Google Maps uses the power of the Google search engine to enhance the standard online map experience. It allows you to search by keyword for points of interest, and using its mapping service you can refine searches interactively. As a bonus, the site uses images from the popular Google Earth application to provide optional satellite views of locations around the globe. Google Maps is the easiest site to use when searching for well-known locations, such as the Eiffel Tower, by name.
Google Maps has a streamlined design with easy-to-use search functions, so even first-time users can search for maps in a matter of seconds. The site’s flexibility makes it possible to conduct searches by keyword, and it returns web results to help you identify the exact desired area for your map. This is one of few sites we surveyed that can understand a request for a map of the Great Pyramids of Egypt or the Grand Canyon.
As an added bonus, the Google results that pop up when you perform your search are integrated with Google’s business listings. Using these listings, you can get more information about businesses in the area and see user reviews and website links.
Like other sites with driving directions, Google Maps provides both a map of the route and turn-by-turn directions. It has draggable routes and an integrated 360-degree view at each turn in the directions.
This map site makes use of the many user-generated features available on Google like the aforementioned business listings with reviews. The Explore Nearby feature lets you search for specific industries or points of interest in the area you view. For example, if you want to find a grocery store, simply type “grocery store” into the search bar, and Google will populate the map with stores near you.
When you pick a nearby business, you can view its Google profile, user reviews and a link to its website, if available. All of the map browsing features run on a Flash application, so your computer must be Flash-enabled to view maps and street views.
This site makes it so easy to search for online maps that users of virtually any experience level can navigate the process. The simple search form is more user-friendly than those on sites that require exact address information. Several buttons appear around the map with view options, so it is easy to display things like traffic conditions, photos and videos of an area, and even real estate for sale.
For help using the application, go to the main Google page and click About Google. From there, click Help and then Map Help, which displays all the resources available for Google Maps users. Here you will find tutorials; tips; and places to submit suggestions, report problems and contact an administrator. The Google blog also has information about Google Maps’ services and features.
Google Maps is one of the smartest online map services because it uses the power of the Google search engine and the Google Earth application to provide comprehensive information about virtually every place on earth. With its integrated 360-degree street view capabilities in many areas, satellite imagery of the entire planet and standard street map views, Google Maps caters to many different navigational styles at once. Since you can choose to see directions for walking, riding your bike or taking public transit to your desired location, Google Maps helps you get around no matter your form of transport.