Google Maps took another step forward as the defacto online map today by releasing the ability to embed Google Maps into web pages. Google Maps users can add a map to their website or blog just by copying & pasting a snippet of HTML. This new functionality enables Google Maps users to share and disseminate geographic information in the same way that YouTube users share videos. Bloggers and webmasters no longer need an API key or knowledge of Java Script to put a Google Map on their website or blog.
To embed a Google Map, users simply pull up the map they want to embed - it can be a location, a business, driving directions, or a My Map they have created - and then click "Link to this page" and copy & paste the HTML into their website or blog. The embedded map is fully interactive, like the Google Maps API, but creating one does not require any programming skills. Users can drag and click or zoom in on a location, and view it in map, satellite, and hybrid modes.
The ability to embed maps is available for Google Maps users in the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, Japan, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Russia. It is available in the following languages: English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, Russian, Japanese, Catalan, Basque, Galician, Welsh, Faroese and Chinese (TW).
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and this is how you can drive around Australia, visiting each mainland capital city:
Great stuff if you want to show people the place you're writing about in a blog post, or if you're organising an event and want to show people where it is. It's also a really easy way for companies with small websites to show their customers where they are. I expect we'll all be seeing a lot more maps on the web.
Users will find this feature helpful in many ways. For example,
- business owners can now add a map of their business location to its website, with links to directions and more information on Google Maps.
- bloggers can now write about a restaurant or a place they have visited and embed a map of the location in the blog post itself.
- individuals can update their personal websites by publishing maps of geotagged vacation photos or creating sophisticated maps mashups using the simple tools available in the My Maps tab.