Google Maps will be offering street level imagery of various cities, but only in the US for now. The company has also launched Mapplets to let you create a mashup of mashups directly on Google Maps.
Street View is a new feature of Google Maps that enables you to view and navigate within 360 degree street level imagery of major cities in the US, though not Australia, yet.
According to Google Australia’s Rob Shilkin, Google aims to “provide Street View imagery for regions throughout the world, including Australia. But we have no timetable to announce at this time.”
Street View imagery will initially be available for maps of the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Las Vegas, Denver and Miami.
With Street View, you can virtually walk the streets of a city, check out a restaurant before arriving, and even zoom in on bus stops and street signs to make travel plans, Google claims.
Also new to Google Maps is Mapplets, which allows third party developers to create mini applications that can be displayed on Google Maps. These Mapplets contain a variety of information, from housing listings to crime data, and tools like distance measurement.
Users can select from a wide range of Google and third party Mapplets to display on the Map, essentially creating their own “mashup of mashups” directly on the Google Maps site, while still enjoying the built-in functionality of Google Maps, such as local search and driving directions, Google says.