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Definition: Google Maps


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 "Street Views," which are photos of the actual streets and surroundings. Millions of websites use Google Maps for directions to stores and offices.

Mobile Versions
First released for Android devices in 2008, the mobile version of Google Maps was soon available for other mobile platforms, including Symbian, BlackBerry 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. It also uses real-time data from Waze, which Google acquired in 2013. As of mid-2018, there were five times as many Google Maps users as there were on Apple Maps and MapQuest combined. See portable GPS, Google Earth and Google.




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 even tricycles with special cameras that have photographed millions of street corners worldwide. People walking with cameras; even cameras on the backs of camels in the desert were used to capture more than 170 billion images in 87 countries. At each turn, users can swipe the screen (bottom right icon) to view a 360-degree panorama.