Today is a huge day for the Google Maps mashup ecosystem!
Google has just released a new Google Maps feature called "My Maps" which will allows users to easily create a Google Maps mashup with a few clicks, right from Google Maps! You can reach My Maps by visiting http://maps.google.com then look for the new "My Maps" tab on the left side. My Maps is being launched for Google Maps in the US, UK, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Japan and Australia.
My Maps has an easy to use interface that will allow you to:
- Annotate points on a Google Map with text, photos, or YouTube/Google Videos (even HTML for further customization)
- Draw lines and shapes to show routes and regions
- View maps created in My Maps on Google Earth
- Search for businesses on Google Maps and add them to My Maps
Google users can share the map with other users privately by email or choose to make their maps public, which will then be accessible through Google Maps search, along with maps shared by other web sites in the KML format. Maps you have created (and viewed) can be conveniently managed from a control panel when signed into your Google account.
Go on.. Get mapping!
Official Google Maps Blog Post: Map-making: So easy a caveman could do it
News Coverage on the My Maps launch