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Google Maps Already Available for Blogs!

It seems a few bloggers are getting excited about the upcoming launch of Google Maps for web sites. The new feature–launching next week–will allow you to embed a Google Map into any web site or blog. It will work in a similar way as embedding a YouTube video.

“To embed a Google Map, users will simply pull up the map they want to embed–it can be a location, a business, series of driving directions, or a My Map they have created–and then click ‘Link to this page’ and copy and paste the HTML into their Web site or blog,” the spokeswoman said.

hawaii-mapIf you can’t wait until next week, and use WordPress, there’s a great plugin that does all of this and more for you. The Geo Mashup plugin is easy to install and allows you to link your blog posts to a Google Map and let your readers actually “see” the corresponding location.

Copyright Suit for Using Your Face on Google Maps?

The LA Times informs us that Google has added new cities to its “Street View” photos.

The Internet company late Monday began incorporating street-level photos from Los Angeles, San Diego and some Orange County cities into its Google Maps program. The additions expanded an online service that thrilled some digital-map buffs and freaked out privacy advocates when it launched in May in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York and three other cities.

Many privacy advocates have called for Google to blur out the faces of anyone caught in one of their photos. But what if someone tried to teach Google a lesson?

Local Search Trumps Paper

I bet you thought scissors beat paper—local search beats paper, according to a recent TMP Directional Marketing study conducted by comScore. If you’re having trouble convincing potential clients that the Yellow Pages shouldn’t be their one and only marketing method, here’s the study for you.

The study found that 33% of consumers consider the Yellow Pages as their primary source of local information—and a whopping 90% of those using search say that the Yellow Pages are “still a valuable source for shopping information,” as reported by MediaPost. Despite that concession, 60% of consumers turn to the Internet first for local shopping and business information, with half of those consumers turning to a major search engine, more than a quarter heading straight for Internet Yellow Pages and the rest going right to local search sites like Citysearch.

Californians Rejoice! Google Maps Now Understands Traffic Delays

If you’ve ever asked for directions in California, don’t ever judge your journey by the number of miles. Most Californians know that you determine the length of a journey by the time it takes, not the distance. For example, if you plan a trip during rush hour, your 5 mile journey in the Bay area could take 45 minutes.

Fortunately, Google’s based in California, so the developers at Google Maps are very much aware that time is just as important as miles. Now when you use Google Maps for major metropolitan areas around the country – those most likely to suffer from congestion – you’ll get an estimate of how long the trip could take in heavy traffic.

The Google Loophole: They’ve Used it Before, Now They’re Using it for the GPhone

We’ve found the Google Loophole for their denials they’re building a Google branded mobile phone. What’s the Google Loophole? It’s when Google makes a precisely worded statement denying a rumor, but then turns around and does a variation on it. For example, “we have no plans for an IPO” – at the time they didn’t, but then look what happened.

Anyway, the Google Loophole for the much rumored GPhone is explained by the WSJ. You see, Google’s efforts to get the FCC to allow the connection of any phone to the new 700mhz spectrum, is likely based on its plans to launch a phone. Ah, but they’ve said they’re not interested in building a mobile phone, I hear you cry. Google Loophole!

FCC Agrees to Most of Google’s Demands for 700MHZ Bids

The Federal Communications Commission has made its decision on the ground-rules for winning the 700MHZ wireless spectrum. Remember, Google upped the ante by making a bid provided the FCC agreed to:

  • Open applications: consumers should be able to download and utilize any software applications, content, or services they desire;
  • Open devices: consumers should be able to utilize their handheld communications device with whatever wireless network they prefer;
  • Open services: third parties (resellers) should be able to acquire wireless services from a 700 MHz licensee on a wholesale basis, based on reasonably nondiscriminatory commercial terms; and
  • Open networks: third parties (like Internet service providers) should be able to interconnect at any technically feasible point in a 700 MHz licensee?s wireless network

More on Google’s Wireless Spectrum Bid Bluff

So, is Google really interested in winning the bid for the FCC’s upcoming 700mhz wireless spectrum auction, or is it just a big bluff?

You can never really tell with Google. Maybe they’re interested in owning the frequency so they can continue their quest to dominate every aspect of our connected-lives. Then again, maybe they’re just using this as leverage. Here’s a ZDNet statement that caught my eye

But the company has been tight-lipped about specific plans for building out mobile access. And now it seems to be hedging its bets between a strategy of partnership and one that puts Google in full control. So while it rails against the phone companies at hearings on Capitol Hill or within city halls, the company is also trying to strike deals with these same operators behind closed doors.