Today we launched a significant number of new features for our online maps that we think will really help you visualize the data you want to see better than ever. Google announced many of these upgrades to their API last week, so we thought we’d quickly add them for our users.
The first of these is a heatmap overlay option for your current search.
This allows you to visualize where all the points in the active dataset are at once. Zoom out from your current search to see everything at-a-glance. The heatmaps update along with your category, date range, and keyword searches.
If you notice a dense area you want to check out, just click the map and you will be prompted to recenter you search to see markers with detailed popups. Click the checkbox in the map info area to toggle the heatmap layer on and off.
The second addition is a crisp, unique map style.
The muted colors and simplified details allow you to really focus on the data you need, while still letting you easily find your bearing.
The third addition is allowing you to overlay any number of multiple searches and datasets on the same map.
This has been requested by many users, and now it’s as easy as clicking the checkbox in the other data area. While on, any search you do will overlay on top of the existing one, as many times as you like. You can overlay searches from the same or different datasets. Just click the ‘clear map’ link to remove them and start over.
In addition to our existing live traffic, bicycle routes, and photos overlays, we’ve added live global cloud coverage and public transit routes.
Access them in the top right of the map under More… Make sure to zoom out to see the cloud coverage and note that Google has only made transit visible in a few major cities for now.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments what you like or don’t like about these new features. Can you think of ways to improve their usefulness or usability? Are there more features you’d like to see?