Google Maps is an online service that provides maps, driving and public transport directions free of charge. It is owned and administered by Google Inc. The map data comes from a number of providers including Navtec, TeleAtlas and so on.
The online version of Google Maps is an early example of an Ajax-based interface, which allows the user to drag the map to pan it and double click to zoom in. Google Maps is also available on the iPhone/iPod touch platform, Android and on Java Mobile Edition (JavaME). The former two can be touch screen interaction and the latter is usually interacted with through buttons on a mobile device. The same data is also available on Windows, Mac OS X and iPhone through Google Earth.
Some commentators consider Google Maps to be an example of Web 2.0, cloud computing, Software as a Service and a cloud-based web service. In practice, Google provide an application programming interface (API) which allows programmers and others to use the data and functionality of the service on other web pages, and to place marker pins, shapes and other features on the map.