A Japanese Developer, Katsuomi Kobayashi, has combined the wonders of Google Maps with the new ability to integrate with flash applications, has created a game that lets you drive around the earth via Google Maps.
Perhaps it isn’t “Google Theft Auto” quite yet – in fact, its not even a game. It’s a pretty basic application where you simply steer a vehicle on a map overlay. Nevermind those buildings, cars, mountains and stadiums your vehicle just drove on top of.
And while this isn’t anything particularly useful or fun at the moment, it isn’t a gimmick either. The 2D driving simulator shows how Google is combining their various assets and allowing developer access to them, creating brand new tools and services that take on another whole life and purpose.
You can obviously see how something like this would be used for an Android game with a real world feel. But how about using the game as a learning tool for future drivers? How about using the flash map integration to create other games, such as a “capture” the flag between various players seeking eachother out? The possibilities end only when your imagination stops.
This illustrates a HUGE step forward in the possibilities of web and mobile mapping applications. The simulator itself represents a real-world version of GeoQuake’s original driving simulator where walls, cars and other objects are recognized.
How about taking the same concept and applying it to Google Earth? No problem… thats exactly what the folks at Barnabu.co.uk did with their flight simulator.
Lets be clear… this isn’t an Android related announcement. These applications are about extending applications in your browser through Google’s various API. And, thats exactly what Google hopes developers will do with Android as well.