Google Map

Created by brothers Jars and Lens Rasmussen, Google Map originated from a C++ downloadable program. The Rasmussen brothers, who were working for Where 2 Technologies in Sydney, then offered their idea to Google as an exclusively web-based program. Following Google’s acquisition of Where 2 Technologies in 2004, the Rasmussen brothers program became known as Google Map.

Google Map has caused some controversy around the world, because of how it provides high resolution, aerial images to users of the software. Though Google has blurred some images which can be deemed as ‘sensitive’, such as the U.S. Naval Observatory, Area 51 can still be seen. Some governments have also been critical of Google Map, fearing that sensitive information may be discovered by potential terrorists. Privacy issues have also been raised by the use of the software, especially the street view feature.

Most of the images gathered for Google Map comes from aircraft flying over locations, though some satellite technology is used for the images of entire cities for instance. The use of both aerial and satellite photography aids the zoom feature on Google Map,

Google map of California and Utah

Most of the images gathered for Google Map comes from aircraft flying over locations.

whereby users can see a complete view of a city and then zoom in right down to street level.

In addition to views of different areas of the world, there is a route planner on Google Map – ‘Get Directions’. This is a feature on Google Map, that is tailored for travellers by car, public transport, bicycle, or foot. There are variations, from country to country, of how much information is available on the route planner however.

Potential areas of conflict, such as South and North Korea, Southern Sudan, and much of the Middle East, are either lacking any direction, or are not as fully comprehensive in detail as Europe and North America.

The program makes extensive use of JavaScript, together with XML code. Google Map API was launched in 2005, to make it possible for website owners to incorporate the software into their websites, and a mobile version of Google Map came out in 2006.

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