Here at Google Maps we're always looking for new ways to allow people to easily explore the world's information. Well, what could be easier than putting things right on the map? We've now added icons and labels of prominent businesses and places of interest directly on the map itself. We've found it super useful for checking out what's nearby a hotel we'll be staying at, orienting ourselves, getting the feel for a neighborhood, or just browsing around for fun.

Not only can you see where these places are, but you can click the icons to get a summary of what this place is about and explore more by choosing more info to see business info, reviews, photos, Wikipedia articles, and a lot of other local information.

While writing this blog post Nick was looking for a interesting sample image to use and decided to poke around the Mall area of Washington D.C. He grew up just outside D.C., and has been to the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the museums along The Mall countless times. However, Nick had no idea there is an Albert Einstein Memorial there until just yesterday.

Like many other cool features we build at Google, this feature was a cross-team effort involving engineers from the Seattle, New York and Zurich offices. We want to all get together to celebrate this launch, and even though Andrin is traveling in from Zurich he won't have problem finding his way to the party because he can just check Google Maps to find the landmarks to orient himself!