Well I think it’s only fair to take a few minutes to wish our old buddy Google Maps a (belated!) very happy 7th birthday today. Considering she has helped me out of many an otherwise panic-stricken situation she and everyone involved with her deserved their celebration.
Google Maps has become an integral part of a lot of our daily lives, in one form or another. I only recently had her to thank for getting me safely to a wedding in Sligo while the purpose-build satellite navigation gadget we had in the car didn’t know where we were! I’ve had her to thank countless times in Australia whilst on my travels, with the “Places” app on my phone I was never lost.
Let’s take a look at the history of Google Maps since it’s inception way back in 2005…….
- In 2004 Google bought out a little known Australian company called Where2 Technologies who were working on a C++ programming project
- The following February 2005 the official Google Local was launched
- March ’05 Google Local Business Centre Launches
- Apr 2006 – Google Local becomes Google Maps and is updated to use the same satellite image database as Google Earth
- 2007 – Street view was introduced with full panoramic facilities
- Also in 2007 they announced a simple method of uploading kml files (Embedded Google Maps) into websites
- Google Local Business Referral – Feet on the street
- 2008 – Introduction of the best walking directions between two points
- March ’09 Local search results begin to appear for generic search queries
- Sep ’09 Google Place Pages formally launch
- 2010 – There were more Google Maps users on mobile devices than their desktop on Christmas Day
- 2011 – Incorporation of “Navigation” on mobile and android devices to give real-time directions
- Oct 2011 Google decides to override Business owner verified data with Community entered data
The evolution of Google Maps has been astonishing when you consider that we almost take it for granted at this stage. Five/six years ago if I had a job interview even in my local city (Derry) I would have the road/street map out the night before jotting down directions and landmarks then I would be leaving the house at least half an hour early to allow for getting lost once or twice. Nowadays if I’ve got a meeting anywhere I am so blasé about directions I might have a quick look that morning for estimated journey times and then add on a minute or two for tractors (grrr) and I’m on my way.
It’s at a stage now where I use Google Places at least once every day and the common vibe seems to be everyone else does as well! If your business does not have a Google Places listing it’s about time you got one!
Head on over to our Google Places Guide and get your business on the map!