A mapping and navigation application for desktop and mobile devices from Google. Maps provides turn-by-turn directions to a destination along with 2D and 3D satellite views, as well as public transit information. Maps also offers photographic views of the turns, which show the real streets and surroundings (Google "street views").
First released for Android devices in 2008, the mobile version of Google Maps was soon available for other mobile platforms, including Symbian, BlackBerrry and Palm. Apple's mapping app was also powered by Google Maps data (see Apple Maps
). Google Maps uses the device's GPS capability if present as well as Google's own cellular and Wi-Fi location finding services. See portable GPS
, Google Earth
Google Street Views
Google Maps provides spoken, turn-by-turn directions to a destination. Starting in the U.S. in 2007, Google adapted cars and tricycles (Google Trikes) with special cameras that have photographed millions of street corners worldwide. At each turn, users can swipe the screen to view a 360 degree panorama of the actual environment (bottom).