We use Google Maps as our primary way to allow geographic selection of people to call for emergency alerts. So when you want to call all the houses within one mile of a an industrial accident, you’re using the Google Maps interface.
There are some obvious benefits to using what the NY Times called “the most detailed street atlas on earth”, including:
- its familiarity to most people (70% of geographic searches on the Internet are done on Google),
- the ability to use Street View, so you can actually see photos of the area you’re interested in,
- the huge investment Google has put into both the data and the interface, and
- 100% uptime, as scored by several Internet monitoring services.
A recent article in the NY Times magazine (Google’s Road Map to Global Domination) is a great read for geography nerds, with details about both Google and other industry players. If you don’t have time for that one, this blog post by David Pogue (What Makes Google’s Maps So Good), is also very good.