I saw an internal demo of this a couple weeks ago, and I've been biting my tongue to avoid talking about it ever since, but now it's publicly available: the beta version of Google Maps. (It's provided as part of Google Labs, the "technology playground" where new tech sometimes gets posted before it's fully integrated into the main Google page.)

Sadly, it doesn't work in Safari yet (though they're working on that), nor in several other browsers. But it does work in Firefox and Mozilla and Netscape on all platforms, and in IE/Windows. And I adore it. The maps are so clear and so pretty! And they load so fast! And you can drag them around in the window to view different parts of them!

Probably not as complete or as feature-rich as some of the established map sites, but this is just a beta. And it's already my second-favorite Google feature, after the main search engine itself.

Oh, and if you want to give someone a link to the map of a particular location, you can click a link on the page and it'll provide you with a simple human-readable URL.

If you have comments, whether praise or complaints, I'm sure the team would love to hear from you; just click the Send Feedback link.

Note: This is probably obvious, but it can't hurt to explicitly mention that I'm not speaking for the company in any way.

4 Responses to “Maps!”

  1. Wayman


    But it’s only the USA…. Are there plans to include the rest of the world, or at least Europe, eventually? Will one be able to scroll across the Atlantic Ocean and see St. Peter and St. Paul rocks or Tristan da Cunha?

  2. Jay Hartman

    Cooler than cool. I just e-mailed about 50 friends about it. Some of them already knew about it…spreading incredibly quickly….

  3. Michael

    Wow. Solves several of the things I hate about using the other map services.

  4. Lola

    So way cool! So pretty!


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