Google Maps Offers Multiple Searches, Info Layers for Mobile
As I reported in eWEEK earlier today, the Google Maps team has created a great new search feature that lets you conduct multiple searches on top of a destination.
Rather than use the suggested Google examples, I've plotted a course to a Chili's restaurant in the town of Milford, Conn.:
Note the blue bar where it says hide in the lower left corner under the last movie theater listing. You can see I searched for gas stations, bars and movie listings along my route to Chili's.
Note the color-coded dots and see where they are plotted on the map along the route to my end destination. I'd misspelled movie cinemas the first time, but rather than start from scratch, I simply unchecked the selection to "hide it," or make those plots disappear on the map.
What a fine, fun feature! Try it out.
Google also added traffic accident, transit and Wikipedia layers to the new Version 3.2 of Google Maps for Mobile. I have neither a Symbian nor a Windows Mobile device so I'm using the examples Google offers to show it to you.
In the left pic below, Google layers Latitude locations over My Map in a kind of where-my-friends-are mashup. To the right, here's what it looks like when Wikipedia results are layered on top of the map.
Layering additional information on top of maps is the key to the future for Google, Apple or any vendor that wants to make it in mobile. Imagine the value of being able to key all of this info with voice search functionality. Google has dabbled here, but has a ways to go to improve it.
In the meantime, here are the release notes for Maps for Mobile 3.2. Have any of you tried layers on your Symbian S60 or Windows Mobile gadgets? How do you like it so far?