Google today released a feature I’ve been wanting for a long time — the ability to make your own maps. You can add placemarkers and draw lines and shapes on the map. You can also add pictures to a map, but that process is cumbersome.
Your favorite businesses can be added to your map by searching for them and then clicking a “Save to My Maps” link.
Maps can be private or shared with the world. I created a map of my neighborhood.
My Maps is a quick-and-easy way to create personalized maps.
Some features I’d like to see:
- Auto-flow information on to the map. I have geotagged pictures on flickr, restaurant reviews on Yelp and contacts in Plaxo. That information should flow automatically on to my maps.
- Subscribe to layers from people or organizations. If you like my restaurant reviews or pictures, you could add my layer to your maps. (Instead of having to go to a specific URL I designate.)
- Search across public, user-generated map data. In my neighborhood you should be able to search for “free parking” and pull up the free parking lot I marked. The Google blog post makes reference to search, but I wasn’t able to get it to work.
- Collaboration tools. Let groups work together to build a map. This would be useful for groups that organize hikes, bike trips, etc.
- Embedability. Give me an URL to embed my map on my Web page.
- Road tracing. You can draw lines on the map, but there’s no way to trace roads. If you’re trying to outline a jogging trail along a river road, you should be able to click a start point and end point and have the software connect the dots, like it does when you generate driving directions.
In this case Google is late adaptor of innovations based on … their own Google Maps service 🙂 E.g. http://miejsce.info/en/ has been operating since April 2006 but there’s plenty of these sites. Of course Google My Maps interface is brilliant. I love the way you can draw areas and routes there!
If I were an investor in Platial, I’d be seriously worried about My Maps.
Agreed on route tracing; that would be awesome.
My wish list also includes:
– dashed line style
– custom icon from image URL
– route markers (interstate, US, state) where you can fill in the number. These would (dream feature) also be displayed based on the map scale (zoom in, show more; zoom out, possibly show none)
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I Will have to come back again when my class load lets up – however I am taking your RSS feed so I can read your site offline. Thanks.
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