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.