It is free, why not use it?
Google is definitely doing something different. Never before has there been such free access given to the people to a major company’s resources. Google Maps has easily overtaken Rand McNally and MapQuest in my book in the coolness factor. However Google has taken it to a whole new stratosphere by offering APIs for some of their products including search, adSense and maps.
This has allowed people to make their own interactive Web sites using this technology. Google maps has some of the most productive and brilliant uses developed using this API. A few examples:
- Track Atlantic hurricanes from NHC data
- Find out how many sexual predators live in a given area
- Locate the cheapest gas
- Keep tabs on police activity in certain areas
With ingenuity being the only restriction on innovation, the power is in the hands of the people. For some reason, most businesses haven’t embraced this power yet. Most of these ingenious applications have been developed by freelancers. While the technology is licensed for free and not allowed to be sold, it can easily be utilized by businesses to attract attention and drive traffic to their Web sites and brick-and-mortar stores.