Google Maps Help Find City Quizzes, Dylan Trivia, Garage Sales

Google Maps APIs let developers create all kinds of cool Web pages for interactive fun. Here are some of the latest innovative sites.

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Online maps bring a world of adventure with the help of Google Maps APIs that are used by developers around the world to create interesting, compelling and fun-to-use Websites.

With that in mind, it's time for another eWEEK roundup of some of the coolest sites recently discovered online that incorporate Google Maps APIs and use maps in different ways.

Brain Challenge: Identify Cities Through Maps

It shouldn't be very hard to identify a city by seeing an overheard map view of it, should it? It sure sounds easy, doesn't it? Well, if you're so smart, you should try out the Map Race game, where visitors are shown an aerial map photo and asked to identify its location. The tough part is if that first view is a very up-close view of an area, which makes it tough to spot. So then you can pan out to see more of the image, but then you are hit with a time penalty each time for needing a hint.

Man, it can be frustrating. Oh, but it can be fun and very addictive, too. Visitors can use a drop-down menu that gives hints and multiple choices in the "easy" and "medium-hard" versions of the game, but if you think you are ready for the "hard" version, you'd better be up to the task because you only get one single hint to help you along the way.

The game was the brainchild of Henry Reich, who came up with the idea for Map Race during the 2012 Olympics when he was exploring the great cities of Europe from a friend's living room, according to the Website.

Bob Dylan Sang About That Place

Singer/songwriter and music icon Bob Dylan just celebrated his 72nd birthday May 24, and to mark the occasion, Slate unveiled a map of Bob Dylan's World, an interactive map featuring the locations of every Dylan song that he wrote about a place.

This map is very cool and features details and entries that you might not even realize were included in Dylan's vast song library.

There's an entry in Washington state, at the Grand Coulee Dam in Grand Coulee, where Dylan wrote "Idiot wind, blowing like a circle around my skull/From the Grand Coulee Dam to the Capitol," from his 1975 song "Idiot Wind."

Then there's the spot where Dylan was singing about the Empire State Building in New York City, "It's a mighty long ways from the Golden Gate/To Rockefeller Center 'n the Empire State," from the 1961 song "Hard Times in New York Town."

And of course, there is Paterson, N.J., where Dylan sang his 1976 song, "Hurricane," about former boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, who was convicted of murder and later freed.

For longtime Dylan fans, this will be a very welcome and intriguing map site.