Thursday, April 5, 2007

Google launches My Maps

Online search giant Google today added an extra feature to Google Maps to simplify the creation of maps mash-ups so users can quickly share the results.

My Maps, based on the concept of "create and share", will democratise map making in a profound way, Carl Sjogreen, Google ANZ senior product manager, said. A mash-up is a Web site or application that combines content from a variety of sources into an integrated experience.

Users, once logged-in, can embed videos from YouTube, text, photos or anything from a Web page, as well as draw lines or shapes and mark locations with icons to personalise their map. It's the first time that Google has offered such functionality -- including customised map drawing tools and links to other Internet content -- within Google Maps.

Once a map has been created users can share the map with family and friends, or make it available to anyone trawling the World Wide Web by making it public.

Sjogreen believes My Maps is easier to use compared to existing mash up sites already using Google Maps API (application programming interface) which offer similar experiences -- customised maps with rich embedded content.

The ability to search My Maps is not yet available, however, Sjogreen said the capability will be added in two to four weeks. Google is currently developing algorithms to rank the most relevant maps in a search query.

My Maps is available in 10 countries and can be accessed at

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