Today Google announced the launch of a new feature that is designed to make publishing and searching for custom maps much easier than ever before. The all new Google Maps Gallery is a new way for Governments, non-profit organizations and businesses to easily publish and share their map data with the rest of the world from a familiar and easy to use interface.
Once published, the new custom maps can be easily viewed on Google Earth and are discoverable from all major search engines including Google, Bing and Yahoo. This brings maps from National Geographic, World Bank, and USGS instantly into the view of researchers, students, and the general public anywhere there is an internet connection.
From Google's Latlong blog:
If you've ever wondered which trails Lewis & Clark traveled for their famous expedition, or looked for maps of the best schools in your region, you may have found yourself scouring the web without much luck. The best results for your search may come from governments, nonprofits and businesses, but historically that information has been hard to find or inaccessible to the public. Well, now, with the new Google Maps Gallery, it's easier for you to find maps like those all-in-one place.
Maps Gallery works like an interactive, digital atlas. You can explore historic city plans, climate trends, housing affordability, shipwrecks and up-to-date evacuation routes. In addition to finding these maps through Maps Gallery, they can be viewed in Google Earth and are discoverable through major search engines.
Today, you can browse the Gallery for maps from National Geographic Society, World Bank Group, United States Geological Survey, Florida Emergency Management and the City of Edmonton, and more organizations will be adding their maps over time. As the Gallery grows, it'll be easier to find out where we've been, where we are, and where we're going, giving us a new way to look at the world around us.