Hacks Increase Google Satellite Maps Usability

    May 16, 2005

A little over a month ago, Google introduced satellite technology, which was acquired from Keyhole, onto their Google Maps service.

Since its entry into Google’s beta stage, Google Maps featuring satellite images has been entertaining to play around with. Most people searched out favorite locations and famous US landmarks, all because you could see images of the location from space.

In fact, there is even a blog (Google Sightseeing) devoted to interesting finds using the Google Maps imaging technology.

However, a number of grassroot hacks designed for Google Maps have increased the usability level of their service. As reported by Wired.com, these powerful hacks, while simple, are not authorized by Google. Of course, that may be considered only a mild deterrent.

One of the more useful and famous hacks has to do with the combining real-estate listed on craiglist with Google Maps. This allows property hunters to use craiglist interfaced with the Google Map satellite technology, giving users an indication of where the property of interest is.

Another hack, called HousingMaps, give users similar capabilities. An additional hack allows users to interface Traffic.com with Google Maps. This also gives users a visual representation of traffic problems in the area, complete with satellite images.

Google has not commented on these developments, but they are notorious for defending their properties. Although, it does stand to reason that Google would appreciate the hacks as well. When you consider the increased usability the hacks bring to Google Maps, perhaps they are willing to turn a blind eye to these developments.

Thanks to the SearchEngineWatch Blog for pointing this out.

Chris Richardson is a search engine writer and editor for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest search news.