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November 27, 2007

Edit Maps Collaboratively

Google Maps has finally added the missing piece from personalized maps: collaboration. If you create a map in the "My Maps" section, you can now invite people to collaborate or allow anyone to edit the map like in a wiki.

"The My Maps feature of Google Maps lets people create maps to share their hobbies and expertise with the world. For example, a surfing enthusiast could map out their favorite surf spots or a surfing club could plot all the best beaches in Southern California. Now imagine if all the surfers around the globe worked together, leveraging their combined knowledge to create a single map of the best surf spots worldwide, applying the power of wiki-style collaboration to cartography," suggests Google Lat-Long blog.

And if you don't feel like creating a new map from scratches, you can now import it from a KML or GeoRSS file. To find one, search in Google Maps and select the "community maps" option at the bottom of the standard search results.



Then you can invite collaborators and send them a message. The dialog is very similar to the one from Google Docs, except that you can transform a map into a wiki. This would've been very useful for the San Diego Fire Map "that tracked the spread of the fire and included information on evacuation alerts and evacuation center locations", but it's also an interesting way to share your knowledge with other people.



As an example of collaborative map, here's a map where you can add a placemark for your location and maybe something about you. Just click on "Edit", find your location on the map, right-click and choose "Add a placemark".

36 comments:

  1. My only complaint is that, to invite collaborators you have to type in their email addresses. Even if you're logged in, it does not access your address book like other Google Apps.

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  2. darn - i tried a couple of maps and so far no luck importing a .kml. :(

    = = = = = = = = = = = = =
    "We could not finish uploading your file.

    No changes have been made to the map.

    Try Again or Cancel"
    = = = = = = = = = = = = =

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  3. the IE implementation appears to have just added a new checkbox at the bottom of the upload dialog:

    = = = = = = = = = = = =
    "Replace everything on this map with the uploaded file

    All existing features will be deleted!"
    = = = = = = = = = = = =

    still didn't work, though. so far i've tried renaming files, using short names, tried .kml and .kmz file types - exports from google maps and exports from google earth. all do not work.

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  4. Does this enable one to replace Frapr maps?

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  5. This is an awesome feature! I was looking for this yesterday, because a friend and I are planning a trip to Indonesia using Google Maps. I couldn't find an option to collaborate then, but one day later this news-item comes. What a coincidence!

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  6. Great! Yet another manifestation of Google's current trend towards building platforms for users to generate contents.

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  7. We've now got a rain cloud and a sun. I reckon this could be used for an nice weather forecast map.

    You could scroll round Europe and zoom in to find more detail (if they implemented hiding of some placemarkers at certain zoom levels)

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  8. I also tried importing a .kml. The file loads fine in Google Earth but I get the same error as peter when I try to import it into My Maps. I tried a file with several hundred entries and then another with a small subset.

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  9. I just get

    We could not finish uploading your file.

    looks broken to me

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  10. i guess i should add that i, too, tried very small .kmz files as well - just one or two data points in there.

    if anyone is able to get a sucessfull import, please post your .kmz somewhere so i can try it - make sure it's not operator error.

    :)

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  11. As the three screenshots from this post illustrate, I was able to upload a .kmz file with Seinfeld-related locations. I tried to upload another file 5 minutes ago, but it doesn't work anymore. The error messages appears way too fast.

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  12. I haven't been able to upload a file from my computer, but I managed to upload via URL successfully.

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  13. was about time, but it still lacks some important feautures. There is no versioning, rollback, etc.

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  14. I've got the same stinkin problem... "We could not finish uploading your file.
    No changes have been made to the map. "

    VERY FRUSTRATING!

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  15. "We could not finish uploading your file."

    I'm getting this too. My local kml file imports into Google Earth, but not into an existing Google Map. When I try it as a URL, it will put it into a new map, but not into an existing one.

    Arrg. I'm thinking it's not just me, though.

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  16. Well, have those of you with the error message figured out what was wrong?

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  17. I have two kml files to upload from my URL site. In one case it never happens. In the second case it happens about every 5th or 6th attempt. The file that never imports is a circle; Perhaps too many vectors.

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  18. I am still having the error uploading any kml or kmz file to google maps. Even if the files just contain 2 or 3 points.

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  19. Same problem

    = = = = = = = = = = = = =
    "We could not finish uploading your file.

    No changes have been made to the map.

    Try Again or Cancel"
    = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    It seems that a lot of people have this problem but no help from Google

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  20. I had the same problem importing from file. I just wanted to transfer a map from one Google account to another, so I was exporting from My Maps and then trying to import into the other account. Didn't work from file, but when I posted the file online and uploaded from URL, it worked fine for some reason.

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  21. Has anyone found a fix or explanation for this error yet?

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  22. Why isn't there any form of custom user access levels? Let's say you create a global/international map you should only be able to delete/edit/move your own entries, and not entries added by others. Only the Administrator(s) should have full access. Now, anyone can "destroy" a map if they want to.

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  23. Had the same "We could not finish uploading your file...." problem.
    In my editor I checked if the encoding was right, but not. I changed it to UTF-8 and now it works. - Hope this helps others, too.

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  24. This fixed it:
    http://maps.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=21849&topic=10789

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  25. I had the same problem with uploading a kml file; I had loaded the same file earlier so I know the file was ok. I uploaded that same kml file to a webpage, and used the "Or enter the url of map data on the web" input box. I have successfully loaded that (and others) to my GoogleMaps.

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  26. I tried to load a Google Earth generated kmz file and had the same error message.

    I found out that a kmz is simply a zipped kml file and so used WinZip to extract the kml from the zip. I uploaded the kml and it worked like a dream.

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  27. kmz no worky, kml works, thx Anonymous

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  28. I've tried everything here, no success.

    I'm trying to add a 1000x1000 px image overlay from google earth to google maps. Google maps uploads fine and goes to the correct place on the map, but doesn't show the image overlay. Any ideas?

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  29. I needed to transfer "ownership" to another account. I downloaded the kml file to my local, created a new map, and imported the kml. It's a fairly simple map, but the URL business never worked for me either.

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  30. Very good, but theres a further enhancement to be made. Partial collaboration.
    Think about this, your a small website doing a map of the forum users in google maps. Theres the embed option so you either let everyone edit it (chaos) or you intergrate it to your forum software somehow (a mod for phpbb etc) so only your forum members can edit it.
    However, they can still all move everyone elses home pins around.
    What would be very useful would be a option to only edit your own pin(s) on a semi collaborated map.

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  31. I have created a "my map" in Google Maps and I want to export so that I can do a mailing (snail way) ... have not found a way to export Ideas?

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  32. @John:
    You can print it or view the map in Google Earth.

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  33. I have one question. Maybe im just blind but where is the search box to drop pins on the map? Do I have to zoom out and then zoom back in to drop a pin???

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  34. Is there a way to import google maps to my Nokia 2710-2c navigator edition phone?

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  35. What is the difference between Google Maps & Google Earth? Does any difference between them two?

    ReplyDelete