Web's Biggest Brands Mapped in a Fantasy Landscape

Tomas Vitvar
Sep. 08 2010, 06:28PM EDT

Data displayed on Google Maps are perhaps the most popular types of mashups today. Seeing things on a map helps you better understand, memorize and relate data to where you can physically find them. But is a map visualization suitable also for non-geographical data? Internet conference Web 2.0 created a Points of Control map showing a fantasy landscape of Internet companies, complete with markers and zoom levels.

The map shows the Internet landscape divided into territories owned by major Internet players such as Google's land of search, Facebook's union of social networks, or Apple's and Microsoft's platform plateau. The map also displays movements that the major companies might make against each other in order to reach for unoccupied territories or takeover existing ones. For example, the map shows Google fighting off Microsoft in search, and Apple in mobile or Facebook in social.

The Points of Control is a custom Google Map that you can navigate by using the common map controls. Moreover, you can create location-based comments about any territory shown in the map as well as add your comments to existing discussions.

Want to build a custom Google Map on your own? The Google Maps API now supports the display and management of custom maps types that you can use to implement your own map imagery. Using the API you can implement tile sets that define images of the full cartographic maps. They behave like standard map types such as roadmap, satellite, hybrid or terrain, and you can use the standard UI to control them.

For more on the process and thoughts behind the Points of Control map, see the Web 2.0 Summit blog.

Tomas Vitvar

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