Google Maps Updated!
Google Maps seems to have received a significant update at some point in the last few days. They now have this somewhat hidden ability to create your own maps. Check it out below (click for the full-size version):
Maps now has the super-cool ability to allow you to markup the map yourself. You are now able to put a placemark at any point on the map, and you can even draw shapes onto the map to highlight a region as I’ve done in the screenshot above.
Not only can you markup the map, but the placemark descriptions allow you to embed images. This makes for a very easy and effective way to geotag your photos being hosted elsewhere, or to create rich descriptions of your placemarks.
Once you’ve marked up your map and saved it to your My Maps collection, you have the option of sharing your map with the public. This makes the locations on your map searchable and discoverable. There are some really cool featured maps, like this amazing oral history of America’s Route 66. This map features placemarks with embedded audio and video mini-features. Trés cool.
One more very nice feature is the ability to export your map to Google’s Earth. Want to generate a quick fly-over of the area you’ve marked up in GMaps? No problemos.
All-in-all, a great upgrade from our Google overlords.