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Nick Springer and the look of webmaps

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#1
Kartograph

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Dear Forum, dear Nick!

 

If my memory serves right, the "Nick Springer digital map designs" at Microsoft had quite an impact. Encarta, Mappoint, offline navigation products before TomTom became widespread etc.

This all predates GoogleMaps.

 

Now for the sake of history, who knows or remembers where Google Maps drew its inspirations or who did the styling (from full cloth?) in the beginning?

My conjecture/hazy memory was that google maps looked a lot like Nick's MS designs.

The beige background and orange/yellow streets for example seem to have no other precedent? Or was this itself taken from US style roadmaps which I only have passing familiarity with?

Any confirmations, substantiants or rejections of this conjecture heartily appreciated!

 

Bonus question: How did the styling for the current Bing maps came into being?



#2
Dennis McClendon

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I'd certainly like to learn more about who did the styling and what influenced them.  Google Maps is very unlike US street maps.  The double-line street map, with streetnames contained within, and yellow for arterials, is a distinctly European development.


Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#3
Matthew Hampton

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Good questions.  I know Google Maps came to the market before Microsoft Virtual Earth (Google = February 2005, Microsoft = July 2005).  

 

Google Maps came from Danish brothers Lars and Jens Rasmussen from the Sydney-based company "Where 2 Technologies." Google purchased them in October 2004, but I'm not sure if the cartographic styling is authentically Australian - it very well could be.


co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com


#4
Hans van der Maarel

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Google used to have different styles for different countries, but they got it all more or less in line with eachother a while ago, from what I can tell only Japan and Taiwan still have some subtle differences.


Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#5
Kartograph

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Good questions.  I know Google Maps came to the market before Microsoft Virtual Earth (Google = February 2005, Microsoft = July 2005).  

 

Google Maps came from Danish brothers Lars and Jens Rasmussen from the Sydney-based company "Where 2 Technologies." Google purchased them in October 2004, but I'm not sure if the cartographic styling is authentically Australian - it very well could be.

 

Thanks, i know the Rassmussen's did that. But I always was of the impression these were mostly Tech-guys with minor interest into styling/design. Lars is now with FB after he did Google Wave and is IIRC involved in the FB graph search.

 

Just to bring everybidy up to speed, and as long as Nick does not chip in, Nick's designs are from turn of the century, so 1999-2001ish. 

Full disclosure: I did not know there were country-dependent stylings for  google maps! Any links on that?



#6
Charles Syrett

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I agree with Dennis - the Google style, right from the start, has had a very European look. Definitely not designed by tech types! As I recall, the current design of Bing maps was from a design firm in San Francisco. I still like the MapPoint look, at least at the smaller scales; it's much easier than Google for seeing the streets.



#7
Strebe

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Ahem. "Tech types" are quite capable of emulation. And more. Just sayin'.

#8
Charles Syrett

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Yes indeed - and designer types have been known to program as well! B)

 

Charles Syrett
Map Graphics
http://www.mapgraphics.com






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