Google Maps New URL Shortener



Google Maps Labs launched a new feature which will soon become the new standard. The latest feature is a URL shortener called ‘Short URL’, found in Google Maps Labs. The Labs pop-up window which can be accessed when you click ‘New’ at the top right of the Google Maps page. Short URL works the same way as other URL shorteners such as bit.ly. Google’s short URL’s are hosted at ‘goo.gl’.

The idea for shortened URL’s came in to play when Twitter was launched and their text box limited users to 140 characters maximum. The new Short URL feature will be helpful to share links to locations on maps with friends and family without all of the clutter of a normal URL.

If you have never used Google Maps Labs, it is similar to Google Labs for Gmail.Google Maps Labs has plenty of other cool features to play with. Check out this clip from Tekzilla and see a few of Veronica Belmont’s favorite Google Maps Labs features.


Comparison

Directions from San Francisco to Sacramento, CA using the standard Google Maps email or IM link button:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=San+Francisco,+CA&daddr=Sacramento,+CA&hl=en&geocode=FVJmQAIdKAe0-CkhAGkAbZqFgDH_rXbwZxNQSg%3BFUS1TAIdgCTC-Cn5l4OycsaagDHbfxl0qmofkg&mra=ls&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=32.610437,56.513672&ie=UTF8&z=9

Those same directions from San Francisco to Sacramento, CA using ‘Short URL’ with the same link button (after checking enable in Google Maps Labs and saving your changes and a quick refresh) :

http://goo.gl/maps/lcqV


Google Maps Labs Functions:


Distance Measurement Tool

Measure the distance of a path on the Earth

Short URL

Shorten the Maps “Link” to be a more compact URL.

Show Me Here!

Adds an option to the context menu that lets you zoom directly to the maximum zoom level at the point under the cursor.

Drag ‘n’ Zoom

Zooming in on a specific part of the map is now fast and easy. Simply click the Drag ‘n’ Zoom button, draw a box on the map, and zoom! You’re there!

Aerial Imagery

Add Aerial imagery to the map! Aerial imagery gives you rotatable, high-resolution overhead imagery presented in a new perspective. Currently imagery is only available in certain areas, but we’re adding more all the time.

Back to Beta

Gmail isn’t the only one that can enjoy a BETA tag.

Where in the World Game

Test your knowledge of world geography! Guess the name of the country from satellite imagery, and try to beat your top score!

Rotatable Maps

Tired of North always being up? Add rotatable map types and give East, West and South a fair go.

What’s Around Here?

Adds a button that displays the most popular places in the current map view. A great way to browse the map.

LatLng Tooltip

Displays a tooltip next to the mouse cursor showing the latlng directly underneath it.

LatLng Marker

Adds an option to the context menu that lets you drop a mini marker showing the latlng of the position that the cursor was pointing at when the context menu was evoked

Smart Zoom

Ever zoom in too far and get the message “We don’t have imagery at this zoom level”? Ensure you don’t see it again, with Smart Zoom, which will check in advance what imagery exists, and ensure you can’t zoom in beyond it.


Google Labs


Google Maps Lab


Advertisements

Microsoft Bing now features playable search results



Microsoft Bing now features playable search results for music, games and TV. There are 5 million songs to play and buy on Bing. You have the option to play a songs, view lyrics or buy the songs via Amazon, Zune or iTunes. Microsoft would prefer that you use Zune.


For more information on Bing click here