Google Adds Mapplets: Widgets for Google Maps

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Google MapsAfter initially presenting a preview at this year’s Where 2.0 conference, Google is unveiling what they’re calling “mapplets” today. Mapplets are essentially widgets for Google Maps which can integrate and manipulate Google with HTML, Javascript and Flash content. Currently in beta and available in a special tab within Google Maps, a demo can be seen here.

Google MapsA hot trend in technology these days is having a platform which widgets can integrate into — whether that’s Facebook or Google’s own Gadgets. In the past, a lot of innovative mashups have emerged which combine data from Google Maps in someway, and this just takes it a step further by having it integrated right into Google Maps with a Google Earth-style checkbox to toggle views.

Google offers a JavaScript API to enable mapplets access to the data. From some of my current favorite mapplets is the Distance Measure Tool which lets you trace a path on the map and measure it, and the Google Real Estate Search tool which can help you find houses really easily. It’s worth noting that while such applications have been available in the past, this is the first time they’re integrated right within Google Maps.

Google’s recent ‘featurizing’ of things within Google Maps somewhat has me excited for the future. They’ve been constantly adding and updating their tools, and each time it seems to get better and better. What’s next?


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