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Maps for your mobile phone

Mobile GMAPS displays Google maps and Keyhole imagery on J2ME phones and devices.  Its available under a Creative Commons license for non-commercial uses only.  Plus, they use a picture of the phone I have on their website!  I’ll have to play around with this…

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Google API ideas

In case you haven’t heard yet, the Google Maps API has been made public.  This opens up their mappping capabilities to more developers without having to rely on the hacks and workarounds you may have seen earlier.  Here are my ideas for some useful applications:

  • A map view of an address book type list.  It could be your personal Address Book, an page on an Intranet hooked up to an organization’s contact management system.  An large organization could use this to present lists of affiliated organizations, members, events.
  • A “Matches-tonight” map showing what soccer matches are being played today and where, from D3 to MLS to international matches.
  • A volunteer map showing upcoming volunteering opportunities near you.

How feasibly can Google Maps become THE light-weight, web-based GIS system?

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Google Maps Bookmarklet

Couldn’t find one so whipped one up myself. Tested on Firefox and I suspect it won’t work in Safari. For some reason I can’t get the new window to get focus(). This bit of javascript code grabs whatever you have selected (preferable an address) and displays it in google maps. Drag this Google Maps linksto your toolbar.

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Don’t get your cable provider’s DVR

With TiVo offering huge rebates on new TiVo2 recorders, why put up with the aggravation of a second-rate box that is useless? Mark Frauenfelder described his recent experiences with the Scientific Atlanta DVR that his cable company provides, including the claim that it was a real TiVo device:

Five days later a service technician came with a new box. I asked him if this problem was common, because Google returns a lot of pages from people who think the Explorer 8000 is a piece of junk. He said the system is fine as long as you didn’t store too many shows on it. If you fill up the hard drive, the system freezes up, and there’s no way a user can undo it. But how do you know when the disk is close to being full if there’s no gage to tell you? The service tech’s answer: “don’t keep very many shows on the hard drive.” That pretty much defeats the purpose of a DVR, doesn’t it?

I don’t work for or speak for TiVo, I’m just another satisfied customer. If you do get a new Tivo, how bout telling them that I referred you by giving them my email address: regis@oscarm.org ?

Update: Fixed a typo pointed out by my sis