Detailed online mapping tool

Google Maps is an interactive Web-based map that gives directions as well as multiple views of maps.

Google Maps is a simple Web-based service that lets you get directions and find businesses online. At its most basic level, you type an address or business name into the search bar at the top of the screen, and the map screen taking up the lower right portion of the window will zoom in on the location and plop a marker on the spot. You can then zoom in using a variety of view options, such as map, satellite, or terrain.

If you want to step beyond the pinpoint location, you can get directions, which are offered via three options: by car, by public transit, or walking (a particularly interesting choice if your trip includes a transoceanic route). Users with a Google account can also partake in the My Maps service, which provides users with simple drag-and-drop tools to chart their own customized maps and share them with others via a customized link or email message.

Google Maps' biggest claim to fame is Street View, a view level of the map that lets you see a 360-degree view of a street at eye level. Users can explore a photograph of their local streets if they live in one of the cities that has been mapped by the service. Google Maps and the majority of its features are also available on mobile handsets, including Google's Android platform, and on Apple's iPhone.

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