Google Earth and Google Maps API
After playing around with Google Earth this morning I’d have to say: it’s really, really cool (to use the vernacular). I especially like the way the map can be manipulated and the perspective (from overhead to “3D”) changed. Once the satellite and ground images are connected (on Google or MSN or elsewhere) and you can get from the sky to the ground—from space to the storefront—it’s going to be mind boggling. Of course, the question still has to be asked: what is novelty and what is utility? I think the answer to that is a moving target as the products improve. More on Greg’s adventures with Google Earth!
More Maps Mania from Google : Google Maps has proven extremely popular and now the company is encouraging developers to run with it (ala Housingmaps). The company has formally launched an API. Others will likely follow suit—as soon as tomorrow in fact.
Why do this? It has a powerful marketing dimension (spreading the Google Maps product and reinforcing its usage) and it enables the development of all sorts of applications that Google might not envision on its own.
Developers are already using Google Maps on their websites in an ad hoc way. Some examples of interesting things done with Google Maps include housingmaps.com, dynamite.co.uk/local and chicagocrime.org. Google wants help these developers and others by providing support and documentation for their innovations.
The API is open to commercial and non-commercial websites that are free to consumers. Google will include the Google logo on the map, a link back to Google Maps and may show ads in the future on the maps. More info about the Google Maps APIs can be found at http://www.google.com/apis/maps/
The new Google Maps API joins previous APIs launched by Google including Google Web API, Google AdWords API and the Google Desktop API. These APIs, others and related information can be found at http://code.google.com/apis.html