The Next Generation Of Maps

Maps you can move in. Big, deep, 3D changes coming to the world of digital cartography.

Itsukushima Shinto Shrine, Japan. (Google Maps)

Itsukushima Shinto Shrine, Japan. (Google Maps)

Time was, a good map was rolled out in captain’s quarters on a rolling sea or a king’s table far from the front.  Splotched with gravy.  Embellished with mermaids.  A grand, rough approximation of the world as we knew it.  Flash forward to the smartphone in your pocket, the apps all over, the future rushing at us, and we’ve got maps gone wild.

Cartography on digital steroids.  Maps loaded with terabytes of data.  3D maps.  Maps you can zoom over, zoom into.  Walk through.  Now Google and Apple are squaring off over the next great map frontier.

This hour, On Point: maps gone wild.

-Tom Ashbrook


Steven Levy, a senior writer at Wired magazine and author of In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives.

Darin Jensen, a cartographer and Professor of Geography at the University of California, Berkeley.

David Heyman, cartographer and co-founder of Axis Maps, a group that designs custom and interactive maps for the digital age.

From Tom’s Reading List

Slate “Is Google worried that Apple’s defection will substantially reduce its user base, and, consequently, the advertising revenue it gains through maps? Does the search company fear that it could lose its place as the online mapping leader, a position that has long been one of its competitive advantages? Is it concerned that Apple might build a better, more useful maps app?”

All Things D “Apple has been hard at work developing its own in-house mapping solution for iOS, and now it’s finally ready to debut it.”

CNN “Google and Apple’s race to develop new mapping techniques sparks new concerns over privacy issues.”

Slate Review of the “The Greatest Paper Map of the United States You’ll Ever See.”

Slash Gear “Currently, Google Maps does not list waterways is active routes that people can use to move around nearby cities. The charity in charge of the UK waterways will work with Google to identify all access points to waterways and to identify bridges and tunnels. The goal is to allow people who live near canals and waterways to be able to access them as travel locations via Google Maps.”


Video: Google Glasses

Check out this video from Google demonstrating their Google Glasses project, which integrates several Google products.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Nov 26, 2015
This photo taken July 31, 2012 shows a "tiny" house April Anson built in Portland, Ore. For the past couple of months, 33-year-old Anson and her friends have been planning, measuring, sawing and hammering their way toward completion of what might look like a child’s playhouse. (AP)

Tiny houses, micro-apartments. They’re hot. Americans are downsizing.

Nov 26, 2015
Jewel performs in the On Point Studio on Tuesday, September 22, 2015. (Liz Gillis / WBUR)

Singer-songwriter Jewel asked “who will save your soul”? Now she’s talking about saving her own. We’ll talk to Jewel.

Nov 25, 2015
Three of baker Renee McLeoud's delicious pies, on display in the WBUR studios. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Bring your appetite! We’re gathering around the radio table with three chefs and new Thanksgiving recipes.

Nov 25, 2015
President Barack Obama, accompanied by Pulitzer Prize winning Iowa writer Marilynne Robinson, arrives to the State Library of Iowa in the Ola Babcock Miller Building, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015, in Des Moines. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

On the day before Thanksgiving, we talk with Marilynne Robinson – one of America’s greatest authors, thinkers, moralists — about fear and hope in a hard, frightening time.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Fresh Ideas For Your Thanksgiving: Recipes
Wednesday, Nov 25, 2015

Did our Thanksgiving 2016 episode make you hungry? Good news — we’ve got recipes right here.

More »
1 Comment
Karl Rove Still Won’t Get Involved In The 2016 G.O.P. Primary
Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015

Karl Rove may say he’s not endorsing or getting involved in the 2016 G.O.P. presidential primary, but that won’t stop from offering advice on how to beat Republican front runner Donald Trump.

More »
Roger Cohen And Barry Posen On ISIS
Monday, Nov 23, 2015

A brief, but illustrative exchange between Barry Posen and Roger Cohen during our conversation on ISIS today.

More »