When Google wants to test new features, they call them Lab experiments, and make them opt-in. Now, following many other services, Google Maps received a Lab icon. Click the green flask at the top of Google Maps and you get a chance to enable features like the following:
* Drag ’n’ Zoom: Click the Drag-and-Zoom button, then draw a box on the map to immediately zoom into that place.
* Aerial Imagery: Available for certain areas, aerial imagery “gives you rotatable, high-resolution overhead imagery presented in a new perspective.”
* Back to Beta: This will simply add a “Beta” icon to the Maps logo.
* Where in the World Game: Guess the name of the country from satellite imagery.
* Rotatable Maps: This puts north facing downwards, for instance.
* What’s Around Here?: This will trigger a search for anything (“*”), showing the top places for a given location.
* LatLng Tooltip: Shows the latitude/ longitude of where your cursor is positioned.
*Smart Zoom: Ever zoom in too far and get the message "We don't have imagery at this zoom level"? Ensure you don't see it again, with Smart Zoom, which will check in advance what imagery exists, and ensure you can't zoom in beyond it.