The Null Device
Google once again raises the bar of what you can do with a web browser. Their latest is Google Maps
, an entirely DHTML-based, instantly responsive, scrollable, zoomable map. Functionally, it doesn't seem to do anything that online street maps haven't done for a few years now, but that's not the point; it's the way it does it. Where street maps until now have been clunky and slow, Google Maps feels instantaneous; you can drag the map around, zoom it in and out, and new tiles load on demand. (On a fast connection, it's not slow enough to be annoying.) And the way it displays signposts, with composited Gaussian-blurred shadows, looks pretty cool too. Currently, they only have North America, and only have detailed maps for the United States, but then again, it's still in beta, so hopefully they'll add other parts of the world soon.
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