Google Maps is a free web mapping service application and technology provided by Google. The popularity of this product can be credited to the services it provides for business or personal use, such as creating custom maps based on the user’s location (i.e. local businesses) and its ability to show traffic conditions. Google also offers a free mobile Maps app for iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android phones.
In addition to the web-based version of Google Maps, there are several applications available including Google Earth – a virtual globe program that allows users to see satellite imagery of various places in the world, iPhoto – an application which lets the user view their maps either as a slideshow or as individual maps, and Picasa – an image viewer that allows users to view their personal maps as images in the application.
Some may not be aware of all the benefits Google Maps has to offer. Here is a list of some of our favorites:
- Find Address For Free: This site calculates street addresses, city location, phone numbers, zip codes, and even satellite imagery.
- Get Directions Instantly: The advantage of Google Maps is that users are able to make a voice-guided navigation system by adding markers for parking, restaurants, hospitals, or any other point of interest to the map. Users can then easily get directions from one location to another by clicking “Get Directions”.
- Find Parking: Users can find the cheapest available parking garage in a specific area based on their destination and time of day, including real-time availability and pricing. This saves users from driving around looking for a spot when they’re in a hurry.
- See Where Your Friends Are: With the Google Latitude application, users are able to see their friends on a map in real-time.
- Explore Historical Data: Google offers great historical imagery that can be used for research purposes or simply for entertainment.
- View Traffic Conditions: This feature of Google Maps is very helpful when planning your daily commute because it shows live traffic conditions on major highways and roadways.
- Call a Business Directly from Google Maps: This application allows users to get more information about businesses, view ratings, and hours of operation, while also being able to call the business directly with just one click of their mouse or touch on their mobile device screen.
- Search for Businesses Near You: This tool is very beneficial because it allows users to see how much a business would cost to rent or buy, what the tax rate is, view pictures, and even get driving directions.
- Explore Places of Interests: Google has compiled an extensive list of places that are photographed in 360-degree street-level images. Users can click on the map to see different areas or respond with a street view of their own business, home or favorite location.
- View Street Views: This option allows users to explore different cities around the world by simply clicking an image that’s placed on the Google Map.
Google Maps is one of our favorite technologies because of its ability to provide so many different services in one place. It’s convenient, easy-to-use, and much more cost-effective than buying an expensive GPS device!