Amazing Google maps
Google map, types of google map, How to use Google map on your website, how to use google map app on your phone ,google maps and directions, how google map make your life easy
Google Maps is desktop web mapping service, currently owed by Google and originally developed by someone else. As you might have noticed by now, the big technologies of these days began somewhere else before landing in the hands of their current owners. Google Maps began as a C++ desktop program developed by Lars and Jens Eilstrup at Where 2 Technologies. This company was acquired by Google in October 2004 and converted into a web application.
Google Maps offers an application programming interface (API) that third party applications to embed maps into their web applications (more of this is discussed later on.)
As per the Google report in 2012, over 7100 employees were working directly on maps by then.
Types of Google Maps
Google Maps doesn’t just come as a single kind like the map you saw in the Geography class. They are of varied purposes. These maps get sophisticated as the purpose varies, as well as being visually appealing. The following are the types of Google Maps:
A Google Roadmap.
Roadmap is the simplest most basic and most common type of Google maps. They show roads, building labels, street names as well as common place names, but that’s all. These are used for familiarizing oneself with an areas as well as marking places out. Google Roadmaps are very simple to navigate and will give you the options to zoom, to rotate the map for easier viewing. Navigation is mostly done using this kind of maps as it is very unobstructive.
A Google Maps Terrain
Terrains are the kinds of maps mostly used in Geography classes as they show land features such as mountains, hills, rivers, lakes, land terrains together with altitude and just almost anything you would find in a Geography class. Such maps are used for surveying an area for construction or just mere study of the features found in a certain area. As mentioned several times before, these kinds of maps are very suitable for geographical purposes.
A Google Satellite Map
As the name suggests, Satellite Maps are maps generated from satellite images of an area to show a realistic aerial view as a map as well as a photograph-like image that has most features easily recognizable to the human eye. These high quality maps may be used for survey just like Terrain maps, but here, recognition of features largely depends on the human comprehension of features. It is not very easy to use this kind of map on an unfamiliar area, but is very useful when it comes to physical surveys.
A Google Hybrid Map
It is very easy to tell that all the previous types of maps could be combined to come up with one that has all the features. Hybrid maps are a little obstructive when it comes to navigation and anyone would be advised against using them for the purpose of navigation. Mostly, these maps should be used to survey an area in case of planned construction at the place. This could be a road, a building, a man made feature such a river or just anything constructible. These maps have real features as well as labels.
All these maps can be used for many varied purposes. However, it is advisable to use the correct map for the correct purpose.
How to Use Google Maps on Your Website
NB: This section may contain technical details
As mentioned earlier, Google Maps provides an application programming interface (API) that enables one to embed it into an outside website. The official documentation of this API is found at developers.google.com/maps/documentation, but this article will highlight some of the major things you need to know.
In order to use Google Maps API, you need to get an API key from Google Maps. Then you can use the following code to link the Google Maps script to you web application:
Then you can use the following code to actually add the map into your application:
This is a very basic example of what you can do with Google Maps API. For more sophisticated outcomes, you need to check out the Google Maps official API page as soon as possible. The code above should show something like the following:
An example Google Map.
Google Maps on Mobile
Google has gone a step further to producing the platform dependent applications for the common user usage. Google Maps app is available on most mobile platforms including Google’s own Android, Apple iOS, Blackberry, Windows Mobile among others.
The Google Maps mobile application is easily used for such tasks as navigation, finding places, sharing locations, lost device tracking, surveying, searching locations among a vast array of what other things one can do using Google Maps. It comes in very handy to have the world in your phone free for your navigation, surveying and giving yourself a sense of exploration.
It is very much fun to have such an interactive application that you can use to easily navigate places you have never been to before.
If this impresses you enough, grab your phone, go to the application store, then search for Google Maps and install it ASAP to make life easier. You won’t regret installing this very useful application that will help you in most stuff you do.
Other than just the Google Maps Application that the normal user can download from their application store, Google also provides developers with an application programming interface (API) so as to be able to incorporate maps into their applications. Again, this requires an application key, but this is for the developers who want to create their own applications, so it shouldn’t worry you the normal user. Your only thing to worry about is downloading the application when the developer has finished. 😉
Google Maps Navigation and Directions
The Google Maps application provides a feature known as Navigation. This feature should be very easy to guess what it does from its name. The Navigation feature provides the user with directions to navigate an unfamiliar area easily.
The process of getting directions from Google Maps is very simple. You only need to start the application, then chose your starting point (for which the application provides the option to choose your current application – which is almost always arbitrary to you since you’d most likely be unable to choose on map), then choosing your destination.
Once you’ve chosen these two points, Google Maps would request to use the GPS (Global Positioning System) feature of your phone to be able to accurately determine your position on the map as well as the route you should follow in order to get to your destination as fast as possible.
Apart from this simple process, Google Maps makes the process of getting to your destination more fun by enabling you to choose the type of map you want to view (already discussed above) to make you choose at your comfort.
Apart from choosing the type of map, Google Maps asks you what kind of transport you are using. This enables the application to decide which the best route for you is. For example, if you choose a driving route while you are walking, it is likely to take you much longer than if you had chosen the walking route. This is simple logic. A walking route is usually varied and more common and has more variety, uses less space and just logically easier to use.
The Navigation also beings forth another feature that’s way too amazing: the predictive navigation time. It may seem so easy to be told “16 minutes until you arrive at your destination” by aeroplane because the aeroplane has a speed gauge and know the distance it is from the current point to the destination. But what about Google Maps? Does it have a speed gauge of some sort?
Whichever way the application is able to achieve this, it is way too sophisticated for the normal user to even bother. We just use it so that it is easy for us to live life using the features provided by the application.
Using Google Maps to Make Life Easier
With Google Maps application loaded into your phone, it would be really easy to navigate a Chinese town without having to have been to China. You no longer have to worry about getting lost. Google Maps will always take you home, as long as you know the estate where ‘home’ is, it will be very easy for you to get to your desired location.
When planning on something, let’s say you want to make build some new building somewhere you are not very familiar with, Google Maps can enable you to survey the survey the area very easily using the several types of Maps provided, especially the Hybrid kind that enables you to view the area with ease and with labels that can be very useful when giving out locations to your building / business.
Google Maps also has the ability to help you discover new places you haven’t known before. This feature used to be a standalone application of its own but recently incorporated into Google Maps. This feature allows you to give a general term such as ‘Café’ then it would list all cafes near your location, then you could use the navigation feature to arrive at the café you choose. Amazing, isn’tit?
Google Maps also records your recent application usage, your recent navigation to help you easily choose when you have to go to the same place over and over again until you are completely familiar with the place and have no more need for using the application to get to the place.
The application comes in handy at times when you have just changedhome or have arrived at a new destination for a tour or for business. With this application, you don’t have to go asking around where you are and where the place you want to go to is. It would all come easy once you’ve entered your destination.
Google has made its way into implementing other things as inspired by Google Maps application. These include:
- Google Earth
- Google Moon
- Google Mars
- Google Sky
- Google Ride Finder
- Google Traffic
- Google Transit
- Google Biking Directions
- Google My Maps
- Google Street View
- Google Underwater Street View
- Google Aerial View
- Google Latitude
- Google Flu Vaccine Finder
- Monopoly City Streets
- Indoor Google Maps
- Google Maps Business View
- My Maps
And many more
It is obvious that this thing with all the good features can easily be misused. The survey feature mostly can be used by malicious groups such as terrorists to plan major catastrophes. This could be a terrible abuse of the software which could lead to unforseen disasters. It is upon the Government to secure its citizens secure and keep terrorists from carrying out their missions on innocent citizens.
Some copyright related issues may also arise from using Google Maps but would not affect you the normal user any time now or soon.
Google Maps is a very useful application that must be considered for use by anyone in their correct minds. It helps you achieve some very had tasks easily – although Google does not have a map of bedroom so it would not be able to help you insert a charger in the dark. But from helping you get to your destination easily to discovery new locations, Google Maps is all for you.
The Google Maps application is frequently updated, adding to it new features and fixing bugs from its previous versions. You should bear with the applications when it asks you to update it very often. It is not there to misuse your data connection to send arbitrary data to the Google server to help them steal your identity. No! It there to make life easier for you.
As mentioned earlier, Google Maps could easily be misused. Not only terrorists but also by burglars and robbers. It always pays to be alert in order to avoid any such mishaps and to ease up the application to be used only for the intended purposes. Remember you can always have your share in securing the world.
Google Maps is entirely free to you as the end user. The Google Map application is free for download and for use. However, the Google Maps API is not that free for use. The developer may need to pay for plans. Google Maps for business is not free and you as the developer may need to renew you API key to keep using the Google Maps API. Again, the normal user will not be affected by this. Instead, the developer will pay his plans of using the Google Maps API and probably provide his service free.