What is Google Maps?

Google Maps

Google Maps is an invaluable navigational tool that enables users to locate locations around them quickly. The technology behind it, however, is more intricate than most people realize; it takes data from previous app usage as well as satellites, cars and even people walking around to stay accurate and current.

Google Maps is one of the most beloved applications available on both Android and iOS devices, while also drawing millions of online users. The mobile version offers turn-by-turn navigation, traffic alerts and other features; additionally it allows users to pinpoint their current location with friends via social media platforms and share it.

Google Maps relies heavily on crowdsourcing as one of its driving forces, using volunteer contributions to map areas not covered by government mapping agencies and add additional detail and make necessary corrections to its map.

Google Maps’ software engine is powered by four billion square kilometres of street maps and used by drivers and pedestrians worldwide, including those who do not have access to GPS technology. Governments, businesses, educational institutions and others use Google Maps’ platform as part of their operations and to offer accurate location services to their customers and stakeholders.

As with other Google products, Maps generates revenue through local ads that businesses can place as well as various APIs that companies use for tracking, locating, mapping and other purposes that Google charges for – although its primary revenue generator remains its mapping service.

Google pioneered digital mapping software during the mid 2000s, giving many people their first experience with color satellite imagery of their homes or other familiar places, something not available elsewhere.

Google continues to build upon their Google Maps software engine in Mountain View. They have expanded the data collected by cars adapted for street-level image capture with satellite images that are refreshed regularly, user submitted photos and GPS signals from Android and iOS mobile devices, plus the GPS signals of Android mobile phones and iOS mobile phones.

Noting the security restrictions placed upon all Google Maps Platform APIs – JavaScript API, Static API and Web Service API – is imperative. To make sure your application runs over an encrypted connection use HTTPS in all requests to ensure they’re processed on secure connections.

Google Maps API can be accessed securely over HTTPS and SSL. To activate SSL on your account, head to the Settings menu in the upper left corner and choose Manage APIs; from here, set your preferred URL and check “Provide over SSL” box for each API that you use. For more information regarding using SSL with Maps API please see its specific documentation.

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