Google Maps Tweaks Interface

There were two things that Google Maps brought to the world that captured users’ collective imaginations when it first launched:

  • Better looking maps (they were just nicer to look at)
  • Pan, drag and zoom capabilities

Since that time, Google has continued to refine Maps and introduce a range of features, including KML and GeoRss integration, StreetView, etc. Many of those upgrades have been documented here.

Google’s competitors haven’t stood still of course, with Microsoft in particular investing millions in building a next-generation mapping and local search platform.

We saw a great live demo from Virtual Earth architect Gur Kimchi at the SMX Local-Mobile show. The detail and zoom speed — from Birds Eye to the ground level — were very impressive on an ordinary connection.

Google today announced a couple of minor changes that make Maps a bit easier to use and read. I’ve blogged those changes at SEL.

Full screen map view


Microsoft just announced a partnership with ESRI:

ESRI (Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc.) and Microsoft announced a partnership, enabling the integration of the Virtual Earth platform into ESRI’s ArcGIS Desktop and Server software. The seamless integration of Virtual Earth into ArcGIS allows ESRI ArcGIS customers access to high-quality base map layers with rich aerial and hybrid views.


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