Map Trawling the Web – the unusual way to geographic information


While experimenting with, more than a year ago, I came up with an interesting search method, “Map Trawling.” In short the method can be described as:

  1. Find out placenames within a certain area.
  2. Feed all these placenames as keywords into a search-engine.

The result is: Geographic information, Maps, Transit information, Municipal plans, Tourist Guides, Bicycle maps etc…

Not very surprising if You think about it. However, entering these placenames manually is tedious. By automating this with a web-map it gets more fun. It also works with other languages!

So MapTrawler is an early fun beta-version. (Limited with the amount of Webservice-requests Geonames can handle, Some Internet Explorer issues.  Note that MapTrawler do work with my Safari on iPad – but have some issues if you are logged into Google. And as always – You use it at your own risk! )

After reading James Fees blog this was my first go at Mapstraction. – We are about to make a plain HTML/JavaScript version of the OSM Extractor for FME currently running in Flash.

Trying it out in London:

So here are some examples of what can be found:

1. Some sort of fashion-map:

2. A very interesting document about prototype wayfinding in London.

3.  An entertaining map of filming locations in London.

There are also a lot of other findings like guides and KML-files if You switch to search for that.

You can read about the old Flash-version here :


Ulf Mansson (Ulf Månsson)

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