7 Fascinating Google Maps and Mashups to See the World With Different Eyes

Tina Sieber 13-02-2013

google maps exampleGoogle Maps are a treasure trove for discoverers. Not only do they help you navigate and not get lost, you can also discover some pretty weird things What Is THAT? 9 Of The Weirdest Things You Can See On Google Street View I have to say that I have been on some really cool adventures in Google Street View. I've strolled down cobblestone streets in Italy, cruised along the mountainous shoreline of northern California, and creeped along... Read More in Street View, explore data and information in unique ways 10 Unique Google Maps Mashups You Can Explore For Information Do you know you can find anything on a map these days? Columbus might have disagreed, but aren’t maps made for that very purpose? Well, I was talking more along the lines of finding offbeat... Read More with Google Maps mashups, or create your own custom maps. In short, there is never a chance to get bored with Google Maps.


What I find most fascinating about maps in general, is that they help put things into perspective. Whether you’re just trying to get from A to B, or learning about the locations of foreign countries, which might shed a light on their political and social history, a map automatically takes you on a mental journey. Google Maps and their mashups make this journey more enjoyable by visually enriching plain maps with satellite images, data, and interactive elements. Maybe you can’t afford to travel, but you can still look at a map and see the World with different eyes.

New Museum’s Art Spaces [No Longer Available]

Do you love art? The New Museum maintains an interactive map with over 400 independent art spaces located in 96 countries around the world. The map is based on the Art Spaces Directory, “an international guide to the sites where contemporary art and artists are nurtured, interrogated, and sustained.” You can search the map by location or activity. Each entry on the map expands to a a full article in the directory.

google maps example

Is there a cool art space near you? Let us know in case you visited!

World Heritage

This interactive Google Map presents all UNESCO World Heritage Sites around the world. Zoom into a country by clicking the flag, then hover over the marked sites for the name of the site and a photo. When you click a site, you are taken directly to its page on the UNESCO homepage, which contains many more details.


google maps mashup

This map hasn’t been updated for a while, but it’s still a fascinating browse.

Mercator Puzzle [No Longer Available]

With this puzzle Google demonstrates drag-able polygons. Can you find the correct locations of 15 country shapes from around the globe? Drag them in the right position and they will turn green. Note how the size changes as you move up and down the longitude. This highlights the distortions that are a characteristic of the Mercator projection map.

google maps mashup


USA Presidential Historic Sites

Here we have a collaborative map which lists all historic sites with reference to Presidents of the USA. It includes libraries, museums, national historic sites and parks, universities, and more. The description typically explains what makes the place presidential, if not its name. Being a collaborative map, it also contains some nonsense entries, but fortunately not many.

google maps mashup

We previously wrote about 3 Awesome Historical Google Maps Mashups 3 Awesome Historical Google Maps Mashups Read More . And even the US Government provides Google Maps Mashups 5 Cool Data Apps & Mashups Provided by the US Government Read More .

Earthquakes In The Last Week [Broken URL Removed]

Many maps are based on weather events. This one maps geological events, specifically earthquakes during the past week. Via the tabs on top you can quickly zoom into different regions. A legend in the bottom left explains what each of the different color pins represents; a red pin for example symbolizes an earthquake of a magnitude above 6.0 on the Richter Scale. Next to the legend you will find relevant news and blog articles, as well as videos sourced from Google.


google maps mashup examples

A similar service called Quake Spotter Quake Spotter - An Easy To Use Way To Track Earthquakes [iOS, Paid Apps Free] Earthquakes can be one of the worst forms of natural disasters. For people who live in an area where earthquakes are common, they are a constant threat of which people need to be wary. Some... Read More is also available as iOS app.

TubeJP [No Longer Available]

Do you live in London or are you planning to visit? You will need London Tube Journey Planner! It’s the easiest way to quickly figure out a route across London. Simply pick your departure and destination and get a route map, along with connections and next available rides in the menu on the left.

google maps mashup examples



This simple map shows the current distribution of daylight on the planet. You can jump to a custom date and time via the menu on the right. DaylightMap is also available for your Android under the name TerraTime (not free). [No Longer Available]

google maps mashup examples

Extra: Google Lit Trips

Google Lit Trips is one of the most awesome projects I have discovered during my quest for cool maps. Not strictly a Google Maps project, this site offers free downloadable Google Earth files, that depict the journeys of characters from famous literature, complete with supporting material, including relevant media, discussion starters, and real world references.

Google Lit Trips “3-dimensionalize” the reading experience by placing readers “inside the story” traveling alongside the characters; looking through the windshield of that old jalopy in The Grapes of Wrath or waddling alongside Mr. and Mrs. Mallard’s duckling family in Make Way for Ducklings. – Jereome Burg

google maps example

To download a free map, you first need to fill in a brief survey. To view a map, you need Google Earth, a separate program which allows you to do a lot of awesome things 5 More Cool Things You Can Do With Google Earth In this article, I'm going to share five really cool features I found in Google Earth. These features are perfect if you're looking to build a new house or trying to find a place to... Read More .


Planet Earth is an amazing place and you can explore it from your desk with Google Maps.

If you are craving for more cool Google Maps projects, visit the unofficial Google Maps Directory GMdir or MapTube, which have a lot more in store! Some of the maps above I found on Keir Clarke’s incredible Google Maps Mania blog. Do visit and follow via Twitter or RSS if you want to stay up to date about the latest and coolest Google Maps projects out there!

What are your favorite maps?

Related topics: Google Maps, Mashup.

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  1. Dimitris
    July 20, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Hey, you missed Glocal news --

    It is a Google News mashup on top of Google Maps.
    We combined the aforementioned services in order to display the top 5 news of every place on earth, from Oakland to Auckland, from the largest country to the tiniest village, adjusting the results by taking into account your language of preference. We support currently 70 languages.

    Have a look :)

  2. Sandip
    July 3, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Hey, great list.

    We recently created a maps mashup here ( showing recent crisis and disaster areas where crowdfunding can help. Hope you guys find it useful...


  3. Tina Sieber
    February 18, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Apparently I did, but the page doesn't show a map at all. Doesn't seem to work on my end.

    • Frank
      February 18, 2013 at 7:45 pm

      Oh.. looks like is down, where I pull the data from. Darn!

    • Frank
      February 19, 2013 at 10:13 am is back up and site can now get data, please don't use IE as it does not handle html5 well at all.

      • Tina
        February 19, 2013 at 3:51 pm

        Yes, your site works now. Thanks for sharing! :)

  4. Nevzat Akkaya
    February 14, 2013 at 6:54 am

    seems very interesting. I want to check them out if I have a spare time. Thanks.