps”. Bucket List Maps – quite a name for the project! Inspired by Morgan Freeman – Jack Nicholson movie by the same name I suppose! Nevertheless for any person who consider himself/herself to be a Spatial enthusiast, a map of your own interest has to be there in the list of to do’s, bucket list, ambition, call it by any name.

“World maps used to be awesome and inspiring. Now they’re boring. We’re fixing that with bucketlistmap – a map of everyone’s bucket list!” – The Bucket List Maps Project Team. Want one of their cool maps? You can order their Surf Trip, Snow Boarding and Football maps for 25$ on their website.

THE map that I want to have on my wall – “A map of all the historic places in the world”. What’s your Bucket List Map?

Here’s wishing good luck to Simon and Lars from the Geoawesomeness team 🙂 Let’s keep it awesome!

Update: Awesome Maps was recently featured by here on their blog “See the world differently with Awesome Maps”. Good going guys!

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Quickly Create Your Own Virtual-Reality-Game App on Google Earth With Smarturbia

SmarturbiaSometimes ago I wrote about YoubeQ, a 3D social network platform that runs inside of Google Earth via a plugin. This time, the same guys (iNovmapping) have developed the virtual real world geo-gaming side of it called Smarturbia  that runs on the YoubeQ platform.  Smarturbia platform allows you put together apps that help you explore your street, city, or even play around the real world.

The Smarturbia platform is deployed on  the Google Earth/Maps API and allows users to build their own apps with their toolkit. Users  can customize their apps with their own app elements, such as the color of their vehicles  and so on. You have the capacity to create audio-guided tour app with Smarturbia since it has the functionality that will allow you incorporate the TTS (Text To Speech) in your vehicle or taxi which can be activated when the user arrives at a point of interest.

According to the developers, ”Smarturbia is a Web and Mobile (Android) crowd sourced concept. In it we can explore the world as a game in our Desktop or Smartphone having at the same time the opportunity to know better the history and culture of those places, what might become a great touristic booster, promoting destinations and companies from this sector. Since the release of the app until now, users have already travelled further than 290 thousand miles, more than enough to go from Earth to Moon.”

Take a look in the video below, how your own app could look like when you are done creating.

Source: gearthblog.com


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