The SydneyClimbing.com web site released a Google Maps mashup which allows you to view their database of climbing sites in and around Sydney Australia. The map mashup is pretty nice with lots of placemarks, good information in the descriptions, and a link to their full database details. But, what is really interesting is the ability to see the same database in Google Earth. Click here to see their GE Sydney Crag data.
I guess you have to do a maps mashup for those people who don’t have the bandwidth or computer for using Google Earth. But, GE is a far superior interface for an application like this. Being able to zoom into a climbing location and then tilt the view to see the layout of the terrain does so much more for understanding where the better climbing might be. Of course, with the level of detail in the default 3D terrain of GE you usually can’t see the detail of the crag itself, but it’s certainly better than the top-down only view Google Maps provides.
This climbing site is an excellent application of both Google Maps and Earth, and is definitely worth looking at just for tips on how to do things well. If you’re a member of a climbing club, you should definitely think about doing something like this for your favorite areas. I would suggest adding topo map image overlays to the GE version to make it even more useful. Via Google Maps Mania.