Yahoo Launches Map Mixer: Make Your Map

Yahoo! has launched Map Mixer, a cool new mapping site that allows users to upload and share their own maps. The embedded map above shows an overlay of the Philadelphia Aiport on a Yahoo! map They’ve also added a nice community layer on top that makes sharing, rating, and commenting easy. Via Michael Arrington on Techcrunch I learned that Map Mixer came out of Hack Day. Yahoo’s announcement post mentions that they also developed a Shop By Color app.

The upload process on Map Mixer is simple. Click “Upload Map”, select a location, upload an image, and then line-up the image with a Yahoo! map. Simple. The final step is to add a description and tags.

Map Mixer does seem to be missing a lot of core geo features. There is a search function, but sadly it seems to be text-only. I am able to get several maps when I search for SF. When I tried searching with geo-data like a zipcode (94107) or lat/long I was unable to find anything. Also none of the maps are syndicated in KML or GeoRSS (like Flickr has done).

Although it is designed for maps people there are no restrictions on what people can upload. Some will upload a picture of a daisy for fun.

Any Map Mixer Map can be embedded on a webpage just like Ask or Google Maps (Radar post). The embed feature has not made it to Yahoo’s main mapping site, but I am sure that it will soon. As I said in my post on Ask adding embedded maps, this is going to be a standard feature on mapping apps (and eventually other type of web apps).

In many ways Map Mixer is a consumer version of WeoGeo, a company that launched at Where 2.0. WeoGeo allows mapmakers to upload maps and data and then sell them. Other map makers can find a map on WeoGeo, modify it, and then resell it on WeoGeo; the proceeds of the derivative work will go to both map makers.

This is potentially an interesting move for Yahoo! Is it a fun community function, a reeward for a hack well-done or are they doing this to get mapping data? They have provided data to Open Street Map (Radar post), but to my knowledge have not taken any back. Could they be trying their own version of crowdsourcing?

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