The reason people love maps so much is that maps tell stories about places, and people love stories. Maps provide a narrative and a context for understanding the world around us. Even the most mundane maps tell a story; for example, a road or subway map's story is about how to get around quickly.
In this chapter, we're going to explore the narrative possibilities inherent in Google Maps. We'll see how Google Maps can be a reading aid, how satellite images don't always tell the full story, and how Google Maps can be mated with online photo services such as Flickr to establish a geographic context for the stories that our photographs tell. Finally, we'll look at the user-friendly end of the "geospatial web," where Google Maps can be used to produce and visualize feeds of information from other sources, to weave our story together into the many stories being told every day on the Internet.