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The Impact of Google Maps

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Google Maps made it’s debut sometime back in the spring of this year and it has already had a significant impact. What it offers to the user is nothing unusual or spectacular - zoomable, pannable and attractive street maps. The exciting thing about Google Maps is that developers (and I use the term loosely for anyone who can write html can do this) can cutomizee the maps by displaying additional information. Take, for example, the plotting of school boundaries. Or the location of crime scenes. Or almost anything else. Google Maps Mania keeps listing new and inventive ways of employing Google Maps. As Ed Parsons writes in his blog, “In a few months Google Maps has done more to allow the individual to develop mapping based websites than the traditional GIS industry has done in 10 years. The democratisation of Geographic Information in this way is the result of two things, firstly a simple, slick API for developers and secondly and most importantly of all, the making available of a consistent source of commercial geographic information at no cost to the developer or user.”

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