Google Maps is a Web-based service that provides detailed information about geographical regions and sites around the world. In addition to conventional road maps, Google Maps offers aerial and satellite views of many places. In some cities, Google Maps offers street views comprising photographs taken from vehicles.
Google Maps offers several services as part of the larger Web application, as follows.
- A route planner offers directions for drivers, bikers, walkers, and users of public transportation who want to take a trip from one specific location to another.
- The Google Maps application program interface (API) makes it possible for Web site administrators to embed Google Maps into a proprietary site such as a real estate guide or community service page.
- Google Maps for Mobile offers a location service for motorists that utilizes the Global Positioning System (GPS) location of the mobile device (if available) along with data from wireless and cellular networks.
- Google Street View enables users to view and navigate through horizontal and vertical panoramic street level images of various cities around the world.
- Supplemental services offer images of the moon, Mars, and the heavens for hobby astronomers.