Google Treasure Maps

Google Treasure MapsGoogle Treasure Maps

In what might be an early April Fool's joke, Google introduced a new map type in its Google Maps product, called the Google Treasure Maps. Basically, it is a map of the world, following all the current geographical locations, but displayed in a way that makes it look very much like a treasure map. There are a lot of details including skull icons, place names written down in a pirate style, little trees and buildings drawn, and so on. The map is fully navigable through the normal Google Maps controls, and you can zoom in and out to various locations. Not all of the geographic features are shown on the map, but instead the company apparently chose to only display some of the most relevant places and roads.

This is not the first time that Google does fun, albeit somewhat useless things with its products. It has a long list of hoaxes and April Fool's jokes, along with fun projects typically done through the 20% rule that the company implements with its employees. Each worker is incentivized to spend 20% of their working hours creating projects that are not in their core job description, and these projects lead to many well known features like Google Mail and Maps.

The Treasure Maps also allow you to switch on Street View, and while the actual pictures are used, a filter has been added to make them look like old, far west style photographs. There is no sign whether this is a temporary feature just for this coming April, or if this will stay a part of Google Maps for the foreseeable future.