The Google Maps team has announced the beta launch of Local Context. With Local Context, site and app owners can integrate the typical Google Map experience into their properties, but that experience is amplified with rich, local information (e.g. shops, restaurants, etc.).
It's no secret that the Google Maps API is incredibly popular. Our directory lists over 2,100 Google Maps mashups, but that's obviously just a subset of all the sites powered by the mapping platform. And now we know how many sites that is. According to Google Developer Advocate Mano Marks, there are 350,000 websites incorporating Google Maps. And, of course, Google now has many other geographic APIs.
A new service for city planners and others requiring detailed demographic and regional data has a great way of accepting geographic input. Cubit uses the Google Maps API to determine the area in which its user is interested. Then, it queries its own data sources based on the path or shape the user selects.