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White House embarks on climate change mapping project

The White House wants people and communities to be prepared for extreme weather events spurred by climate change, like coastal flooding, hurricanes, and wildfires. So, it's making data sets and maps from some of the country's top agencies available to the public in it's newly launched "Climate Data Initiative."

The maps and data sets are being collected in one Web site, data.gov/climate, which is full of open government data on the country's infrastructure and geographical features, like bridges, roads, tunnels, canals, and river gauges. The information comes from agencies such as NASA, … Read more

Google Maps cruises the rapids of the Colorado River

Rafting down the rapids of the Colorado River and gazing up at the walls of the Grand Canyon is not something many people get to do. But now Google Maps is sharing the experience with the masses.

On Thursday, the Web giant released its newest Street View Trek, which navigates "America's most endangered river." Partnering with American Rivers conservation group, Google has mapped out the course of the Colorado River, highlighting attractions along the way, like North Canyon, Nankoweap Granaries, and the Redwall Cavern.

"Now with Google Street View, you can ride the whitewater rapids, cruise … Read more

Apple Maps may get major 'under-the-hood' upgrade

Apple plans to make major improvements to the Maps app in iOS 8, a new report claimed on Tuesday.

Apple's top executives, including CEO Tim Cook and Senior Vice Presidents Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi, are currently working on Maps for iOS 8, 9to5Mac reported, citing people who claim to have knowledge of Apple's plans. The executives are focusing less on interface improvements this year and more on enhancements to the application's accuracy and reliability, the report said.

In addition, Apple has added public transit functionality to the app, ensuring that users can find directions when using … Read more

Get coordinates, quick directions in new Google Maps

Google removed the ability to get latitude, longitude and quick directions with a right-click when it redesigned the Google Maps site. But with the redesign leaving limited release, and being pushed to everyone now, Google is slowly bringing beloved features back to the site.

On Wednesday, the Google Maps team brought back the ability to right-click on the map and request more information about the location you selected. The feature, announced in a tweet, enables you to get directions to or from the location, as well as view the latitude and longitude.

In order to view the coordinates, you'll … Read more

Google Maps Gallery debuts as Web's interactive digital atlas

Ever wanted to know the best escape route out of a city in case of an emergency? How about which of the world's coral reefs are in the greatest danger? Or, the exact route of the Lewis and Clark Trail in 1814?

All of these maps are now far easier to find because of a feature Google launched on Thursday called Google Maps Gallery. This gallery is full of interactive digital maps from a variety of businesses, governments, and nonprofit organizations, such as National Geographic, World Bank Group, and the US Geological Survey.

The topics covered in the maps … Read more

California court: Drivers can use smartphone maps, for now

Texting or chatting on the phone while driving is illegal in California, but the law seems still to be catching up with technology when it comes to other aspects of smartphone use behind the wheel.

A court of appeals has reversed an earlier court decision that ruled map reading on a cell phone was taboo under the law, according to the Associated Press. The 5th District Court of Appeal said the law currently applies only to talking and texting on mobile devices and doesn't yet have legal language for app use.

The case came about in January 2012 after … Read more

Google Maps charts the frozen home of the polar bear

Polar bears may not have much use for pavement, but that didn't stop Google Maps' Street View from getting very up close and personal with the elusive Ursus maritimus.

In honor of International Polar Bear Day, Google released on Thursday its first Street View maps of a remote area of Canada's tundra. In capturing images of polar bears in and around the town of Churchill, Manitoba, Google has created a "baseline record for imagery associated with geospatial data," Krista Wright, executive director of the conservation group Polar Bears International, wrote in a guest blog for Google. … Read more

Use Meet Me Halfway for Android to find a meetup spot

When you're trying to meet up with a friend or family member, it's sometimes hard to decide on a halfway spot. You may prefer a restaurant that's near you, and the same may be true for the person you want to meet. Meet Me Halfway is an app to help find the places in the middle of two points, so travel is equal for both people.

Grab a copy of Meet Me Halfway for your Android device. The app is available for Android 2.2 and up.

Put in your address, or a point near, … Read more

Nokia's Here Maps to expand to all Windows 8.1 devices

All Windows 8.1 users will soon be able to tap into Nokia's free mapping and navigation app.

Currently limited to Nokia's Lumia 2520 tablet, Here Maps for Windows 8.1 will land in Microsoft's online Windows Store over the coming days, Nokia said on Friday. Starting its new journey in North America and Europe, the app will be free to download for any PC or tablet owner running Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1.

Like other mapping apps, Here Maps offers navigation and directions, points of interest, and satellite and 3D images of any … Read more

Behold Google Street View's Taj Mahal imagery

It's said that roughly 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal in India every year. Now, tourists don't need to get a plane ticket to witness the wonders of the ancient white marbled mausoleum.

Google Street View just unleashed its latest mapping project, which covers not only the Taj Mahal but also 29 other Indian landmarks. Armchair explorers can wander the grounds of Humayun's Tomb, gaze at the intricate details of Red Fort's sandstone walls, or trek around the ancient temples at Muvar Koil.

"These Indian heritage sites have historically been admired by those lucky … Read more