Google Maps opens gallery for charts from businesses, gov't agencies

Summary:The Google Maps team has been ramping up its game to serve commercial customers, from app developers to enterprise Apps subscribers.

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Google Maps has long been branching out (or rather, in) from just driving directions and Street View to mapping out the interiors of vast and sometimes maze-like public spaces, such as museums and airports.

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Now the Mountain View, Calif.-headquartered company is opening itself up to even more content, but this time provided by the experts and hosts themselves.

According to project manager Jordan Breckenridge, Google Maps Gallery is "a new way for organizations to share and publish their maps online."

Described another way, the Google Maps Gallery is a digital atlas for maps provided by businesses, government agencies, and non-profit organizations worldwide.

"Organizations using Maps Gallery can communicate critical information, build awareness and inform the public at-large," affirmed Breckenridge, citing construction projects, evacuation routes, and even deforestation plans as examples of data points included on these charts.

Going live this week, Maps included in the Gallery are accessible via Google Earth as well as discoverable through major search engines.

Initial content providers include the National Geographic Society, the World Bank Group, and the United States Geological Survey. Interested organizations can apply to submit content now too.

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The Google Maps team has been ramping up its game to serve commercial customers, from app developers to enterprise Apps subscribers.

Last October, the Internet giant introduced Maps Engine Pro, touted to bring the consumer Google Maps experience to businesses. Maps made with Google Maps Engine Pro can be set to public or private modes, and there is a standalone mobile app for editing from tablets and smartphones.

Google Maps Engine was also expanded to anyone using Google's cloud infrastructure for the purpose of building maps with custom data layers.

For the world at large, the revamped Google Maps experience with many more data points and related search content was finally pushed from beta to public last week -- months after an initial unveiling at Google I/O last May.

Screenshots via Google

Topics: Enterprise 2.0, Apps, Google Apps, Government

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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