South by Southwest 2012 kicks off today and, as planned, Google will be effectively taking over the residential avenue of Rainey Street in Austin, Texas, to erect their Google Village that will be opening up tomorrow. With these sorts of events, though, attendees can almost always count on the maxim that where Google goes, so goes a customized update to Google Maps. This year's SXSW is no exception.
Some of the Google tools that they're rolling out include the mobile map for SXSW so all the altered beasts going to the festival will be able to find their way around Austin. Google will also have their Hogwarts-style colony on Rainey Street, the aforementioned Google Village, which will host the Developer's House, Discovery House, Maps House, and Android House.
View Google Village at SXSW in a larger map
Google's also helping you stay full and inebriated this year at SXSW by providing Zagat-hosted happy hours that will be available throughout the week, which will also give attendees the opportunity to rub elbows with some Google dignitaries.
If you're not able to go to SXSW, Google will be hosting several Hangouts for those of you who would still wish to virtually attend. If you will be at SXSW in person, however, Google also has the ever-reliable Street View of Rainey Street so you can visually plan your street-level trek through the Google Village. Or, if you're the intrepid type, you can take a cue from the travelers featured below in the Google Street View sample of Rainey Street.
As always, you can keep up with all the Googleness on their full schedule, but while that might be fun for the tech-inclined, don't forget: there's loads of live music happening that you really should check out.