Google Maps has launched street-level maps for several major US cities today. Currently available only for New York, Denver, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Miami, the new features enable you to get a street-level view of the city. According to CNET, on this street level view you can even zoom in to see street signs and bus stops.
CNET notes that in addition to these developments, Google Maps has another update in some cities:
Google also launched Mapplets, a tool that enables developers to create mini applications to be displayed on Google Maps. Developers can combine information such as real estate listings and crime data with distance measurement and other tools to create their own embeddable mashups directly on the Google Maps site.
CNET and Read/WriteWeb both draw comparisons to EveryScape, a mapping startup. As Josh Catone on RWW puts it:
It seems the two companies have opposite aims. Google wants to create better, more useful maps by providing photographic, street-level views of entire cities, while EveryScape hopes to entice business owners with the ability to offer virtual tours of their business within interactive virtual tours of neighborhoods.
Incidentally, Microsoft also began offering 3D versions of major cities on Live.com Maps with aerial photographs today, with nine cities covered around the world (meaning: seven in the US, one in Canada, one in England).