I may have missed the plug, I noticed some new stuff with Google maps the other day.
In my humble opinion Google maps rocks. So far, since I started using it, when it first came out, it hasn’t steered me wrong yet. And with Google maps being on Android and iPhone, and others; it’s a very popular tool.
But to add to something that already great, Google has added some new functions to the map.
Google always seems to be improving upon their products/offerings, but I can’t say that with any certainty that they’re always announcing all the improvements or new features that they have with all their services.
The functions they added were pretty cool, so here they are.
The sidebar can be removed..
Some don’t even notice it, but did you know the sidebar can be removed?
The little « arrows pointing to the left, when you click them, the side bar will slide to the left and leave you with 1/3 more map to review. It’s very nice.
And now over in the right side of the screen there’s a neat new menu. It’s very compact and it doesn’t do anything until you put your mouse over it.
Again, these are things I’m noticing with Google maps; they seem new to name but I may have missed the announcement.
What I like about the interfaces that the options are so compact and are only activated when the mouse is placed over them, but once the options are expanded upon you can see more options. the GUI interface flows a lot easier, it seems a lot more functional and how the information is presented.
From the initial presentation I can easily start with Google Earth, or simply change over to the satellite view of Google maps.
And based upon the selection that I make, depends which options are available to me in the drop-down menus under each selection.
Currently, I think the most options that you’re going to get with Google maps and this new GUI interface is by choosing Google maps or by choosing the satellite view in Google maps; Google Earth options seem to be limited to what they would normally be inside the true Google Earth application.
Once you have the options open, you can simply click the features that you would like to see on Google maps. Once you click on the selections the information automatically appears on the Google map.
Its all very easy.
And simply placing the mouse over any of the features are highlighted on the Google map you get more additional information.
You can actually click on those links and get more information.
One of the more useful features that I thought was in Google maps was their option to go into virtually any geographic area, view a map of the area and then turn on the option to view ‘real estate’. but recently Google announced that they are retiring the real estate option from Google maps, effective February 10, 2011.
Another feature that I’ve noticed with Google maps lately; there used to be a map location preview in the bottom right-hand corner. Using this preview, it let you see a larger version of the map and you are currently looking at, but highlighted the area that you are looking at in blue; almost like a spyglass.
That function seems to have been retired as well, but replaced with a more compact version.
Now there’s a very low-profile arrow pointing to the top left hand corner, and if you click on the arrow, it expands the option again.
It just goes to show that if you don’t explore all the options with websites, or applications, you’ll never know exactly what they can do until you start poking around.
So don’t forget to check out Google maps labs. their speakers with Google maps labs, features that you can add to Google maps that will enhance the overall experience by using the website and its services.
you can check out those new services or functions, on the Google maps website, by choosing the NEW function at the top right hand side.
I hope this helps…
Larry Henry Jr.