Thursday, April 05, 2007
Humans have been making maps since the Stone Age. In fact, map-making predates written language by several millenia. Nowadays, people make maps online using tools like the Google Maps API -- but using an API isn't as easy as scribbling on a cave wall.
That's why we're announcing My Maps, a new feature that makes it quick and easy to create your own custom Google Maps just by pointing and clicking. You can add placemarks, draw lines and shapes, and embed text, photos and videos -- all using a simple drag and drop interface. Your map automatically gets a public URL that you can share with your friends and family, or you can also publish your map for inclusion in Google Maps search results. We'll continue to show organic local search results with red pushpins; user-generated results will have blue pushpins. The user-created results include KML as well as maps made through My Maps.
To give you a better idea of what kind of maps you can make, here are some examples that Googlers created after we released the feature internally. (We ran a contest and gave a Nintendo Wii to the best map-maker.)
- America's Highway: Oral Histories of Route 66: A glimpse into life on the legendary (and now-decommissioned) highway, and what drivers will find there today
- Around Japan in 28 Days: Catalogs a trip across Japan that can be done in 3 weeks
- 2004 Presidential Election: Red states, blue states, and election stats for each
- The World of Hello World: A map of programming languages and rough locations in the world where they were created
- Olympic Host Cities: Cities that have hosted the Olympic Games with links to related Wikipedia information
- The Googleplex: A photo essay on life at the Google headquarters in Mountain View
- Monster Sightings: Locations of monster sightings across the globe