Google Leads The Pack With More Innovations Explore Neighborhoods At Street Level – Virtually

Man oh man. Google keeps cranking out great applications, and their latest one is really cool. Google Maps’ “Street View” shows a virtual street-level tour that is tied into their Google Maps application.The Eyes Have ItWith this new application, there’s now a Google eyeball scanning your state, city and neighborhood. Depending on your location, there are up to four different views available in Google Maps.Amazon/A9′s had a similar offering or “street view” on their A9 maps. Now Google has brought it back.I wonder if there will be a Google truck zipping around our neighborhood in the near future. Well, if there was ever a good reason to get your business listed on Google local – there you have it.To paraphrase the mission statement of Google’s founders, “Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”Advertising ApplicationsThere are countless ways that businesses could leverage this free tool to advertise their product, service, issue or cause.~ Realtors could link to Google street views to display local amenities or landmarks to encourage prospective buyers to come to their state and city~ Hotels and vacation purveyors could encourage more customers for commercial and retail business~ States could incorporate Google view as part of their online advertising campaign~ Colleges and universities could visually advertise their campuses~ The list goes on and onSomeone even started a Blog called People post funny items they found in Google street view.Depending on your location, there are up to four different views available in Google Maps. Click the appropriate view in the right top corner of the map:1) Street View – Visual tour, street level and walk through.
2) Traffic – This is identical to the Map view (see below), but also shows traffic conditions if they are available in the area currently displayed. Red depicts heavy traffic, yellow depicts slow traffic, green depicts normal speed, and gray indicates that no traffic information is currently available.
3) Map – This shows a map with a traditional depiction of roads, parks, borders, bodies of water and more.4) Satellite – This shows aerial imagery.5) Hybrid – This shows aerial imagery and road information.Featured Google street level views in beta include:
Times Square, New York , Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, South Beach, Miami and other states.You may use Google street view to:
View street level photographs (select cities)
Take virtual walks; pan, rotate and zoom
Explore cityscapes, landmarks, points
of interest
Find shops, restaurants, parks, hotels and moreGoogle even lets you create personalized, annotated, customized maps using Google Maps.Once you have created a map, you can:
~ Add descriptive text, including rich text and HTML
~ Embed photos and videos in your map
~ Share your maps with others
~ Open it in Google Earth
~ Save Search ResultsGoogle Mapplets Preview Now LiveGoogle also has another map announcement; it has released a preview of Mapplets.Mapplets is basically like having a Google gadget placed on your map. You can choose from its directory which content you’d like to add to your map, from gas prices in your city to national weather stats.The mapplets are mini web pages that are served inside an IFrame within the Google map. Anything that can go into a normal webpage can go in this IFrame, meaning it supports HTML, Javascript and Flash. From those you’ve chosen, you can select which gadgets you’d like to display on the current map, and multiple gadgets can show at once. You can see trends or heat maps using this new feature.It essentially brings Google Maps mashups to you, which is great for developers, especially those that have created an entire business model from their Google Maps mashup. It’s another way for Google to provide an ecosystem for other companies.No question about it. Google has added a new spin to giving directions.There is no question in my mind that Google has Map Quest and Yahoo maps seeing red.

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