Google Announces New Mapping Innovations
This morning at the Where 2.0 conference in San Jose, John Hanke, Director of Google Earth & Maps, announced new innovations for Google Maps that offer a whole new perspective on search: Street View and Mapplets. Available on Google Maps at maps.google.com, Street View and Mapplets further Google’s commitment to provide users with the most innovative maps available online and developers with new tools for creating and sharing geographic content.
Street View is a new feature of Google Maps that enables users to view and navigate within 360 degree street level imagery of various cities in the US. Street View provides users with a rich, immersive browsing experience directly in Google Maps, enabling greater understanding of a specific location or area. Street View imagery will initially be available for maps of the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Las Vegas, Denver and Miami, and will soon expand to other metropolitan areas. By clicking on the “Street View” button in Google Maps, users can navigate street level, panoramic imagery. With Street View users can virtually walk the streets of a city, check out a restaurant before arriving, and even zoom in on bus stops and street signs to make travel plans.
Google also announced the launch of Mapplets, a powerful new tool for developers and consumers alike. Mapplets enables third party developers to create mini applications that can be displayed on Google Maps, much like Google Gadgets are displayed on iGoogle. These Mapplets contain a variety of information, from housing listings to crime data, and tools like distance measurement. Users can select from a wide range of Google and third party Mapplets to display on the Map, essentially creating their own “mashup of mashups” directly on the Google Maps site, while still enjoying the built-in functionality of Google Maps, such as local search and driving directions. A number of our partners, including WeatherBug, Booking.com and Platial have already created Mapplets. This feature is available at http://maps.google.com/preview.