Here is a good article written by Tom Taulli for Forbes.com which looks at the recreational and business applications that Google Maps (and the mashup craze) has presented..
Mapping The Web's Future
Forbes.com - September 21st, 2005
Benfield thinks online maps will increasingly become the interface for the Web. "In building its map application, Google made use of a new way of programming Web applications," said Benfield. "It is known as AJAX. Also, Google created an API, allowing users to implement maps within their own applications. Almost overnight, this has made MapQuest almost irrelevant."
Already, there has been an explosion of Google Map applications. As evidence, take a look at Google Maps Mania. Many of these applications are grass-roots efforts, such as celebrity maps, which locates the homes of stars like Brad Bitt and Alyssa Milano, maps to find cheap gasoline and even a map of UFO sitings.
However, the mapping phenomenon is not just about fun and games. Companies like Salesforce.com (nyse: CRM - news - people ), a leading CRM software developer, are using Google Maps. Basically, you can map your business contacts and leads. So, if you plan a business trip to New York, you can see your contact base around the city and, thus, perhaps set up more meetings.
(read the entire article..)