There are some Google Maps stories and links getting more play than usual around the blogosphere this past week. In case you've missed them, here they are:
The RIM Blackberry device is now capable of running the Google Local for Mobile application. This means that Blackberry users around the world can point their device to a URL to perform an over-the-air installation of the free application and start using Google Maps instantly! When Google Local for Mobile was first launched, the Blackberry was excluded from the list of devices that could run the service. As a Blackberry owner I was quite happy when this came out, and installed it minutes after seeing the release. With nearly a week of using the application on my Blackberry.. I'm hooked. :) Great! Now, not only am I addicted to my "CrackBerry", I'm also now addicted to Google Maps on my CrackBerry!
Google Local removes ad-pin test - Search Engine Watch has made us aware of an article on Clickz that points to Google quietly testing paid ads in Google Local. The ads come in the form of a blue pin being inserted into the map among larger pins which match with your local search. The example cited in the Clickz article is of a New York hotel search that visibly shows the blue pins of premium AdWords advertiser Starwood Hotels. Google has removed this inclusion since Clickz first reported on it last week. This is the first indication I've seen of Google attempting to monetize Google Local/Google Maps. It could potentially lead to the integration of advertising on Google Maps API sites or "mashups", although there has been no announcement of this.
Add a Google Map to any webpage in less than 10 minutes - This blog post caught the attention of the blogosphere last week, and why wouldn't it? A claim like that would capture the attention of anyone interesting in embedding a Google Map for their website or blog. If you're looking for more resources to create your own Google Maps implementation or mashup, check my Google Maps Creation Tools/How-Tos section or Mapki.com.