Google Touts Google Maps' Role in Emergency Preparedness
The Maps Gallery is like an interactive, digital atlas, giving users the ability to explore historic city plans, climate trends, housing affordability, shipwrecks and up-to-date evacuation routes. The range of available maps through the gallery so far includes maps from the National Geographic Society, World Bank Group, United States Geological Survey, Florida Emergency Management and the City of Edmonton. Also in March, Google unveiled a new Google Maps Embed API that aims to make it easier for Website designers to place detailed Google Maps into Web pages so that customers can locate their physical locations more easily. The new API improves on a previous move by Google in December 2013, when the search giant began allowing Website owners and bloggers to embed and use Google Maps images for free. Using the new Google Maps Embed API, developers can now more easily customize the location and appearance of a map with a handful of simple URL parameters, according to a previous eWEEK report. In February 2014, the latest updated version of the online Google Maps service was completed and rolled out to users, featuring a wide assortment of improvements and updates. Google had unveiled a series of innovative updates for Google Maps at its annual Google I/O developers conference in May 2013, including a more interactive look and feel for Maps. The new Google Maps takes a novel approach to how people use online and mobile maps. Maps gains the ability to respond to user inputs instantly, making recommendations on places to visit and highlighting information that matters most during a map inquiry. The new generation of the Maps service essentially creates maps that are unique to each user and his or her needs, based on the input from the user.