BTW, Andrew Chen noticed it as well, and has a nice post here.
Update: Google has sent out its release on this, it’s in the extended entry.
Update 2 – the buzz on this is pretty good, including a nice review from Gary, though he did notice that Osama is apparently hiding out at the Googleplex…]]>Today, Google released Google Maps at http://maps.google.com, a dynamic
online mapping feature that enables users in the U.S. to find location
information, navigate through maps, and get directions quickly and easily.
This new service is an experiment on Google Labs and features results from
Google Local to offer users access to traditional business listings combined
with relevant information from Google's 8 billion page web index.
Key features include:
*Easy navigation– Users can drag the map to view the adjacent parts of a
*Search results from Google Local– To find a wifi hot spot in a local area,
users may type [wifi hot spot] and their local zip code to see wifi
locations on the map. They will see phone numbers for each location
appearing on the right side of the page. When users click on locations on
the map, they will also find address information.
* Single search box– Users can type search terms into a single search box
under the Maps tab for local search results and driving directions. For
example, typing [great sushi in New York] will display great sushi
restaurants located in New York. Typing [Manhattan to Brooklyn] shows
directions from Manhattan to Brooklyn.
*Turn-by-turn directions– Users may type in an address and Google Maps
plots a route, displaying it visually on the map itself, together with
step-by-step directions for getting there (or back from there). When users
click on one of these steps, they will see a magnified view of the area
mentioned in the directions.
*Keyboard shortcuts– Users can use the arrow keys to pan left, right, up
and down; pan wider with page up, page down, home and end keys; and zoom in
and out with the (+) and (-) keys.
Google is focused on organizing the world's information and making it
universally accessible and useful, and this experiment is another step
forward in helping users find the local information they need. Google's
continuing commitment to local search was recently demonstrated with the
addition of a link to Google Local on the Google homepage in the U.S. and