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Google Maps is a web mapping service developed by Google. This service provides satellite imagery, road maps, 360 ° panoramas, traffic conditions, and route planning for traveling by foot, car, bicycle (beta), or public transport.
Google Maps started as a C ++ desktop program, designed by Lars and Jens Eilstrup Rasmussen at Where 2 Technologies. In October 2004, the company was acquired by Google, which was converted into a web app. After additional acquisitions from the company's visualization of geospatial data and traffic analysis, Google Maps launched in February 2005.
Google Maps satellite view is "top-down". Most high-resolution images from the city are aerial photographs taken from planes at an altitude of 800 to 1,500 feet (240-460 meters), while most of the other imagery is from satellites. Most of the available satellite imagery is no more than three years old and updated regularly. Google Maps uses close variants of the Mercator projection, and therefore Google Maps can not accurately pinpoint areas around the poles.
Google Maps for mobile was released in September 2008. As of August 2013, Google Maps is determined to be the world's most popular app for smartphones, with more than 54% of smartphone owners worldwide using it at least once.