The official blog for Google Maps
It's a click & drag situation
June 28, 2007
Posted by Ryan Sturgell and Barry Brumitt, Software Engineers, Google Maps
Can you imagine going back to clicking arrows and waiting for the screen to refresh just to move the map left/right/up/down? It'd be as big a bummer as going back to
. Today, we're taking another big step forward with driving directions in Google Maps: now you can
click & drag to change destinations along your route
Let's imagine you want to help your friend Terry, who's visiting Seattle this week, by giving her directions to your favorite beach volleyball spot on the waterfront in Kirkland, Washington.
Terry is staying somewhere in downtown Seattle, so you zoom into that location and add this destination by right-clicking on somewhere in that general vicinity.
To set the End Destination, you repeat the same process, zooming in and right-clicking on the park. But if you've selected the wrong park by mistake, you can now change this destination just by clicking & dragging the marker from the wrong park to the correct one. And while you're dragging, you can watch the route change in real time (including a running ticker of the current street name plus an updated distance and time of the route).
Voila! You're done. If you click "Link to this Page," you can email the link to Terry. But wait! She is planning to drive over on a weekday morning during rush hour, and you'd like to adjust the route so that she misses 520 bridge traffic. So...
To ensure the directions take the I-90 Bridge across Lake Washington, you can click on the route itself
from where it goes across the 520 bridge and drag it to the I-90 bridge, again watching the route update while you drag.
So there you have it. Once you've used click & drag for creating and modifying routes, we think you'll find that you simply can't fathom how you managed without it. I mean, where are your 8-tracks?
Google Earth Outreach
June 27, 2007
Posted by Rebecca Moore, Manager, Google Earth Outreach
You may have heard that we've launched an exciting new program for non-profit organizations called Google Earth Outreach.
We hope you'll read more about the
genesis of the program
, watch a
of yesterday's launch event, and have a look at the Google Earth Outreach
, where you'll find
on how to create a great KML,
written by organizations who are already using Google Earth, and a
featuring dozens of public-benefit KMLs. And then we hope you'll get started on your own!
We've also posted some video on YouTube from our Google Earth Outreach event on Tuesday. Take a look:
Put your business on Google Maps
June 22, 2007
As part of our quest to build the best local search experience possible, Google's
Local Business Center
is where business owners can go to add or edit their business listing on Google Maps by providing their address, contact information, hours of operation, and even storefront or product photos.
This free process is now even faster and easier to use.
Users in international locales can now receive verification via a phone call or SMS rather than waiting for a postcard in the mail.
With our new verification options, it only takes 10 minutes to create or edit, and then verify your listing. We do the rest -- your business will appear on Google Maps within a few weeks.
The center also has a great new look, and it's easy come back multiple times to make changes to your listing:
So, while you are busy
about your favorite restaurant, barber shop, or any other business, be sure to share the opportunities on Google's Local Business Center with the business owners to help them reach more customers through Google Maps.
More than the sum of its parts
June 20, 2007
Posted by Steve Lee, Product Manager, Google Maps for mobile
Some experiences are more than the sum of their parts. Here at Google, we recognize that to develop the best user experiences, we can't work alone. We'd like to applaud the inclusion of RIM's Blackberry 8800 and Samsung's Blackjack in
s list of the
100 Best Products of 2007
. These two devices raise the bar of what is possible in the mobile world, and enable the GPS capabilities needed to fully experience another of
's top 100,
Google Maps for mobile
The Maps for mobile team is honored to share this
recognition with innovative mobile device manufacturers. We are more excited than ever to continue developing tools to make the mobile device a useful and, some might say, "
" experience when you're on the go.
Add your reviews to businesses on Google Maps
June 19, 2007
Posted by Jonathan Goldman, Software Engineer, Google Maps
Cheeseboard Pizza Collective
in Berkeley is one of my favorite places on the planet. My friends and co-workers will tell you, I can't really shut up about the place. But now, rather than continue to impose my unsolicited opinion about this little gem on those around me, I can finally be more constructive by articulating my thoughts and sharing them with the world. That's right,
now offers user ratings and reviews of local businesses.
Google Maps has
offered a collection of reviews assembled from some of the finest sources on the web for some time, but now we're augmenting those with reviews from an even better source: you -- and, we hope, millions of other opinionated Google users.
Search for your favorite places and click on the "More Info" link. From there, click on "Write a Review" to start giving your two cents.
Don't forget that Google Maps indexes a tremendous variety of businesses, and in a number of countries. Tell the world all about your favorite (or least favorite) doctors and dentists, hotels, bakeries, hardware stores, salons, pet spas, auto mechanics, plumbers, and more. Or perhaps even
your favorite restaurant in Tokyo
Give it a try
to make your opinions known and discover new favorites.
Trading a bow and arrow for a laptop
June 15, 2007
Posted by Rebecca Moore, Google Earth team
Recently, several of us on the Google Earth team had the great honor to meet with Chief Almir, leader of the Surui Indian tribe in the Brazilian Amazon. Chief Almir had travelled for many hours and thousands of miles to our Google headquarters in Mountain View, in order to propose an unusual partnership. He had come to ask for our help in protecting the rainforest lands as well as the culture and lives of his people.
The Amazon rainforest and its indigenous peoples are disappearing rapidly. This has serious consequences locally and globally, both for our environment and for the cultural diversity of our planet. If you look at the Surui land today in
(search on "Ministro Andreazza, Brazil" and then head due east), you'll see that their "island" of healthy, green, primary rainforest is surrounded almost completely by clear-cut, barren land. The stark contrast at their boundary is dramatic, and begins to convey what is at stake.
During his visit, Chief Almir proposed that, in collaboration with their partner, the
Amazon Conservation Team
, we work together to annotate Google Earth with informative markers and photographs that show the Surui villages, hunting grounds, sacred sites, and cultural sites as well as areas where they've found illegal mining and logging incursions onto their land. By doing so, he hopes to raise global awareness of the Surui people's struggle to preserve their land and culture, by reaching the more than 200 million Google Earth users around the world.
In the early 1980's, Almir's father, Chief Marimo, entered into tribal legend by single-handedly stopping a logging truck full of men with machine guns and revolvers, using only his bow and arrow. His son, Chief Almir, told us that he had realized that the time had now come "to put down the bow and arrow, and pick up the laptop."
We're excited to help Chief Almir on this project. It will take time, but when completed, we hope that it will have a positive impact on the lives of the Surui people and other Amazon tribes.
Google Maps in Sweden
June 12, 2007
Giorgo Scherl, Product Manager
Traveling to Sweden and want to make sure your hotel in Stockholm is actually close to the gorgeous waterfront?
Or, if you are like me, you want to find a
Pippi Langstrump (aka Pippi Longstocking)
doll for your daughter while in Sweden. Well, now you can, as this search for
We are very pleased to announce today that Google has launched maps for Sweden. On
we worked with Swedish content providers such as Eniro and Samtrafiken to integrate local business listings, public transport stations, and enhanced content like reviews and photos - in Swedish! This content is available on both Google maps and
pizza in Luleå
-- the northern city of Sweden or plan a trip from
Stockholm to Göteborg.
So go and virtually visit
-- it's a great country.
Help Model a City!
June 8, 2007
Posted by Bruce Polderman, Business Product Manager
City planners have long used sophisticated 2D GIS and other mapping applications to manage community planning activities and to try and convey results to the general public. While they may be very effective analysis tools, these applications often fail to impart knowledge in a format that the average citizen can easily grasp. A 2D map, the architect's rendering, and a tabular summary are not tools that are familiar to the layperson. The world is 3D, and city planners are beginning to look at ways to present information that is more easily understood.
Some cities have gone so far as to create a physical model to help the community visualize existing and proposed land use conditions. This approach can be very costly, time consuming to create and maintain, a challenge to store, and difficult to view at a street level vantage point. This is one of the reasons Google Earth offers a 3D Buildings layer: to enable people - everyone, not just city planners - to understand their world in an easy, comprehensive way. Recognizing the growing use and awareness of Google Earth, some cities are beginning to publish their GIS data to the 3D Warehouse for display in the "3D Buildings" layer.
Recently, we introduced a new model category in the
Google 3D Warehouse
Help Model a City
." This was in response to cities like
San Jose, California
, that don't have the resources to model a city on their own and who are hoping to enlist the help of 3D modeling ethusiasts. So far a few cities have published 3D "massing models" along with
, making it easy for 3D modelers anywhere in the world to create visually accurate
3D textured buildings
If you enjoy 3D modeling and would like to lend any of these cities a hand, I'm sure they would appreciate the help!
Google Earth KML Gallery
June 5, 2007
Posted by Vaughn Tan, Associate Product Marketing Manager
Since Google Earth was launched, users have been exploring our world and creating content overlays (KML files) to share their explorations with others. We're now highlighting these KML files in the new
Google Earth Gallery
. To see the 6 new user-created KML files highlighted each week, you can either go to the website or add the gallery's
The JetBlue point of view
June 5, 2007
Posted by Brett Muney, Manager Product Development, JetBlue
Summer is here again - a time when you, your friends and families start planning well-earned summer vacations. School is out, the sun is shining, and the weather is beautiful. To help you count down the minutes before you're wiggling your toes into the sand,
is now providing customers with Google Maps in all of its signature seatback TVs. Now everyone can enjoy a seat with a view: the new channel enables flyers to track flight altitude, speed, and location in real time on the way to any of JetBlue's 54 destinations.
To celebrate, JetBlue is asking customers to get snap-happy with the "JetBlue Point of View" photo contest. Between June 5 and September 3, snap a few photos out the window at 35,000 feet, log your location by flipping to the Google Maps channel on your seatback TV, and then submit your favorite image to JetBlue. After September 3, the top 10 photographers will be rewarded with roundtrip travel for two anywhere JetBlue flies.
more information on the contest for your chance to win.
Hop on the bus, Gus. Or the train. Or the subway.
June 4, 2007
Posted by Christoph Oehler, Product Manager
For some time now we have been "painting" icons for transit stops into our maps. While it was helpful to be able to see where to catch a train or bus, it left a lot of people wishing they could click on the icon to get more information about a specific station. Now that's all changed! Depending on the data available for a given public transit system, Google Maps now shows the next departure times, what lines serve a specific station, and/or a link to the transit agency to get more detail. Try clicking on one of the little bus or tram icons on
this map of Zurich, Switzerland
, to see what we mean. You can also search for stations (for example "
59th St - Columbus Circle Station, new york
Our transit information is acquired through a variety of means, including transit agencies, geo data companies, websites, and maps. We are continuously working to expand our coverage. If you are interested in having this data available for your city, point your local transit agency to
where they can learn more about how to upload their transit data.
For some cities we even provide a trip planner for public transportation:
try it out
. Here too we're working to expand the cities that we cover, so stay tuned.
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