A while back I read an article on Guardian Unlimited which used Google Maps used to pick out places that had been referenced in song lyrics (go here for the Guardian Map). I had thought it would be interesting to see a global one – even the most anglophile groups reference all over world (Return of the Los Palmas Seven, New Delhi, Night Boat to Cairo – just examples from Madness). Well in my search of an example I did come across England Rocks which uses Google Maps to highlight significant locations in British musical history (where Jimi Hendrix used to live) but no map like the Guardian one. Admittedly the search is difficult because it gets clouded by lots of lyric sites.
So I started to tinker with Google Map’s maplets to produce something. I found two things:
- firstly the maplet lists all your points which is no good when you’ve accumulated a lot of entries – you can see my attempt here.
- I found that working with Google Maps through Firefox 2 to be a bit flaky with Firefox crashing regularly when trying to edit the annotations.
Having looked at the Google Maps proper API so we could underpin the map with a database of entries so we can slice and dice the data points more effectively it doesn’t look too challenging to build something, so hopefully I’ll find time to try it out. The real effort looks to be around the protection of the data from being filled with spam, whether to put in an authentication mechanism or the common random image/text combination. Once I’ve got a solution running and primed with some initial entries then I’ll blog again and popup things for people to try.