Google Maps added a few new features this week, including “Helicopter” view. The new view provides a fly-over view of the route the user specifies between two destinations. This new 3D view is available to users that have the Google Earth plug-in installed on their computer. This not only adds enhanced video and viewing capabilities, but provides a “practice run” for drivers that are unfamiliar with how to get to specific destinations, and are unfamiliar with the area.

Google Maps also added “My Location”, a new feature that pinpoints the exact location and can make it the starting or ending point of a destination. Defending against privacy concerns, Google stated that they do not store location information in their maps for others to see. (Recall some months ago when privacy concerns were in uproar over the Apple iPhone reportedly storing locations).

This has also been optimized for local search. With local search and SEO, businesses can be pinpointed on Google Maps. Local search dramatically influences the company’s online visibility in a geographically defined radius. Now, users can pinpoint where your business is located and take a 3D flight path to the destination.