Google April 22 extended its Suggest feature for Google Maps to 10 more domains and eight additional languages, including United States, China, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. Google also made its Google Buzz layer available on Google Maps for the desktop, and added Search by voice functionality for Google Maps 4.1 on Windows Mobile and Symbian S60 phones.
Google April 22 extended
its Suggest feature for Google Maps to 10 more domains and eight
additional languages, part of the company's plan to make its search smarter for
Google Suggest for Maps displays relevant search
suggestions for places, businesses (with addresses) and points of interest as users
As of today, this feature is available in English and on
in the United States, China, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, France,
Germany, Hong Kong,
Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. These
domains join the existing Suggest for Google Maps in Germany, China,
Google programmers Steffen Meschkat and Peter Lidwell
said they designed Suggest for Google Maps so users get the most useful
suggestions depending on where they're zoomed into on the map.
In their example, users who search for "Mandela"
in San Francisco will see items such as Mandela High School and
businesses in nearby Oakland. By contrast, users who search for Mandela
in London will see suggestions more relevant for that location.
Google April 21 made
its Google Buzz layer available on Google Maps for the desktop. Google
Buzz is Google's controversial social sharing service, which is baked on top of
Gmail and gave Google major privacy headaches.
When Buzz users use Google Buzz for mobile
from their smartphone, they would post Buzz with their
location to add context for Buzz users following them on a map. However, this Buzz
layer was not available for the desktop version of Google Maps when it launched
back in February.
Now users can view
the Google Buzz layer from their computer by going to Google Maps in their Web
browser and selecting Buzz from the More menu in the top right corner of the
Users can click any available icon to see what people are
Buzzing about there and click on the name to see the author's public profile,
the timestamp to comment on the post, or the place to see it in Maps.
While the Google Buzz layer is available for
maps.google.com in all currently supported languages, the desktop layer may
only be viewed at this time.
That will have to change in order to make the
feature fully useful, but chances are good that if users want to see Buzz posts
from a Google Map, they'll be doing so from their iPhone or Android-based
Finally, Google April 21 added its Search by voice
feature in Google Maps 4.1 on Windows Mobile and
Symbian S60 phones.
Already available on Android and
RIM BlackBerry smartphones
, Search by voice lets users speak search terms into
their phone instead of typing them. To use this feature, in Google Maps, press the
phone's call button and speak a search term.