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Google has launched Map Labs, a set of opt-in features that add useful functionality to Google Maps such as rotating the map upside down, seeing the latitude/longitude of a point on the maps, and even viewing aerial imagery.

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Google Map Labs Engineer Jez Fletcher said that users can enable the Aerial imagery, zoom in to a particular location just by dragging a box around it using the new Drag ‘n’ Zoom control, browse nearby businesses with the What’s Around Here button, test world geography knowledge with the Where in the World game, and even rotate the maps.

“To activate individual Labs features, click on the green conical flask icon at the top right of the screen. This will bring up a list of Labs that you can enable. If you’re logged in with your Google account, we will remember which Labs you have enabled when you next visit Google Maps,” said Fletcher.

“Because they’re experimental, Labs may not be quite as robust as some other features on Google Maps. In fact there’s a chance they could change, break, or disappear at any time,” added Fletcher.

“It will help us get new functionality out faster, and test features that might only appeal to users who want to be at the bleeding edge of things and customise their web experiences.  It also allows us to get really fast feedback from these most active, demanding users, so we can iterate quickly,” said Google.

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