Google Maps Helps Track Snowstorm Nemo, and More Weekend Maps Fun

As New York City, Boston and the rest of the Northeast prepare for a blizzard, a Google Maps app springs into action.

As Snowstorm Nemo assaulted the Northeast from New York City to Boston and beyond, New York City's public radio station, WNYC, got to work putting together a real-time storm-tracking map app using Google's Maps API.

The map was assembled to keep residents in the New York metropolitan area abreast of the powerful storm as it approaches the city. The simple map refreshed its radar images automatically every two minutes and showed snow bands as gray areas, while areas of rainfall appeared in different colors based on their intensity, according to There was even a related Transit Tracker Web page where residents could keep abreast of delays and shutdowns on transit systems during the storm.

Boston and the rest of New England was also covered by the WNYC map in connection with the approaching storm, which was being called a blizzard of historic proportions by some news agencies and weather forecasters. A Boston transit system Website also detailed transit information for residents there during the storm.

Of course, with all those snowed-in residents looking for something to do over the weekend during the blizzard, eWEEK collected a few other interesting map Web pages that have been put together using the Google Maps API.

With All of That Snow in New England, Anyone Up for Some Skiing?

A newly expanded feature of Google Maps is the addition of another 38 new run and lift maps across the United States and Canada that are now part of the growing number of ski areas that can be found on Google Maps using an iPhone or Android smartphone.

"For some of the most popular mountains across the U.S. and Canada, Google Maps is your 'go to' mountain guide," wrote Ryan Poscharsky, strategic partner manager for Google Maps, in a Feb. 6 post on the Google Maps Blog. "Whether you're shredding Squaw Valley, Big Sky, or Okemo, Google Maps are a comprehensive, accurate and easy way to find the best route down the hill."
On the maps, blue, green and black ski runs are shown as solid colored lines and ski lifts are red dotted lines, according to Poscharsky. "Ski resorts in Google Maps can also be helpful when you're gearing up for a trip. You can check out the maps on your laptop browser to plot your course, and even get a Street View preview of a few select slopes before you head up the mountain."

The latest ski areas recently added to the ski map app include Aspen Mountain in Colorado, Big Sky Resort in Montana, Deer Valley Resort in Utah, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Wyoming, Mount Shasta in California, Park City Mountain Resort in Utah and Telluride Ski Resort in Colorado.

Explore the Grand Canyon From Your Living Room Sofa

Back in October, the Google Street View team sent out a team of hikers wearing backpack-mounted Street View cameras to collect full-color, detailed images of the majestic Grand Canyon. Those amazing images are now ready for viewing on Google Street View using Google Maps.

"Today, we're releasing panoramic imagery of one of the world's most spectacular national monuments: the Grand Canyon," wrote Ryan Falor, product manager for Google Maps, in a Jan. 31 post on the Google Maps Blog. "These beautiful, interactive images cover more than 75 miles of trails and surrounding roads, making our map of this area even more comprehensive, accurate and easy to use than ever before."

Some 9,500 panoramic, 360-degree images of the geological wonder are included on the site, wrote Falor. "Take a walk down the narrow trails and exposed paths of the Grand Canyon: hike down the famous Bright Angel Trail, gaze out at the mighty Colorado River, and explore scenic overlooks in full 360-degrees. You'll be happy you're virtually hiking once you get to the steep inclines of the South Kaibab Trail. And rather than drive a couple hours to see the nearby Meteor Crater, a click of your mouse or tap of your finger will transport you to the rim of this otherworldly site."