Google does maps

I was going to make this a simple link, but played around with Google Maps for a few minutes and found it too cool for a one-liner. As the top-level page of Google Maps suggests, you can search for directions, businesses, and locations. Try searching for “sushi in Tucson”—bingo! There’s a map with locations plotted on it. Another click gives you directions to or from any location. Mapquest isn’t nearly this slick.

Enter “tucson to flagstaff” in the directions search, and up comes the map straightaway; there’s no tabbing between all the address/city/state fields. If you know airport codes, enter them directly, to get directions from TUS to Ventana Canyon (for your golf weekend), for example. Want more detail about that freeway on-ramp? Click on any of the numbered waypoints for a close-up.

But it gets cooler. Find your location, and then click-drag on the map. It moves. Finer control? Use the arrow keys. See more in the tour.

Update: Hublog weighs in, saying that while Google Maps is pretty cool, “it still doesn’t beat the flying, zooming Java beast that is map24.” Java beast indeed, but the zoom is way cool.