Watch Live: The Washington Ideas Forum 2014

Google Instant Maps

After last week's Google makeover, Internet users can't get enough instant gratification. The new Instant search engine has (not surprisingly) prompted the creation of Internet instant everything. Michael Hart, an Alabama based web designer, presents three instant versions of web favorites: Google Instant: Maps, Google Instant: Images, and Etsy Instant.

While Etsy and Images are OK, Instant Maps is the most entertaining. There's something kind of fun about zipping around the map, getting closer to the spot you're looking for. The site also provides a nice directions shortcut: you can type in your current location and where you're going and it simply draws the line connecting them.

Unfortunately, the current version of insta-maps does not know the user's current location, making its predictions less relevant. For example, if I type in K Street NW to White House into Google Maps, you get a rough map. If you do the same on insta-maps, it can't make a similar guess.

Hart explains that his version uses the same suggestions found on maps.google.com by employing an unofficial API which he claims "isn't documented, guaranteed, or supported, but is very easy to use, and it typically gives great results." However, without the official API, Hart's creation cannot approximate the user's geo-location. For now, typing the location, or partial city name, before starting the search improves results.

Presented by

Rebecca Greenfield is a former staff writer at The Wire.

Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman

You don't have to tell her how big she is. You don't need to touch her belly.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Maine's Underground Street Art

"Graffiti is the farthest thing from anarchy."

Video

The Joy of Running in a Beautiful Place

A love letter to California's Marin Headlands

Video

'I Didn't Even Know What I Was Going Through'

A 17-year-old describes his struggles with depression.

Video

Google Street View, Transformed Into a Tiny Planet

A 360-degree tour of our world, made entirely from Google's panoramas

Video

The Farmer Who Won't Quit

A filmmaker returns to his hometown to profile the patriarch of a family farm

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

More in Technology

Just In