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Google Maps: The Latest Architecture and News

120 Ancient Maps Overlapped on Google Earth Reveal the Growth of Cities Across the World

More than 120 old maps from the David Rumsey Map Collection were inserted in Google Maps and Google Earth, allowing us to learn how several parts of the globe were in the past. The maps can be seen by activating the 'Rumsey Historical Maps' layer in Google Earth or through a version of Maps developed for the project.

Agoraphobic Traveller Takes Incredible Photos Through Google Street View

The Instagram account @streetview.portraits presents stunning images of people and architecture from Arizona to Kyrgyzstan. At first glance, it seems to be the work of a professional photographer gallivanting across the globe, but the owner of the account is actually Jacqui Kenny, a woman who suffers from agoraphobia and anxiety, capturing these beautiful images through Google Street View.

Through her alternative method of travel, Kenny discovered incredible scenes that displayed the magic of the ordinary: "I found a surprising and unique refuge in the creative possibilities of Google Street View. I began clicking through Google Maps to navigate to faraway countries like Mongolia, Senegal, and Chile. I found remote towns and dusty landscapes, vibrant architectural gems, and anonymous people, all frozen in time. I was intrigued by the strange and expansive parallel universe of Street View, and took screenshots to capture and preserve its hidden, magical realms."

Mapped Movies: The Architecture and Settings Behind Film's Greatest Moments

Stories have a way of clinging to places, charging buildings and spaces with an effect only perceptible to those who know what they once staged. Film is the most visual storytelling medium, and their environments often play memorable and vital roles in creating the movie's character and identity. The popularity of film tourism is testament to this phenomena. While the bulk of film tourism stems from blockbuster movies and their exposure and celebrity, the blog Filmap takes a more humble approach in highlighting the stories of everyday places.

For the past three years, the blog has laboriously tracked the locations of hundreds of movie scenes using Google Streetview, pairing stripped-back street views right next to their cinematographic counterparts. The resulting contrast elevates the everyday while also grounding fiction to our very streets, a reminder of the built environment’s role as a vessel of imagination.

A selection of Filmap’s posts are shared below – how many movies can you recognize from their real-life settings alone?

Launch of Google Sunroof Brings Valuable Solar Power Data to the Mainstream

Google is in the unique position to truly understand what people want. As millions key in their questions, the search giant is actively working to provide better answers. When it comes to questions about solar energy, Google wondered, “If people are lost trying to get answers about solar, why don’t we give them a map?” And so, the tech company announced the beta launch of Project Sunroof: a tool “to make installing solar panels easy and understandable for anyone.”

In a post on Google’s Green Blog, engineer Carl Elkin addressed common misconceptions about the viability of solar energy for the average owner by saying “many of them are missing out on a chance to save money and be green.” Sunroof hopes to be the answer that gives people clear, easy to understand answers.

Google Street View Reveals What Makes Our Cities Feel Safe

"We found images with trash in it, and took the trash out, and we noticed a 30 percent increase in perception of safety. It's surprising that something that easy had that large an effect." So Phil Salesses, one of the authors of a PLOS ONE paper studying the perception of safety, class and uniqueness in city streets tells The Atlantic Cities. By comparing images from Google Street View of Boston and New York in the US and Linz and Salzburg in Austria, and photoshopping out individual elements (such as trash or graffiti) to fine tune the results, Salesses and his collaborators have gathered quantitative evidence to answer an often subjective question: what makes citizens feel safe? Learn more about Salesses' research at The Atlantic Cities and read the paper here.

Map of Architecture Twitter Users

© Google Maps
© Google Maps

On August 22, 2011 a live map that charts members of interior design, architecture, and related consultants on Twitter was released into the wild. In only three days it had already surpassed 8000 views, and added 120 professionals to the map.

Explore the Kanagawa Institute of Technology Workshop by Junya Ishigami in Google Maps

The Kanagawa Institute of Technology Workshop by Junya Ishigami is an elegant rectangular box with with floor-to-ceiling glass, enclosing an interesting interior space with 305 columns of various sizes supporting the stripped roof of skylights. The columns, although seemingly random, are specifically placed to create the sensation of zoned spaces, but their nonrestrictive quality provides a flexible layout to suit the changing needs of students.

Overlay 2D AutoCAD DWG on Google Maps with AutoCAD WS

Courtesy of Shaan Hurley
Courtesy of Shaan Hurley

AutoCAD WS is a program that is available for free and only requires a browser such as Safari, IE, Chrome, or Firefox with Flash installed. It allows users to upload, edit, markup, and share in real-time with DWG files, while also uploading and storing files such as ZIP, Doc, and PDF files. It also gives users control over who can download and views drawings that have been uploaded.

First launched in October 2010, it has another useful feature that many users are unfamiliar with which allows users to overlay their AutoCAD DWG files over existing Google Maps in any of the standard views types: Street, Satellite, Hybrid and Terrain. This tool adds context to your plans and gives a more precise reading of your drawings an designs in existing site conditions in real-time.

More after the break.