In the history of the Internet, 2005–2006 will be remembered as the year when online mapping
finally came of age. Prior to 2005, MapQuest and other mapping services allowed you to look
up directions, search for locations, and map businesses, but these searches were limited, usually
to the companies the services had partnered with, so you couldn’t search for any location.
On February 8, 2005, Google changed all that. As it does with many of its services, Google quietly
released the beta of Google Maps to its Labs incubator (http://labs.google.