Google has crept on all of us over the course of developing Google Maps into the ubiquitous product that it has become, and now the company is enabling us to start creeping on each other as well.* Today Google has kicked off a pilot program opening up use of the Street View Trekker to third parties. If you're a member of a tourist board, non-profit, university, research organization, or something otherwise interesting, you can apply to borrow the Trekker and help capture images of the hard-to-reach places Google has yet to access.
Google announced today the addition of over 1,000 new Street View locations to Google Maps, which are sure to make the upcoming revamp an even more immersive experience. The new locations include the usual tourists attractions such as historical landmarks and sports stadiums. Americans who are still a little queasy at the thought of hopping on a plane can tour the Singapore Zoo from their living room sofa. Other Singaporean attractions include the Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade and the Fullerton Heritage Promenade.
Google Maps has been performing solid, mostly thankless service for more than eight years now, and last week its most significant update yet was leaked. It's that time of year, so we naturally assumed that we'd be hearing more about it at today's Google I/O keynote, but someone in Mountain View must have been a little quick on the trigger. Droid Life spotted a signup page for the revamped web interface and managed to grab a few screenshots before it was hastily shoved back in the digital closet.
Directionally-challenged Greeks, Google has answered your prayers. The search giant continued its international rollout of Maps Navigation today, enabling turn-by-turn directions for Greece. That, coupled with Google's recent significant expansion of Navigation to 9 countries last month, brings the total number of supported territories to 53. Not too shabby.
We've heard from a couple of Google+ users that turn-by-turn seems to be working well so far. Of course, Navigation is still technically in beta (and has been, as is typical for Google, for more than two years), but it's good to hear that initial service is stable.
What's the one remaining thing a standalone GPS unit can do that Google Maps can't? (Besides work offline) Lane guidance.
Right now, Google Maps would best be described as "Turn guidance." It will tell you when to make a right turn, but that's about it. Lane guidance is a step further: Your next exit is coming up on the right, and a TomTom (pictured) will better prepare you to make the exit by directing you to the right hand lane in advance.