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55 Ways to Have Fun With Google. Go to Table of Contents. Visit Gifcom.

The site’s creator, software engineer Paul Rademacher, launched the site before Google formally announced its API, but the search giant was so impressed with his work that it soon hired him away from Dreamworks.

There are more mashups, such as Mapulator ( This tool allows you to traceroute by IP address or host name to see the path the packets take. You can run the trace from their server or from your PC. It’s pretty slick, and has some settings you can tweak for doing the traceroute. It can also do “whois” queries when you click on one of the hops (to find out that hop’s IP). And if you just want to know where any particular computer/server/IP is you can also type in the IP or host name in their ping tool and find out if the host is up, where it is, and get the “whois” record.


And then, if you’re the paranoid type, there’s Adrian Holovaty’s brilliant Chicago crime map mashup at It’s a “freely browsable database of crimes reported in Chicago,” as the site claims. You can select the type of crime you want to locate (like “armed violence” or “assault”), as well as the date range it happened, and when you click “update map,” a few dozen colored pins will appear. Clicking on any pin reveals the details of the crime which was reported happening in just that location.

And then, there was a Google Maps game of Risk. A clever idea, but unfortunately game maker Hasbro didn’t think it was so great and sent its creator a cease and desist. But the games don’t end there. Another creative programmer by the name of Thomas Scott has created a multi-player cooperative game called Tripods ( in