On its Geo Developers Blog, Google announced time zone functionality for the Google Maps API. Developers around the globe have exhaled a sigh of relief, as time zone functionality has either kept them up at night, required extensive programming, or remained just a bit outside of an apps functionality because it wasn't mandatory (but sure would have been nice).
It's been a short time since Microsoft announced the release of Bing, their next generation search platform (with its own Bing API). Along with the name change, several of Microsoft's product offerings have also rebranded, including two core mapping products: Live Search Maps and Virtual Earth. This means that Virtual Earth API will be no more -- it is now officially called the Bing Maps API (we've added a new Bing Maps API profile).
Google has now made its closely-guarded Google Places API available to all developers, after nearly a year in closed beta. The API, first announced a year ago, returns business listings based on location. The search giant also added features that make the service useful for many types of local applications, in addition to simplifying the authentication process. With additional agreements, Google also allows for a healthy 100,000 queries, versus only 1,000 standard calls.