Google Treasure Maps
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.
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.
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.