Friday, April 04, 2008

"Explore This Area" with Google Maps

Google Maps Australia are slowly rolling out a feature that let's you "Explore This Area", essentially a 'universal search' implementation for Google Maps.

When you search from the Australian implementation of Google Maps (http://maps.google.com.au/) the message in the screen shot below appears in the search results panel to the left of the map and displays pictures, videos, and community maps based on the current map location.

Clicking 'explore this area' overlays tiny geocoded image thumbnails onto the map as well as displaying arrays of photos, videos, and community maps that are found within the currently visible map boundary.



While this additional information is currently available only using the Australian map search, you can do a search anywhere in the world and see the same extended results.

A nice touch is that as you pan and zoom your map everything updates dynamically, adding, removing, and reordering the videos, pictures, and maps available based on the new map location. Very slick.

There's also a new 'drop down' array to the right of the search box which displays your 'saved locations' for easy access.

2 comments:

  1. (Updated 12:05)
    Added the 'Australia version only' text when I realised a search from maps.google.com doesn't return the extra data.

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  2. Great article! I love both Google Maps and Google Earth!

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