The Best web mapping service developed by Google is Google Maps. It offers satellite imagery, street maps, 360° panoramic views of streets (Street View), real-time traffic conditions (Google Traffic), and route planning for traveling by foot, car, bicycle or public transportation. Google Maps offers an API that allows maps to be embedded on third-party websites and offers a locator for urban businesses and other organizations in numerous countries around the world. Google Map Maker allowed users to collaboratively expand and update the service’s mapping worldwide. However, crowdsourced contributions to Google Maps were not discontinued as the company announced those features will be transferred to the Google Local Guides program.
Google Maps satellite view is a “top-down” or “birds-eye” view, most of the high-resolution imagery of cities is aerial photography taken from aircraft flying at 800 to 1,500 feet (240 to 460 m), while most other imagery is from satellites. Much of the available satellite imagery is no more than three years old and is updated on a regular basis.
Google Maps used a variant of the Mercator projection, and therefore cannot accurately show areas around the poles. However, in August 2018, the desktop version of Google Maps was updated to show a 3D globe. Google Maps for Android and iOS devices was released in September 2008 and features GPS turn-by-turn navigation along with dedicated parking assistance features. In August 2013, it was determined to be the world’s most popular app for smartphones, with over 54% of global smartphone owners using it at least once.
Google Maps provides a route planner, allowing users to find available directions through driving, public transportation, walking, or biking. Google has partnered globally with over 800 public transportation providers to adopt General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS), making the data available to 3rd parties. Google Traffic offers traffic data in real-time, using a colored map overlay to display the speed of vehicles on particular roads. Crowdsourcing is used to obtain the GPS-determined locations of a large number of cell phone users, from which live traffic maps are produced.
Extensibility and Customization
Google Maps API
Over 1,000,000 websites use the Google Maps API, making it the most heavily used web application development API. The Google Maps API is free for commercial use, provided that the site on which it is being used is publicly accessible and does not charge for access, and is not generating more than 25,000 maps accesses a day. Sites that do not meet these requirements can purchase the Google Maps API for Business. The success of the Google Maps API has spawned a number of competing alternatives, including the HERE Maps API, Bing Maps Platform, Leaflet, and OpenLayers via hosting.
Google Maps for iOS and Android devices
Google Maps is available as a mobile app for the Android and iOS mobile operating systems. The Android app was first released in September 2008, though the GPS-localization feature had been in testing on cell phones since 2007. Google Maps was Apple’s solution for its mapping service on iOS until the release of iOS 6 in September 2012, at which point it was replaced by Apple Maps, with Google releasing its own Google Maps standalone app on the iOS platform the following December.
Google Maps and Street View parameters
In Google Maps, the Google map viewer updates its zoom bar to allow the user to zoom all the way when centred over areas that support higher zoom levels. In the classic version, customized (split) Map and Street View views can be saved as parametrized URL links and shared by users. In the 2013 redesigned version, a much smaller overview window becomes interactive upon hovering it and enables a user to change the location and rotate the Street View and save a parametrized view, as well.
Author :Ganesh N – Web Developer
Source : www.wikipedia.org