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Google Maps has some cool beta features

If you haven’t played around with some of the new beta features in Google Maps, well . . . you should. Some of the new goodies probably won’t hang around long but some seem like no-brainers. To turn on these features, go to Google Maps and look for the word “New” in red at the top right corner of the page.

Clicking that will open a pop-up window that allows you to pick and choose any of the following features. Though you can use the features if you’re not logged in to your Google account, you must be logged in to retain the features that you select. I especially like the Drag ‘n’ Zoom gadget. But you really need to try them all!

Distance Measurement Tool
Measure the distance of a path on the Earth

Drag ‘n’ Zoom
Zooming in on a specific part of the map is now fast and easy. Simply click the Drag ‘n’ Zoom button, draw a box on the map, and zoom! You’re there!

Aerial Imagery

Add Aerial imagery to the map! Aerial imagery gives you rotatable, high-resolution overhead imagery presented in a new perspective. Currently imagery is only available in certain areas, but we’re adding more all the time.

Where in the World Game

Test your knowledge of world geography! Guess the name of the country from satellite imagery, and try to beat your top score!

Rotatable Maps

Tired of North always being up? Add rotatable map types and give East, West and South a fair go.

What’s Around Here?

Adds a button that displays the most popular places in the current map view. A great way to browse the map.

LatLong Tooltip
Displays a tooltip next to the mouse cursor showing the latlng directly underneath it.

LatLong Marker

Adds an option to the context menu that lets you drop a mini marker showing the latlong of the position that the cursor was pointing at when the context menu was evoked.

Smart Zoom

Ever zoom in too far and get the message “We don’t have imagery at this zoom level”? Ensure you don’t see it again, with Smart Zoom, which will check in advance what imagery exists, and ensure you can’t zoom in beyond it.
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