Monday, August 04, 2008

3 Things....New Zealand could do with Google Maps

A couple of weeks I took myself along to a seminar hosted by Google "Google in the Public Sector".

They gave a run down of how government bodies across Asia Pacific are starting to use Google products. Of particular interest to me was the use of Google Maps integration.

I have drawn on the idea before in some of my discussions for the Techdirt Insight Community but the seminar got me thinking about specific application to New Zealand.

1. Snapper Mapper:

Snapper is the new RFID stored valued card that can be used on Wellington's Buses and Trains. The system uses GPS to keep track of the charging zone for the payment. An outward facing use for this would be to show which routes are now Snapper'd and of those where the bus currently is. Overlay this on Google Maps and you've given your customers a real time view of which bus they can use Snapper on and where the bus is. Good news for commuters looking to plan their journey.

Here is an example of what is achievable, real time Train data feed for Zurich.

2. Parking saturation:

Wellington has parking problems, there's no hiding from it. However what if you could save time by avoiding the saturated areas. This article from Technology Review got me thinking about mapping sensor data from the parking spaces in and around Wellington CBD. If it was displayed as a general heat map then when you're on the way in you could avoid the red zone and head to alternative parking that is still cool to the touch.

3. RV Heatmap:

House prices in New Zealand and influenced by the Rateable Value (RV). As a potential buyer I would be interested to see how housing prices are trending by area.

Something similar to House Price Maps would be a useful insight on where to buy (or not).

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