Google Maps adds a Web services option that will let users do multiple searches in a destination search. For example, users can plot gas station and restaurant locales along the way to a tourist site. Google Maps for Mobile 3.2 meanwhile adds greater contextual layers, including Wikipedia, and traffic incidents to make mapping easier for mobile and wireless device users.
Google July 22 spruced up its Google Maps technologies, adding
the ability to see multiple searches in its core technology and multiple layers
of information in Google Maps for Mobile
is an important feature because it
enriches the search functionality in Google Maps, which to this point has
required separate searches for each destination on the map application.
This add-on symbolizes how Google is not only organizing the world's
information and making it accessible, but making it much more convenient for
users to stay in Google longer. This stickiness is one of the company's
secondary goals, something Google CEO Eric
Schmidt frequently alludes
to during earnings conference calls.
With the multiple searches add-on, users planning a vacation may want to
plot their course from the hotel to a tourist site. Instead of doing separate
searches for gas stations, restaurants and other useful locations, Google Maps
now lets users plot their course so they can see what's along the way.
After the second search on, for example, restaurants along the route to the
tourist site, users will see a blue bar at the bottom of the left panel. This
is the new layered search widget. When users click on it, they may then check
each box to "turn on" the additional searches along the route to the
The markers are color-coded so users can differentiate searches on the map.
Each time a user clicks one of the search boxes in the widget, the dots that
show their searches on the map will wink in and out.
See pictures of how this application works on the Google Watch blog here
There, you will also see results for Google Maps for Mobile
3.2, which lets users see many layers of information on their maps at the same
time, including public transit, traffic, local search results, Latitude friend
locations and Wikipedia results.
"Traffic has been available on Google Maps for Mobile
for some time, but this new release includes traffic incident information for
certain cities, giving more insight into the nature of the delay," wrote Jonathan Dixon, a Google Mobile software engineer, in a blog
Users can toggle various layers on and off, and mash up combinations like
friends' Latitude locations against a planned route.
Moreover, it is now easier to search with Google Maps for Mobile
3.2. Under Search, users will find a link to browse popular categories.
Layers in Google Maps for Mobile
is available now from m.google.com/maps on Symbian S60 and Windows Mobile
phones, but it will soon come to other platforms, such as Apple's iPhone and
Google Android-based smartphones. The upgrade is available for all countries
where Google Maps for Mobile is
currently available. To begin adding layers on Google Maps for Mobile
3.2, users must hit the "2" key or select Layers in the menu.
While millions of workers are skittering off to various sun-drenched locales
for vacation, the Google Maps team has been busy this July.
The new Google Maps search and info layers come two weeks after Google enabled
My Location, a Google Maps for mobile
application that uses cell tower identification to give users their approximate
location information, to work on desktop and laptops.