Google Releases My Maps, Ushers In Social Mapping
Google released a new feature on Google Maps called My Maps, which allows users to make custom landmarks such as road trip stops, vacation spots, favorite restaurants and more. Additionally, My Maps allows you to share these maps with friends. The platform aspect of this allows developers to import data into My Maps, which could help you geographically see where your friends are, see gas prices on the map, and all sorts of other nifty things. To see this in action, I found a Googleplex My Map, which will show you around the Google Headquarters. This is a new type of social networking which has many possibilities. I have come up with just a few myself, but I’d love to hear of anything more you’ve thought of as a potential application of this new feature.
Some ideas for using Google My Maps:
- Make a scavenger hunt for friends.
- Keep track of past vacations and all your favorite hotels, restaurants, and beaches. Then share those vacations with friends and family.
- Make a special day for your significant other who would have to follow a map of locations that each provide a clue.
- Overlay gas prices of all gas stations in your town to find the best deal.
As always, Google will move towards monetizing this system. I believe they will use their massive AdWords customer base to allow businesses to bid on locations near your personal landmarks (similar to GMail smart ads which appear for content you wrote or received), thereby raising the relevancy of the ads. This is just one more step on Google’s road to making advertising less of a headache and more of a help to what you actually are seeking to accomplish.