Google has recently introduced a new and interesting Labs feature for its popular Google Maps service. In the same fashion as its Google Labs offering, Google Maps Labs allows users to opt-in to beta versions of features currently in development or testing.
By clicking on the little green beaker in the top right hand corner (currently with “New!” in red beside it), you are given the option of enabling beta features currently ranging from the extremely useful Click and Zoom which allows quick zooming to a selected rectangular area to the interesting rotatable maps to the humourous ‘BETA’ feature which as far as I can tell, simply adds a beta graphic to the Google Maps logo – as the features states: “Gmail isn’t the only one that can enjoy a BETA tag.”.
To have beta map features enabled for future visits, users must be signed into their Google account.
The intention with Google Maps Labs is that popular and well tested features would get integrated into the full Google Maps version. Even if none of the features make it past the beta stage, it is still interesting to see some of the possibilities.