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Google Maps Labs Unlocks Additional Experimental Features

Groovy Google Tips, How-To, and NewsEarlier today I was looking up my favorite hamburger joint on Google Maps and thinking “I wish Google Maps had an aerial view.”  Then I remembered, Google Maps Labs has an aerial view feature!   Not only that, we need to talk about several other groovy features!

 

When you visit maps.google.com, you might have already noticed the New lab icon that is up in the top-right of the browser.  For those that haven’t, here it is!

google maps labs icon

 

Rather than taking you to a different page or tab like Gmail lab does, the Google Maps Labs opens in its own in-page window.  It’s a pop-up, but it isn’t a pop-up.  Anyhow, here you can enable many of the groovy features that Labs has to offer.  We’ll look at the list of these below.

google maps labs features

 

Some of the new Google Maps features that are really groovy.

  • Google Maps Aerial View
  • Distance measurement tool
  • Drag & Zoom
  • Where in the world game? (fun)
  • LatLng Tooltip
  • LatLng Marker
  • What’s Around Here?

whats around here google maps rocks

 

Some of them are not.

  • Back to beta (seriously?)
  • Rotatable maps
  • Smart Zoom (could be useful, just isn’t there yet)

google maps back to beta... why google... why

 

When you’re finished enabling or disabling Labs, Google will remind you with a pop-up if you forget to save changes.

save changes in google maps if you forget

 

If something with Labs goes wrong, you can always disable all of the features by following the no labs link: http://maps.google.com/maps?ftr=0.  Have fun!

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