Google’s My Maps tool for building custom drives, trips and routes on its Maps product is now integrated into Google Drive, which means you can build custom maps just as easily as you can new documents, slideshows and spreadsheets.
Putting the My Maps tools right inside Google Drive says something about Google’s cloud-based productivity plans – this helps distance its offering from others including Office 365, giving it a broader feature set for users looking to do just more than get business done.
The update will roll out over the next week to all Drive users, giving them the ability to not only create maps from Drive, but also to organize their custom maps in folders, to search them alongside their other files, and to share them more easily with others. The My Map tool also gets functional improvements today, with the ability to add more layers and points of interest to user-generated maps.
My Maps is a tool that in many ways is just as relevant to modern computer users as is a document editor or slideshow creator, so it’s great to see Google recognize that and package it alongside those tools. Now we’ll have to see if this helps make My Maps more mainstream – I’ve still yet to receive a My Map documenting a friend or relative’s European vacation, for instance, or an event coverage planning map for work, but perhaps now My Maps will be more top-of-mind for a wider group of potential users.