Google Maps Labs: A fun new Google tool

Google now has a home for launching beta tools and services for Google Maps.

Google introduced Maps Labs Friday, a cool new set of innovative add-ons to its popular map service that offers a multitude of new ways to explore places near and far. Google Maps Labs is an incubator to test features for the Google Maps service, in the same spirit as Gmail Labs. When you go to Google Maps, click on the green flask icon at the top, where eight new test features await.

Among the experimental features in Google Maps Labs, you will find "Drag'n'Zoom," which will let you draw a box on the map to immediately zoom into that place and "LatLng Tooltip," a feature that shows the latitude and longitude of where the mouse pointer is positioned.

"Aerial Imagery" is available only for certain areas, while the "Where in the World Game" tests your knowledge of world geography with satellite imagery. Other Maps Labs features include "What's Around Here?," which shows the top results in the current view and "Smart Zoom" will check in advance what imagery exists before you zoom in, so that you don't get the annoying "We don't have imagery at this zoom level" message.

You can play around with these features and more in Google Maps Labs by clicking on the green flask button at the top of the page and then enabling each feature individually.

Google Chart Tool

The other nifty addition from Google this week is Chart Tools, a new developer toy for creating static and interactive charts. The free APIs let you render all sorts of charts, QR codes, and math formulas.

The Vizualization API in the Google Chart Tools provides interactive charts that render into your Web browser, and can trigger events with tool-tips and animations. Google is showcasing a variety of applications for these charts, such as bio heat maps, gauge charts, geo maps, intensity maps, or motion charts.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Google MapsAPI

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Daniel Ionescu

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?