This morning Google rolled out it's latest life-altering beta, Google Maps. With an interface that puts Yahoo! and Mapquest to shame (allowing users to drag maps around rather than reload for each section of the map desired, search for local businesses via the integration of Google Local results, and request detailed directions), Google has entered the market for this type of service with a very strong, very slick piece of technology.
What makes it really good though, is not any of the new features they've cooked up, it's the power of the core search engine itself. As a user I don't have to be nit-picky about how I type the textual strings I use to search. It's just as forgiving and intuitive as the Google we all know and love, leading to emotional reactions instead of technical ones (a phenomenon we should all recognize by now as a harbinger to a product destined to become an essential, transparent part of our lives).
For example: If I search for manhattan metal, Google Maps will immediately plot each and every business in it's database that sells metal in Manhattan. When I select one business or another, it automatically, and smoothly slides the map so that my new location of choice is centered, and then pops up a bubble with all that location's stats. From that bubble, I can ask for directions, go to that business' website, or view a list of links to every site on the web that has referenced that particular establishment.
This service will put a satisfied smile on your face, powerful.