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New Features for Google Maps


Google Maps has announced lots of new features this week for everything from collaboration to portability.

My Location for mobile Maps—even for nonGPS phones
Google Maps has long played nicely with GPS phones, using the built-in locator to center the map. Now even nonGPS phones can use this feature. Search Engine Land reports that the feature will use cell phone tower triangulation to automatically locate the user on maps. Now that Google’s into it, maybe they’ll stop pretending like cell phone triangulation takes half an hour on TV shows.

Google Maps explains how the service works and how your privacy is preserved in the service in a short video:

Collaborative Maps
the new collaborate link on Google MapsGoogle has introduced a feature to enable multiple people to create custom ‘My Maps’ (or, I suppose, ‘Our Maps’). Jess Long on the LatLong Blog explains:

Starting today [yesterday], Google Maps supports collaborative map-making, so multiple people can edit the same My Map. Just click the “Collaborate” link and enter the email addresses of the people you want to invite. They’ll receive an email invitation with a link to the map. Once they open the map, they should be able to edit it, as long as they are signed into a Google Account that’s associated with that email address. You can also open your map to the world so anyone can edit it by selecting the “Allow anyone to edit this map” checkbox.

You also have the option to enable your collaborators to invite other collaborators, as shown on the AJAXy popup that appears when you click “Collaborate.” (via)

popup collaboration menu on Google Maps

KML Import
What the heck is KML, you ask? Apparently it’s Keyhole Markup Language, and it’s used pretty extensively with Google Earth. Now, as reported by Google Blogoscoped, you’ll be able to import KML data to Google Maps, although not all of Google Earth’s features will overlap with Google Maps’s capabilities.

StreetView in Balloons
Finally, Google will soon integrate StreetView into local business listing balloons where possible. hey currently show images from Google Images, but Search Engine Land reports that they will enhance this feature soon.

Now go get mappin!