Google Maps and Google Earth may be two separate services, but the gap between the software and Webware apps is narrowing. Last night Google rolled out a new view in Maps, enabling users to view geocoded YouTube videos, something Google Earth users have been doing since October of last year.
The videos show up as small red dots, and can be played right on the map. To enable the feature users simply need to add the layer from Google's map add-ons directory, which has quickly grown to include more than 50 add-ons--many of which come from third parties.
One option sorely missing is a way to search for videos within the map; something that must be done from YouTube. For instance, I was looking to geolocate Tay Zonday's "Chocolate Rain" in Minneapolis, but was unable to. I'm assuming Zonday has not geotagged his video, but it would still be nice to search for videos by title using the same interface.
Other layers that have made their way into Google Maps from Earth include clouds, elevation, and the Wikipedia mapplet, which shows you Wikipedia entries based on location--something that's been ported over to Yahoo's Fire Eagle as well. Still missing, however, is Google Earth's claim to fame: a spinning 3-D and oblique view. Competitors like Microsoft have been pushing the limit of in-browser visuals on its Live Maps product, while Google seems to have settled (for now) with its Street View technology, which incidentally is making its way to Google Earth from Google Maps later tonight.