Google Maps graduated the Short URL feature into an official feature of Google Maps. The feature was in tet mode for over a year ago, and "automatically generated a Short URL" (aka URL Shortner) to link to any page on Google Maps.
"Starting today, when obtaining a link to a Google Map using the 'Link' button on the upper right-hand corner of the page, you now have the option of obtaining a convenient, shortened link by clicking on the 'Short URL' check box. Shortened URLs can make it easier to coordinate events and share maps with your friends," announced Joshua Harrison, Software Engineer, Google Maps.
"All shortened URLs generated by Google Maps take advantage of Google's recently announced g.co shortening service." "We only use g.co to send you to Google web pages, and only Google Maps can generate a g.co/maps URL.
This means that you can visit a a g.co/maps shortcut with confidence, and always know you will end up on a Google Maps page," noted Harrison.