The Google Maps Labs

The Google Maps Labs

This week the 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy challenge is to play around with Google Maps.  I’ve done this before and found a wealth of information.

But, today when I visited, I noticed a little green beaker bubbling with anticipation. I clicked on and was taken to the Google Maps Lab page.  Those folks and google must never sleep!  There are several new features to enable and test out.  So naturally I did.

I set my map for Kilauea on the island of Kauai, Hawaii.  As some of the features don’t seem useful or don’t pertain the map I am looking at, I’ll focus on two of them.

I enabled the first feature “Drag n’ Zoom”.  When enabled an icon appears under the zoom bar on the left of the map.  By clicking on the icon, then going to spot on the map and drawing a box around an area, you can instantly zoom in.  It’s a quick way to go directly to the spot you are interested in.

The second feature I enabled is “What’s Around Here”.  When you have the map you would like in the Google Maps view, click on the “What’s Around Here” button next to the search bar.  You see a list of different sights, business, etc. in the left hand column.  My list brings up the several business and natural areas.  They are marked with a red dot rather than the usual lettered push pin.

Here is my map of Kilauea, where my Pacheco’s and de Braga’s worked the Kilauea Sugar Plantation. Note that none of the new features appear on the map:

View Larger Map

52 Weeks To Better Genealogy by Amy Coffin ( is a series of weekly blogging prompts that are a bit more challenging and are geared towards those new to the field of genealogy and family history as well as those who want to brush up on some skills which might be a bit rusty.

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