Archive for November, 2010

My OTAP travel data mashups are closing down

November 25th, 2010

For almost 6 years I have had an experimental mashup using the OTAP feed from the National Traffic Control Centre running. This feed is being closed down at the end of the year so my mashups based on it will stop working when this happens. If you don’t know what on earth I am talking about then this will most likely not affect you.

All other Google Earth mashups including ones based on the NTCC and BBC public feeds continue to run and are available to everybody.

Off road points on Google Maps

November 8th, 2010

You may know that I play this odd treasure hunting game called Geocaching and nowadays we often use Google Maps to help locate a cache (or the treasure of you prefer). This blog post is a solution to a problem we have when using Google Maps to accurately plot a location. If you no need to accurately plot a location on Google Maps then you probably want to stop reading now.

Recently a friend and I were looking for a Geocache and typed the coordinates in to Google Maps on the iPhone. The point was located on the map at the side of the road, but the treasure was really in the field. This happens on the PC as well, but on the PC a green arrow points at the coordinates while the traditional red marker points at the closest road.

This is a bit of a problem for us but after giving this a bit of thought I figured a way to get Google Maps to put the pin at the coordinates we type in. In short the solution is to add a ” (X)” to the end of the coordinates. Whatever is in the brackets is the waypoint name and can be almost anything.

I will demonstrate by marking the middle of a field, or most specifically, Parliament Green in London at “51.500628, -0.126815”. If we search for “51.500628, -0.126815” we get pointed at the road next to it (you will need to zoom in to see). By adding the text to the end and searching for “51.500628, -0.126815 (Parliament Green)” the pointer is now in the middle of the field where the coordinates are actually pointing.

Update: After Google updated there app this hack does not work, but it will work with Google Earth. I have blogged an update here.