Not long ago, every website we did for a company with a
brick and mortar location had one thing in common: a hand-drawn location map.
Usually on the contact page of a company’s website, this map would take hours
for our creative team to research, and accurately produce, especially since
many of our clients are located in parts of the country we aren’t familiar
with. These maps were a product of each company wanting a branded, custom
portrayal of how to find them.
Enter Google, 2008.
In its steady march toward global domination, Google Maps
has recently passed “News” and “Shopping” in the link order at the top of
Google’s page. Maps really is that cool. I personally could spend 40 hours a
week just playing with the tool, and enjoying every minute of it. And now our
clients do too. Instead of paying for rich hand-drawn representations, our
clients now get precise maps loaded with functionality embedded directly in
their websites. We don’t even have to worry about writing the infamous “driving
directions.” Site visitors can interact directly with the embedded Google map
to find out anything they need to about the location.
And if that weren’t enough, the maps are customizable. A logo can serve as the icon showing the physical location,
and an exterior photo of the building can be uploaded to show on mouseover.
It’s a simple, free service and it has rendered our artist’s hand outdated when
it comes to finding your place on the web.
Here’s an example of this simple service in action for one
of our clients:
And a special treat for my dedicated readers:
Your task is to slowly zoom in on the town of Tempiute,
Nevada, a little stop along The Extraterrestrial Highway that passes by Area
51. You may just notice that a graphic designer got their hands on a couple
football fields worth of land and has had the last laugh on Google Maps after