Previous lists of Firefox mapping extensions: 12/05, 01/06, 05/06
Why use Firefox over IE on Windows? Two reasons. First, the Active-X security settings in IE make it difficult to download detailed tables from the American Factfinder website (as I rant about here). Second, IE displays Google Map markers too slowly as its security settings send a request for each marker individually. Now, if you want to see some real speed, fire up Opera browser and navigate to your favorite mashup, perhaps even this one...
First, let's talk about All Your Maps Are Belong To Us, developed by John Morrissey. "Translates URLs for other mapping sites to Google Maps." This extension automatically converts MapQuest links to Google Map links. Now, you've got to love that super-cool title. For example, this extension will automatically replace this MapQuest link with this Google Map link. In fact, if/once you install this extension, you will see two identical Google Map links there.
The idea behind the extension can work for those who very much prefer Google Maps to MapQuest. As I understand it, links to MapQuest are more prevalent on the web than links to any other mapping site, so this extension can have some utility. However, I dislike the automatic replacing of links. This extension might work with other services as well, but I could not identify any. It goes off my computer after submitting this post.
Second, let's talk about GMiF, or Google Maps in Flickr, developed by CK. "GMiF is an third party add-on of Flickr. It will embed a Google Maps in Flickr photo page and display where the photo was taken on the maps, if the photo is geotagged." This extension is fantastic. It works great and even makes it easy to geotag images as well. Also see Photo Map, which I blogged about earlier.
This is a topic of interest for our students here. I am aware of two graduate students currently working on research papers involving geotagging images. One is for a GPS class and the other is for an Information Systems class. I will definitely send them a link to this extension.
Third, let's talk about Get directions from Google Maps, developed by Archibald Packwood. "Highlight an address on a web page, right click the mouse, and choose "Locate on Google Map" menu item, to see the location at Google Maps and find the directions." Now, I hesitated to even include this extension here as it seems to be the same-old-same-old. Installed it, and alas, nothing new or novel here. Tons of similar extensions out there, such as Map+, Map This, MapIt!, GDirections, and Select Search.
New Non-Mapping Extensions of Interest:
- People Search and Public Record Toolbar
- Developed by Skip Trace
- "Version 1.0 of our popular free people search and public record menu for Firefox contains
dozens of the web's most popular and powerful free people search and public record sites."
- This toolbar actually does contain mapping functionality, similar to Get directions from Google Maps
- Now, we can go to great lengths to rationalize the use of tools
- Data Analytics
- Developed by Charles Verdon
- "DataAnalytics is a Firefox extension that enables importation, manipulation, analysis and graphing of data."
- Seems a bit clunky to me, but this extension is currently in alpha development. I currently use the TableTools extension (which I discussed here) to filter, organize, and export HTML tables, but Data Analytics seems potentially capable of so much more. Data Analytics begins to pull the power of spreadsheet software into the browser to interact with supposedly static HTML tables. I am definitely going to keep an eye on this extension as it is developed further.