Google Maps: A new angle on the world with 45° imagery

I’m a window seat person. If given the choice on a plane, I will always take the window seat, and not just so other passengers need not climb over me while I sleep. It’s also because I love the views during take off and landing. Whether it’s flying out over Sydney Harbour, or coming in to land over the Houses of Parliament in London, the view from a plane is a unique perspective on the world below.
Starting today you can bring that perspective to your Maps API applications with the launch of 45° imagery in select cities around the world. 45° imagery offers a superior perspective of city skylines than an overhead view. Tall buildings stand out from those around them, and iconic landmarks such as St. Mark’s Square in Venice are instantly recognisable. In addition you can rotate the map to look at buildings from all four sides:

You can track the cities where 45° imagery is currently available on this map. When 45° imagery is available a submenu option is added to the Maps API Satellite button. Right now the overhead imagery remains the default view for these areas. However in three weeks time this will change to match Google Maps, and the 45° imagery will become the default Satellite view where available.

Got ideas? We’re listening.

In the past several months we’ve added several new features to Google Custom Search – and we have you to thank! More than a year ago, we told you about a new Google Custom Search Product Ideas page, and since then you’ve voted thousands of times on all sorts of great ideas for improving the product. That doesn’t even include the stellar suggestions we get on a regular basis in the help forum. In fact, query autocompletion was a help forum suggestion from swoodby that’s now available with just a few clicks in the Control Panel. We’re thrilled that we have this productive feedback loop with you, and want to report back on some of the product iterations we made during the past year.

Wireless data consumption has more than doubled every year, so we’re happy to have added mobile search features to the product. As requested on the Product Ideas page, users can now search on your website using their mobile devices. The default homepage for your custom search engine is now optimized for your on-the-go users. We will continue to optimize Custom Search to meet the needs of a growing mobile user base.

In response to your requests for metadata capabilities, we launched a set of features to support structured custom search. You now have the ability to filter by attributes such as author, define attribute ranges such as dates, and sort by specific attribute values such as ratings. We plan to make these metadata features even easier to use through the Custom Search Element, which generates code that you can copy and paste to easily add Custom Search to any website.

You’ve also made it clear from your feedback that you love customizing your search engine and adding your own flair. So, over time we’ve made it possible for you to tweak the layout of your results, customize your synonyms, control autocompletions, and apply custom styles to your search engine. Now it’s even possible to select a theme for your ads.

What’s the moral of the story here? Your mic is on and we’re listening. Keep the feedback coming in the help forum (the Product Ideas page is closed for now) and we’ll continue working to make Custom Search better. After all, it’s really your product.