Google just announced the release of their Maps Engine API, a service that allows customers to build, store and distribute their own maps and associated data in a public or private way. Google Maps Engine was formerly called “Earth Builder”. Today’s announcement concerns the application programming interface (API) which is necessary for creating massive projects programmatically, and for integrating the data back into client or web application.
Partners like Fedex are already talking about how they use the Google Maps Engine API to improve their store locator (which really needed it) and it’s likely that many others will follow. Iris, a company that tracks underground pipelines, is also using the Map Engine API to have an accurate inventory and delivery system of data used for the maintenance and repair of city infrastructure.
Google Map Engine is a business service and uses a classic metered payment system in which the customer pays for storage, computing cycles and bandwidth consumed. This allows companies to develop without deploying any infrastructure and scale very rapidly without worrying about provisioning and maintenance.