December 16, 2008 | by Wyatt Foard
Brian Cornell, a software engineer at Google, has announced availability of an Android app for viewing and editing custom My Maps. Brian created the app using the 20% free time Google provides employees to work on their own projects. Available now (by searching) on the Market, the new app brings up the user’s existing saved My Maps initially. All existing maps can be viewed and edited and new maps can be created. Since the data is coming from Google’s servers, all changes and new maps are available from any computer.
Offering Google’s standard map view as well as satellite view, the new app allows easy creation of custom maps for any purpose. Users can add place markers, lines, and shapes to create their maps. A great feature is the ability to attach photos to map points. Users select from adding a picture from their Picasa account, images saved on the phone, or taking a new picture. Images from the phone are uploaded to the Picasa Drop Box.
Brian suggests several ideas for custom maps in his Google Mobile Blog posting – holiday shopping locations, maps of interesting holiday decorations with photos, and road trip planning. Again, since all data is stored in the cloud it’s easy to share with family and friends by giving them a link to your custom map. The app appears to work well and makes great use of the G1′s features. There is one clear suggestion that would make future versions even more usable – further integration with the standard Maps app . Right now My Maps Editor is separate from the standard Maps program included with Android and does not include all the regular Maps functionality, the most missed is the ability to generate directions to points on the custom map.
[via Google Mobile Blog]