This week Google has announced "Mapplets" which is a brand new way for developers to make their Google Maps mashups more accessible and viewable to more people on the web. Google Mapplets combine the Google Gadgets API with the Google Maps API to allow embedding of "mini mapping applications".. right within the Google Maps site! At this stage Mapplets aren't yet available on the main Google Maps site but are available at this special preview URL found at:
Check out this YoutTube demo clip where Google Maps product manager Thai Tran explains how Mapplets can be used:
This example Thai outlines in the clip shows how Mapplets will enable a user to aggregate many mashups (in this case crime, transit, and school information about their city) into one view on the map. Google Maps Local Search adds yet another data component by adding in business and points of interest you're used to searching for on Google Maps today. In essence, this Mapplets are a "mashup of mashups" making for a totally customized map user experience. Be sure to also check out Thai Tran's Google LatLong Blog post announcing Mapplets to learn more.
This concept needs developer participation! That means anyone that has ever been blogged about here on Google Maps Mania needs to take a look at how their mashup can be ported to its own Google Mapplet. By doing this you will be reaching millions of additional users that are on the Google Maps site and will be able to utilize your Google Maps mashup while they are there. Check out the Mapplets developer documentation to get started with porting your Google Maps mashup to a Google Mapplet.
Stay tuned to Google Maps Mania to find the coolest new Mapplets and start getting even more out of Google Maps!