It’s quite surprising that so much is devoted to taking you from Point A to Point B. Seriously, it’s not only about directions anymore. Take Google Maps for instance – our favored online map application comes with its own default set of tools like directions and place markers.
But it hasn’t been able to satisfy a lot of people. You can see them displaying their (free) wares on the Chrome Web Store and telling Google Maps engineers what the online mapping application is missing.
Thanks to these cool Chrome extensions that enhance Google Maps, we aren’t missing much. Fire up the Chrome browser, type in an address, and let these six Google Maps extensions tell you a lot more than the route on Google Maps.
Mini Maps is a handy extension to install because it helps you stay on the same webpage while getting a location fix on an address. Even more handily, it gives you nearby places of interest like restaurants, cafes, ATMs, and others. Mini Maps also remembers your last ten searched locations for the current browsing session. Once you have pinpointed a location, you can also quickly get directions from any other point on the map. (Chrome Web Store Link)
Carbon Footprint for Google Maps
Are you eco-conscious? You should be, if you are driving a gas-guzzling four wheeler. Reduce your carbon footprint by finding out the shortest distance between two points with the help of this extension. This extension is interesting because it automatically gives you not only the total drivable route on Google Maps, but also figures out the total CO2 emission and the number of trees you need to plant to offset the carbon emissions. Hover over the figure. To improve the accuracy of the CO2 calculations, remember to set up the rate of emissions of your car. (Chrome Web Store Link)
We have given this very useful extension a mention in our directory. This is definitely a must have extension if you regularly use and share maps. Scribble Maps enhances Google Maps by allowing you to draw free-flowing lines on the map interface. You can also take advantage of nearly 2000 different markers (icons and text) to better illustrate a map.
The Google Chrome map application is full-featured. You can export the map file to Google Earth or save it locally in KML/GPX/JPG formats. You can even create 3D Jpegs. After you overlay images and place markers, you can easily share it with friends. Scribble Maps has been well-reviewed as this Chrome map application really takes Google Maps forward. (Chrome Web Store Link)
Another similar extension you can try out is My Map Plus.
This extension combines the usefulness of QR Codes with Google Maps and smartphones. Once installed, a button will appear in the top-right corner of Google Maps next to the link button. Clicking on this will display a QR code that you can scan with your phone and get the location or directions on the map into your smartphone. Of course, you need a QR Code capable smartphone for the job. ()
View a photo slideshow of a neighborhood plotted on a Google Map. Using this Chrome Map application, you get also get the usual details like directions from a given point at any destination along with the duration of the trip. It displays two tabs – Map and Photos. To make this extension work, restart the Chrome browser after installing the extension. (Chrome Web Store Link)
To really get to that spot on Earth, you might need to use multiple online mapping services. Map Jumper is a Google Chrome map extension that helps you easily jump from one online mapping service to another. The mapping extension covers the jump from Gowalla, Foursquare, OpenStreetMap, Google Picasa, and Google Maps, Wikimapia to Google Maps, OpenStreetMap, Wikimapia, and MapQuest Open. Map Jumper basically takes the coordinates from one map service and opens it in another service in a separate tab. (Chrome Web Store Link)
Maps by themselves have always been excellent sources of information. With these Google Chrome extensions, Google Maps tells us a lot more. What do you think? Which is the most useful extension among the six above that you would tag as a necessary install?