Google Mapplets is ready for its close up.
Mapplets enables users to view and layer third-party information, such as real
estate listings, jogging trails, events and photos, directly onto Google Maps.
Some of the Mapplets already available on Google Maps include a
booking application from Orbitz and Booking.com, as well as others
from WeatherBug, Webcams.travel, Zvents and GasBuddy.com. Users can access Mapplets by clicking the My Maps tab on Google Maps.
Google Maps Product Manager Thai Tran told internetnews.com that
Google announced the platform a month ago to get apps developed in
time for today’s launch. He said that when Google announced the
platform on Developer Day, it had 10 Mapplets to demo, most of which
Google created itself.
In the last month, however, over a 100
developers have submitted mini-apps to the platform.
Tran said Google hopes developers will find ways to monetize apps on
the Mapplets platform, creating an innovation cycle that will spin
much faster than it would if only Google’s development resources
alone were set to the task of making Google Maps more useful.
“There are Mapplets for niche audiences that would be
useful to significant numbers of users, but probably not to a level
where Google could invest in building their features,” he said.
The platform model has become popular, perhaps the most notable one being Facebook’s recent platform launch. Apple, Microsoft and eBay are other companies
that have also opened access to their customers to third parties
in hopes of spurring innovation.