Want to mashup maps and data? Microsoft’s just launched its own way to do
this with MapCruncher.
The site’s not responding right now when I check, probably because of demand.
From the note Microsoft sent us, it’s supposedly something anyone can do:
Researchers Jon Howell and Jeremy Elson found inspiration for this project
in their hobby of cycling. They took a look at a King County (Seattle) cycling
map and found a promising route. But at one point along the way, it appeared
the route was interrupted by a freeway. The cycling map recommended the route,
but how was a cyclist supposed to cross the freeway? By registering the
cycling map with aerial photography from Microsoft Research?s TerraServer
database, the answer became obvious: Upon zooming in on the aerial view, they
could clearly discern a pedestrian bridge crossing the freeway.
The goal of MapCruncher is to try to make it so simple that everybody in
the world who has a map they care about would be able to easily convert it
into a format that they can share and combine with other people?s maps. The
purpose of the Microsoft Research MapCruncher download is to share research
prototype technologies with a broad audience so they can test and provide
feedback for future projects and technologies.
Microsoft provides more info
here. If it’s really the case that even an ordinary non-programming person
can do mashups, cool! It gets tiring when everything seems to depend on knowing
how to use APIs. I look forward to checking more on this to see, when the site’s