Canada.com reported yesterday that a number of independent Web developers, including one Toronto man, are utilizing Google's APIs to generate new and unique Web sites that leverage the capability of Google Maps. One such site, for instance, informs curious individuals where they would end up if they were to dig a hole in a given spot, and continue through to the opposite end of the Earth.
Google's popular maps feature - maps.google.com - is being combined with other information to create new and unique cartography. The sites are called "mashups" because they literally mash Google Maps with something else.
Shortly after the launch of its maps feature last spring, Google provided techies with a free tool kit - called an application programmer interface or API - so developers could manipulate the mapping information to give it a new purpose. The idea took off, leading to hundreds of websites mapping such things as sex offenders' homes, cheap gas and celebrity homes.
(Canadian Press via Canada.com)