Assuming you have an Internet connection and can read this -- and who doesn't these days? -- then there's a strong possibility you're at least a little bit familiar with Google Maps. Maybe you use it to look up driving directions before heading to a concert at the other end of the state, or fire it up to find a gas station when the needle creeps uncomfortably close to E. But did you know you can use Google Maps for suggestions on what to do when you're in a new area? Or zoom in or out with one hand?
Seeing as how Google’s many apps are a staple on most Android devices, it’s not surprising that some of the most downloaded apps on the world’s most popular mobile platform come from the search engine giant’s stable. It was only last month that it became the first company to have an Android app with over 1 billion downloads, and now it has two.
Google Street View: Explore 50 of the world's most beautiful places from your living room
Google Street View: creepy or cool? We're leaning towards amazing! How else would some of us ever be able to visit some of the world's most remarkable landmarks and historical structures? Furthermore, if you're trying to take advantage of this summer by really going scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef or scaling Mt. Kilimanjaro, why not preview the locales with Google Street View first? After all, you'll be able to see some of the most breathtaking parts of the planet for free and you won't have to deal with some of the extreme weather conditions!
Google pulls a 180 on the decision to block Google Maps on Windows Phone, but we are starting to notice a trend.
Google has a somewhat complicated business model. Countless books have attempted to describe how the search giant makes money, and what drives them to live by the motto “do no evil.” Their motives aren’t easy to compress down into a few words, but if we had to try, it would be simply to say that they want you to use the Internet as much as possible. With this in mind, Google’s decision to block Windows Phone users from their map service made absolutely no sense. Windows Phone isn’t a competitive threat to Google, at least not yet, but between this move, and the company’s decision to cripple contact and calendar management for Gmail users, we can’t help but wonder what’s going on.
Google Maps has long been considered the gold standard for mapping services, despite the heavy competition from Bing and countless others. Between Street View, Google Earth, and the amazing turn-by-turn navigation found on Android, it’s hard to imagine the service getting any better. Obliviously Google would disagree with me however, and are getting ready to release “the next dimension” on June 6th at 12:30 PM ET.
Some of the world’s best known buildings have long been represented by 3D models in Google Maps, but they have never been closer to resembling their real-life counterparts. A recent update to Google Maps has given these 3D landmarks a much-needed facelift. Hit the jump for more.
Most of you Android junkies out there have probably been using Google Maps on your phone since day one. A big reason Android is such a powerful platform, Google Maps offers GPS enabled Maps, location-based search, and even turn-by-turn navigation. With version 6.0 being recently released, Google brings something new to the table with maps of indoor spaces.
Google announced last May that it intended to begin adding business interiors to Google Maps Street View. Now the first test images are rolling out. Users browsing maps will be invited into shops and offices that make use of the same 360-degree panning view that we’re used to with street view. Considering the very different nature of the content, Google has changed the way they acquire these images.
Google has announced a new feature for Google Maps that makes so much sense we’re shocked it wasn’t already there. Now when you are using Maps, you will be able to toggle on a weather layer. This is a handy feature when you’re planning a trip, or just want to check the goings on around the globe.
Google has always tried to keep a very open policy with the general public, but it can’t always be entirely forthcoming, as is the case with Google Maps. Google has very little say in what gets censored and what doesn’t, be it for personal privacy or national security. Finding censored objects on Google Maps isn’t the easiest task, as most look like imaging anomalies, rather than some big black bar with “CENSORED” written in large text.
But does Google Maps really need to be censored? In the era of open and available information, nobody likes to be left in the dark, but in the case of Google Maps and other aerial photographs, is there really much need to censor anything? Air bases and military installations certainly have the argument of national security, but they really shouldn’t have their secret projects just sitting out in the open. Perhaps just as interesting as the things being censored on Google Maps are the things that used to be censored (but that’s a whole other story).