Like Matt says, Google maps puts the smack down on virtually every other mapping app out there. Mapquest? Served. Yahoo Maps? Served. I hope they plan on delivering this as a service to partners, because I would jump on that opportunity in a second, assuming the economics work.
Google just keeps coming with the hits, and there seems to be no end in sight. Too bad Blogger sucks, I sometimes can’t believe that it’s from the same company. It’s withered on the vine seemingly forever, while others have innovated and innovated and innovated. In fact, some of the features they added in the last year don’t even work properly. I’m guessing that it needs a new product manager, someone with a clue. (I have been using Blogger to update this site since 1999.)
If you look at the product line up and technology set, it’s almost starting to look like Google is going to use their grid cluster technology to build an online representation of both the information mapping and physical depiction of the real world.
Scenario: a globe (Keyhole application). You click on an area and zoom in. You pick a city (Atlanta, say), and get a map/superimposed image (Maps.google.com/Keyhole technologies). You center the map on Peachtree at 5th. You type “pizza” (Google local search). You get pins on the map/image. You click Baraonda. The map zoomz in to the front of the store (A9 yp style, but according to what I’ve read, Google has had this technology for a year). You then use the tool to look around and see what’s next door, across the street. Everything you see, you can click, and find out what’s there (google search). You can even stroll up and down the street in a “virtual” sense. You decide you want Thai food instead. You enter “Thai food” and Google says “turn around, there’s one behind you.”