Google Maps Gets Into Books, Pictures, And Videos

    December 14, 2007

The name of Google Maps is pretty self-defining.  Google is the owner, and maps are those little help-you-find-your-way drawings.  But now a new update is tossing books, pictures, and videos into the equation.

A quirky LatLong Blog entry (“Posted by The Google Maps Search Box”) states, “I can now search for geotagged photos from Panoramio, such as Big Ben in London and Pyramids in Egypt, as well as videos from YouTube (our own Google Geyser and Base jumping in Rio).  I can even look up books from Google Book Search! (Try Christmas books in Jerusalem).  Those results will appear as blue markers on the map.”

The interface isn’t exactly stunning – what happened to the clean and simple Google way? – but it does work.  However – and I’m not sure that this is such a bad thing – the feature update isn’t guaranteed to turn up something for every object you can imagine.

On a related note, Greg Sterling adds, “This is all content that can be found in Google Earth, which shares the same platform as Maps.  Increasingly the two products are less distinct and more of Earth’s content and functionality are making their way into Maps (terrain is another good example).  Another way to look at this is as the introduction of multiple forms of content (a la Universal Search) into Maps.”

Oh, and by the way – The Google Maps Search Box apparently doesn’t enjoy being pestered with questions about local pizza joints.