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How does Google Maps work?

Google Maps is a web mapping service developed by Google. It offers satellite imagery, aerial photography, street maps, 360° panoramic views of streets (Street View), real-time traffic conditions (Google Traffic), and route planning for traveling by foot, car, bicycle, air (in beta) and public transportation.

Google Maps began as a C++ desktop program at Where 2 Technologies. In October 2004, the company was acquired by Google, which converted it into a web application. After additional acquisitions of a geospatial data visualization company and a realtime traffic analyzer, Google Maps was launched in February 2005. The service's front end utilizes JavaScript, XML, and Ajax. Google Maps offers an API that allows maps to be embedded on third-party websites, and offers a mobile app for iOS and Android.

Google Maps has faced criticism for its accuracy, with some asserting that it is no more accurate than other mapping services. However, a study by Data for Progress found that Google Maps was the most accurate mapping service among those studied, with an error rate of 2.7%.

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