Google Maps is a fun bit of kit to use, regardless of whether you want to spy on Area 51
, calculate the route from home to you're Great Aunt Nellie's or find out where the nearest Curry House is. But due to the nature of Searchzilla's service, several people have been reusing it in new, innovative and "not authorised by Google" ways, such as finding a place to live:
When David Yang recently looked for a new apartment in Chicago, he took an aerial tour of the city.
As a 22-year-old on a limited budget, Yang couldn't afford to hire a helicopter for his visual inspection of Chicago. Instead, he turned to HousingMaps, a hack that combines craigslist real estate listings with city maps from Google Maps. It lets users pinpoint locations, along with one-click access to photos and descriptions, of dozens of available apartments in more than 20 North American cities.
"It's like flying around the city looking at real estate," said Yang, a consultant for Deloitte. "If I know where my friend lives, or I know where an El (train) stop is ... I can just zoom in and see what's convenient to me."
Read more here
Clever stuff. Of course, these hacks only work in limited areas at the moment - but it wouldn't take that much to get it working in other locations. It'll also be interesting to see what Google makes of these uses of it's mapping technology...
Discuss these maptastic hacks here