Monday, March 26, 2007

Market Research

In the past, I've published content in a format that can be viewed in Google Earth and on Google Maps. Google Maps is web based, allowing anyone to view the content within their web browser. However, Google Maps does not support all the features I use when creating route maps. You may have noticed that all the lines are blue and all of the place marks are red teardrops with black dots. This has prevented me from offering multiple lines in a single file. Also, Google Maps cannot handle large KML files, making the GTA Line in particular impossible to display.

Google Earth is a standalone program using the same maps as Google Maps, but offers many more features including terrain, 3-D buildings, and even geographic links to Wikipedia articles. There is also a fairly large Google Earth community, with endless points of interest built into the program, as well as download-able content. However, not everyone has this program, and can bog down an older computer when viewing multiple layers of content.

I am contemplating moving away from Google Maps. Ideally, I would like to use Google Earth for the system map, and reduce the individual route maps to simplified versions, much like the route map for GRT's iXpress. In order to avoid alienating my readers, I have posted the poll at the right so I can get a sense of the Google Earth penetration. I really appreciate your opinions, so please vote.

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