Google Maps with customizable icons

Google Maps is getting close to becoming a usable mapping tool for broker websites. They've introduced customizable icons (hint: to add a customizable icon, one needs to click on the existing placemark icon).

Above is a screenshot of a map I created in about an hour showing a short list of Bay Area real estate bloggers by address (btw, this map can be embedded into a blog, but I did not because there's a bug - explained later). The utility is simple - to know more about a certain region of the Bay Area, just click on the blogger picture.

When clicking on the blogger's picture, the popup screen can contain widgets for contact, communication and data delivery - in my case, a Jaxtr phone call app, a Plugoo chat application and a feed subscription. There's an application bug - the script for the Plugoo application doesn't stay in the editor so I did not embed it into this blog. Here is a the link for the mapping application above.

These popup screens on Google Maps act like miniature websites and can provide links to a variety of applications to market the blogging agent.

Here's how Google can improve this mapping application even more:
  • Google Maps does have a Mapplets directory that adds extra layers of data onto the map, but have developers start building SMALL widgets that will fit into the popup screen itself.

  • Allow image uploading from the hard drive, now images can only be uploaded from an online image URL. I was able to "copy image location" of blogger pictures used in MyBlogLog profiles.
  • Fix the bugs
  • Figure out a way to upload large data files in .csv format like MLS listings
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