On the 28th of October 09 Google launched the all new Google maps. Yes I know, Google maps were already launched online. But the new release has got quite a number of new features to be discovered!
In the first Google Maps release you were able to type in the address you were looking for and get directions to that location or from that location to another. There were also basic business listings where you can create a Google account and add your business to Google Maps. And then visitors can type in an address and view all the businesses around that location.
What is new in the latest Google Maps release?
In the new Google Maps release you can list advanced business listing and locations. You can now add photos and videos to your business listing and choose if you want your maps public or private. You can also create your own maps or customize them by marking where your companies parking area is. Another great feature is that you can search for an address and then email and share that map with someone else.
Google has also launched Google Maps street view where you can view a 360° view of the actual location of how it really looks like. Google started to do video recordings of all the streets in South Africa using nine directional cameras to get 360° views of the streets. You may have seen Toyota Prius’s driving around in South Africa with big cameras on the roof.
Google Maps street view is already active in the USA but will be launched in South Africa very soon. They estimate that it will be available before the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup starts.
How can I use Google Maps with my business or website?
Google has a great feature where you can search for your business address on Google Maps and then place a link on your websites contact page pointing directly to that location on the Google Map. From there visitors can get directions to your company or from there to another location by the click of a button.
Google Maps is also used on property websites like Cyberprop and Remax, tourism websites like Country Roads and lifestyle websites like Dining Out and Sleeping Out.
It’s used by integrating and API code (Application Programming Interface) to your website so that when a new location is entered like a restaurant, accommodation lodge or a business Google Maps will automatically add a map to the location of that entry. How great is that and it makes everything so much easier for visitors and for yourself.
Google also have the Local business center application where you can manage your business listing on Google Maps. You can add your business name, physical address, postal address, website address and contact numbers. And it’s all for free!
Visit http://maps.google.co.za to get your business listed on Google Maps.