Google Flex


The AP describes some of the useful amateur sites set up by people playing with Google's maps. It also notes the company's attitude towards the add-ons, which for now at least seems pretty enlightened:

Geeks, tinkerers and innovators are crashing the Google party, having discovered how to tinker with the search engine's mapping service to graphically illustrate vital information that might otherwise be ignored, overlooked or not perceived as clearly….

All these sites are operating without Google's permission, clearly violating the company's user agreement. But none charges any fees, and Mountain View-based Google, which declined to comment through a spokesman, has made no effort to shut them down.

"Why would they?" asks Kenneth Tan, who works for a Chicago-based media research firm and is relying on to find a new place in New York. "This is fantastic publicity for the company."

[Via Kent Lassman.]

Update: Sigh. The good times might already be over.