Maps Labs is a recent innovation from Google in order to facilitate the features of Google Maps. The objective is to make it more interactive. Depending on the response and success of Maps Labs, it might become a regular feature in Google Maps. Currently there are nine features that are part of it they are Aerial Imagery, Back to Beta, Drag ‘n’ Zoom, LatLng Marker, LatLng Tooltip, Rotatable Maps, Smart Zoom, What’s Around Here and Where in the World Game.
Without any doubt, it is well established that the intention is to make Google in Maps more interactive. In true spirit of its name Maps Labs allows everyone to suggest features that can be added to make Google Maps more interactive. Though it has only been couple of days since Maps labs was introduced, a cautionary remark in the Google-Latlong blog that if the features don’t live up to the promises then one can escape to the standard version of Google in Map, makes us raise questions on the future plans of the project.
‘Aerial Imagery’ as the name says offers an aerial image in a different perspective, in the ‘Drag ‘n’ Zoom’ option viewers simply need to direct the cursor on the area that needs to be highlighted and it will get zoomed. ‘LatLng Marker’ is an additional feature in Context Menu. LatLang is a shortened way of referring to latitude and longitude; that allows visitors to drop a mini marker indicating the latitude and longitude of the position that the cursor was pointing at when the context menu was evoked. The ‘LatLang Tooltip’ feature displays a tooltip next to the mouse cursor showing the latitude and longitude directly underneath it. You wouldn’t miss the habit of turning the map up and down, when we use to view it physically; the ‘Rotatable Maps’ feature allows visitors to turn the it upside down. What’s Around Here enables a second search option; it earmarks the interesting areas in the place that we are searching. It is a secondary search because it gives us additional options of areas and business that might be of interest to us.
Out of all the features some are notable and some are just passable, for example if we would consider the Smart Zoom feature then we will find that it is just a smart way of saying in advance that the image cannot be zoomed further.
It would be interesting to check out the new features that would part of Maps Labs in the immediate future and figure out how much additional interface would they add to Google Maps.