The craze started in June 2005 after Google gave the public access to its programming interface for Google Maps. Mashups take the map grids and overlay them with information. Click on a virtual pushpin and a pop-up appears, giving info on a specific location. Whatever the topic—hotels, eats, music or travel—there is likely an existing mashup to guide you. If not, you can always mash your own. Here are some of the best sites:
Platial.com is a mashup site that allows users to create individual maps and provides search capabilities so that members can share with and borrow from others' creations.
Housingmaps.com mates Google Maps with classified-ad giant Craigslist.org to offer an interactive way to look for housing in the U.S. The mashups show where the properties on offer are located, so house hunters are spared the physical effort of pacing out the distance to, say, the nearest park or supermarket. And they'll be able to browse details of house prices and look at photos of the neighborhood, too.
Bikely.com offers a mashup of the best bike routes around the world for cycling enthusiasts.
www.nytimes.com The New York Times has mapped the last three years of its "36 Hours" travel column, schematically displaying all of its North American weekend destinations.
www.maplandia.com/news/ If you want to see where the news is happening, visit this site, which plots out the latest headlines from the bbc on a global map.