There’s nothing new here conceptually except that Google is doing it: allowing people to create a profile that houses their “MyMaps” content and any reviews that they’ve posted on Google Maps. It’s reflective of the larger “socialization” of Google. One might imagine this ultimately being tied into Orkut in some way.
From the Google LatLong Blog:
Who knows your neighborhood better than you? That’s why we’ve been releasing features that let you add your own content to Google Maps. For example, you can use our map-creation tools to make maps of recommended places to visit or leave ratings and reviews for your favorite restaurants. Your maps and reviews will be seen by the millions of people who use Google Maps every day.
Starting today, you can find out more information about the people behind these contributions through their user profile pages. For example, if you stumble upon a cool map of a bike route, you can hover over the creator’s nickname and see a snippet of information about them.
Barry Schwartz also writes about this at Search Engine Land. Here’s my profile page, which was pre-populated with the maps I’d previously created (click to enlarge):