On February 8th 2005 Google released a new interactive mapping service called Google Maps. Two months after that date on 13th April 2005 Google Maps Mania was born. 15 years later I’m happy to say we are still posting daily news on the truly amazing applications and visualizations which people are creating with interactive maps.
The very, very first interactive map application to be created from Google Maps was made by Paul Rademacher – also released in April of 2005. On the 7th April 2005 Paul posted a message to the Craigslist forum about a site he had made which displayed Craigslist rental and for-sale listings on a Google Map. Unfortunately Paul’s mashup HousingMaps no longer exists but you can still read Paul’s announcement post on the Craiglist forum.
One person who saw Craig’s forum post and interactive Craiglist property map was Mike Pegg. In fact Paul’s Google Maps hack inspired Mike to start this very blog. The hack also inspired Google. Rather than shutting Paul’s map down Google realized that allowing other people to build things on top of Google Maps would be revolutionary. In many ways Paul’s map showed Google that a proper maps API should be created and in June 2005 Google officially released the Google Maps API.
Here is Mike’s very first post to Google Maps Mania, in its entirety,
“If you’re like me you were absolutely floored when Google came out with the Google Maps service. Sure, it’s just another mapping service. Until you realize it’s full potential. The ability to toggle between regular street/road maps and a satellite view is unreal. I’ve started to see a lot of buzz around the blogging community about Google Maps so I’ve decided to help you keep up with the Google Maps related sites, blogs and tools that are cropping up.
I’m glad that so many of you have stayed tuned for the last 15 years! Thank you for reading (Google) Maps Mania.