New From Google at Social Loco: Business Photos, Earth for Tablets


Google Announces New Map Products at Social Loco

In her keynote speech at the Social Loco Conference in San Francisco, Google's Marissa Mayer announced new enhancements to Google's local products.

Come In Off the Street

The first of these is Google Business Photos, which is essentially an extension of Google Street View, extended to indoor environments. In an interface which parallels Street View, users will be able come in off the street, and pan through 360-degree views of the interiors of businesses. At the moment, the service is being rolled out in selected cities in the U.S., Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, where businesses can apply to participate. If selected, Google will send photographers out to the business site to take the panoramic photos, which will become a part of the business' Place Page.


Tablets Can now Fly to Location too

The second new product is Earth for Tablets. Google Earth has been hugely popular, and an Android version was made available last year. The current update optimizes the application for the tablet format. The new version now includes support for fully textured 3D buildings, easier search access, more layers, the option to "fly to your location", and is, according to Google's blog, "like going from a regular movie theatre to IMAX."

Most Maps Traffic now Mobile

In the same keynote address, Mayer amended the report announced at SXSW this March, which stated that 40% of Google Maps usage now originates from mobile devices. The current figure has apparently exceeded 50% (though this was qualified as "weekend" usage).

I'd love to hear your thoughts on these new features as you begin to use them.