Hot off the presses from Metafilter, we get the natural evoluation of Google Local: Google Maps. I was pretty worried when the page loaded in my browser. The US was neatly divided into states, while Canada appeared to be a vast, province-less wasteland. Was this yet another example of the Americans having all the fun?
Sort of. While most of Canada is detail-free, you can zoom right in on Vancouver. I’m really impressed–this is dead sexy. Not only can I link to a particular location (here’s my apartment and here’s our office) without entering an address, but the map is incredibly up to date. For example, it shows George Wainburn Park, which only opened last fall. You can search for addresses, with decent success (again, my apartment) or find a plumber nearby. You can even use the plus and minus keys to zoom in and out. Check out the tour for more details.
Mind you, it’d be nice if you could search the whole frozen north. Can anybody get zoom farther into, say, Calgary than this? As I look around, I see that North America floats in an endless azure sea. Cuba’s there, but it’s just a fish-shaped grey mass. They’ve got six continents (and, you know, Mexico) to come, but so far, so good.
UPDATE: Richard points out that Google Maps’ directions aren’t exactly sorted yet. Speaking as somebody who grew up on the North Shore, crossing both bridges is not the fastest way to get from Burnaby to downtown.