Of course everybody knows about the glory of Google Maps by now. And even more importantly, you all know about the bitchass satellite view that gives us all freaky cool, Orwellian super powers. I meant to write about all of this. Really, I did. I wanted to mention what a superb job they had done in building a clean interface that actually made me excited to use the Web for directions again. I wanted to point out how easy it was to maneuver around the map and get a better feel for the area to avoid the usual pitfalls of Mapquest, et al. I wanted to praise their implementation of satellite imagery that, long after the gee-whiz effect wears off, will actually be useful in online map usage.
Really, I wanted to say all of that. But I didn’t…
I also wanted to point out the weird “censorship” they’ve done on places like The Capitol Building. Or the really beautiful images you can find of evaporating pools or the Frisco Bay. And of course the funny parodies floating all around. Not to mention the new concept of Memory Maps.
But I didn’t, and you’ve all seen them by now…
So instead I’ll just point out Google Sightseeing – a new blog dedicated to the cool images Google Maps is providing.
Also, Dave Shea talks about how this technology could be used by watchdog groups, and Jeffrey Veen points out how this is a somewhat inverse Orwellian model.
In conclusion (I hate it when people say that) I really want to point out to all of you geek-wannabes that this is not merely people jumping on the Google bandwagon. Yes, this technology has been around for years. Yes, it has been available to the public for years. But it was never this good. Kottke was right – it is about the user experience.