Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Review: maps.google.com

I stumbled upon Google Maps this morning (after it was slashdotted). First impression: WOW!

It seems to use the same type of client-side JavaScript service code that GMail does. This prevents the need for the browser itself to fetch a new web page with each request. Instead, the service code interacts with a webservice of sorts, and grabs only the data that it needs. This makes the requests lightning fast without bogging down their servers (because the server does not need to serve up redundant code that had already been given to the browser as part of the previous request).

It looks good, seems to be a little more accurate than other mappers (i.e., my home address usually gets plotted in the wrong block, but this at least hit the right block, but still not the exact location), and has a great search built in (i.e., try doing a search for all of the McDonalds in your town, or just put in Mexican, etc).

The sad thing is that right now, Google is still every geek's favorite underdog. But, as they establish more and more dominance on the web, they'll soon grow into another monopoly that people will grow to hate.