Monday, February 12, 2007

Why is Google Maps special?

Among the five lucky products listed on Google's homepage, Google Maps is one of them. But how can maps change the world? Here I try to analysis it and list out the 5 potentials of Google Maps:

  1. Google puts much efforts on mobiling services and Google Maps is one of the leading product which goes wireless. With Google Maps, you can locate any nearby shops you like according to the business listings and receive promotions and special offers via coupons provided by the shop. With GPS locating, Google will know exactly where you are and provide sponsored listings of shops nearby.
  2. Google knows the way to everywhere. Google can show you the most direct way between two or more locations which is ideal for first-time visitors in a foreign place. In between the directions, it can tell you what you'll pass by. Google will tell you when a nearby cinema will be showing the blockbuster your friend mentioned in Google Talk or whether your most-visited cosmetic shop is providing discount for masks.
  3. Google is testing a project called Transit which is basically a trip planner. When entering two locations and the time of arrival, Google will tell you where and when to get on the bus and get off at where and approximate arrival time. This can combine with another project named Google Ride Finder which keeps track of taxis. If Google can add real-time traffic information (is there a serious congestion ahead?) so that drivers can select the best alternative routes.
  4. Google provides Maps API for developers to integrate Google Maps in their website. This creates a trend of adding more data maps. Some use it to pin-pointing real estate listings, website traffic statistics. Google Earth is a good example of mapping geographic data. There is currently National Geographic, Discovery, UN data on Google Earth.
  5. More integration with searches. Google automatically map address in your search queries, Google Calendar events as well as Gmail messages and is now trying to map places mentioned in books. You can also geotag your photos using Google Earth and Picasa. You can also view and create your own 3D models and take a virtual tour of the Great Cannon.
Google is expanding its map coverage from US and UK to some Europe countries, Japan and Australia. Now China, India, Hong Kong, Brazil, some African countries. And the next step is to list businesses in the maps and put everything into the map.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

On google maps, the zoom slider is no longer there and the only button is Traffic. The satelite, map, street view, and terain buttons have disapeared.

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