Google will shortly roll-out a new feature on its mapping service that will allow users to easily embed maps directly into web pages.
The feature, which operates much in the same as with YouTube videos, was conspicuously missing when Google launched its My Maps service on Google Maps in April.
If it’s as easy to do as cutting and pasting code, as the article suggests, you’ll see further proliferation of Google Maps on blogs and other, non-developer generated sites. Even though Microsoft’s “collections” (UG Maps) pre-dates Google’s My Maps, the latter takes mapping personalization farther because it’s easier to use.
User-generated maps is one of the most interesting and increasingly popular features on Google Maps. It’s also a way the company is getting mapping and local data in areas where little structured data and few commercial databases exist (i.e., outside the U.S. in selected countries).
Greg Sterling is the founding principal of Sterling Market Intelligence, a consulting and research firm focused on online consumer and advertiser behavior and the relationship between the Internet and traditional media, with an emphasis on the local marketplace.