Out of all the services offered by Google, one of the most interesting ones is definitely its maps application. All the efforts made to map the entire Earth surface to make it available online on the web are finally paying off after so many years of hard work carried out by the Californian company, and it carries on incorporating more and more features year after year, bringing this geolocation service to Android and iOS smartphones as well.
Explore any place on Earth from your PC's desktop
You only need a browser, regardless of whether it's Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari or Opera: Google Maps offers us the possibility to explore any area of the world with our mouse, offering us frequent updates of the satellite images and adding a bunch of decent functions that provide the maps app par excellence with even more usefulness.
The success of this service is mainly based on allowing other developers to use their API freely, integrating the platform into any other webs and applications that require a mapped location, regardless of its simplicity.
The best online maps application we can find on the web.
This webapp offers us a wide range of functions and features, among which we can point out the following:
- Search for places or addresses by inputting its name manually, by means of coordinates or simply exploring with our mouse from the home screen.
- Two view modes: satellite images or maps.
- Get hold of the coordinates of a specific location with a single mouse click.
- Possibility to zoom in and out to get closer or move away from the map.
- Compass to orientate the map to the user's liking, and 2D and 3D views.
- Street View function: explore any location photographed by Google's cameras at street level and in 360º, with the possibility to view pictures from different years to see how the place has changed in time.
- Show your location.
- Geotagged image service so that users can share their pictures freely thanks to its integration with Panoramio.
- Calculate routes between different locations using different means of transport (car, public transport, bicycle, walking...).
- Receive real-time traffic alerts.
- Find information about businesses with photos and reviews.
- Access special views of buildings and monuments, as well as the interior of certain museums, stores, restaurants, etc.
- Available in more than 70 languages.
- Travel to Mars and the Moon.
Halfway between usefulness and entertainment
If you're a curious person, Google's maps app offers you more than just the possibility to satisfy a need at a certain moment in time regarding where a place is or how to get there. It allows you to travel and visit whatever place you want around the world: whether cities of the likes of Madrid, Paris, London, Tokyo or New York, to remote places such as the Gobi Desert, the Scottish Highlands or the Antarctic, without mentioning that both Mars and the Moon have also been mapped.
Where was Jesus crucified? Where can I find a Charizard? Where's Kuala Lumpur? Here's the answer, if there is one.
Competition? What competition?
Don't even doubt about it: Google Maps is the best online maps service for the average user that you can get hold of. We're in 2017 and Microsoft's Bing offers us a functional service (used by Facebook, for instance) whilst Apple Maps became famous because how bad it was when it was initially released. All in all, neither of them are up to the features of this platform, and it doesn't look like there going to be anywhere nearer in the near future.