Where 2.0: Google Releases Mapplets – Gadgets for Maps

google geotrends

Google has just released a preview of Mapplets, essentially gadgets for their maps. In practical terms it allows me to see Google trends on a map, check local gas prices, consume georss feeds, or see a heatmap visualization of Zuerich Travel times.

They can be found at http://maps.google.com/preview. You can find about 30 Mapplets to add via their content directory.

So what are Mapplets? Google explains:

Mapplets are mini-webpages that are served inside an IFrame within the Google Maps site. You can put anything inside this mini-webpage that you can put into a normal webpage, including HTML, Javascript, and Flash. Google provides a Javascript API that gives the Mapplet access to services such as manipulating the map, fetching remote content, and storing user preferences.

They have also proposed some changes to KML and ATOM that would support attribution to authors and a return URL for the content hosters. Right now. You can see an example here.

This is making Google Maps a mashup platform, but they know that they don’t want to be the only data provider or the only mashup. That’s why the attribution is so important. Most mashups are fighting to be found. Google is now providing them yet another way to do that.

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