Google Maps Spawns Many Web 2.0 Interfaces

First it was Paul Rademacher’s HousingMaps, powered by two APIs from popular sites you may have heard of: Google Maps and Craigslist. When I first saw this interface, I knew that everything had changed…Web 2.0 interfaces were here and getting interesting. (that’s why I was so excited)

Now we’re seeing an explosion of other sites built on top of Google Maps:

First it was Paul Rademacher’s HousingMaps, powered by two APIs from popular sites you may have heard of: Google Maps and Craigslist. When I first saw this interface, I knew that everything had changed…Web 2.0 interfaces were here and getting interesting. (that’s why I was so excited)

Examples of Google Maps Hacks

What I find interesting about these sites is that they are very practical (maybe not the crime one). People are using these open APIs to do really useful things. It’s only a matter of time before someone tries to leverage this type of thing into new business.

How to Hack the Google API

There are several kind folks putting out information about how to do this:

More Google AJAX Tools

Also, a nice overview by Daniel Turdiman of Wired can be found here: Hey Google: Map This!. One thing I don’t like about his article is that he keeps referring to these interfaces as “hacks”. They are certainly not hacks (OK, maybe they are)…they’re what APIs are there for, and we’re witnessing the next great stage of interface design happening right now.

Update: [06-03-2005] Marc Hedlund over on O’Reilly Radar adds to this discussion: he was there during a recent Google Factory Tour and the issue of hack/API was brought up. He says that the Google guys “insinuated” that they might be working on an official API.

Update: [06-12-2005] Google Map hacking has hit the mainstream press: Google tinkerers make data come alive

Published: May 19th, 2005

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