Earlier today I added a new calendar entry to my Google Calendar; in the location field I put just the name of the eye surgery (LasikPlus), no address. Later I went back to the calendar entry and noticed there was a ‘map’ link available. I thought to myself, “no way.”
Google used the default map location I have saved on their map site and performed a fuzzy search with ‘LasikPlus’ and returned a map showing my home location and the location of the nearest LasikPlus center, which happens to be where I am going. Not only is this convergence on an incredible scale, it verges on being mind-reading. I didn’t have to select any preferences or respond to any annoying dialogs, I just got a subtle map link that provides very useful information; quietly, automatically.
Google is rapidly changing the landscape of web delivered applications, and they are continually raising the bar of expectations for the rest of us producing software of any kind. I have no idea where Google, and the IT industry, will be in five or ten years, but with the catalytic effect Google is having now I can only imagine that we’ll look back at today and think, “how antiquated and arcane things were in 2006.”