Google Maps (formerly Google Local) is a web mapping service application and technology provided by Google, that powers many map-based services, including the Google Maps website, Google Ride Finder, Google Transit, and maps embedded on third-party websites via the Google Maps API. It offers street maps, a route planner for traveling by foot, car, bike (beta), or with public transportation and a locator for urban businesses in numerous countries around the world. Google Maps satellite images are not updated in real time, but rather they are several months or years old.
Google Maps uses a close variant of the Mercator projection, so it cannot show areas around the poles. A related product is Google Earth, a stand-alone program which offers more globe-viewing features, including showing polar areas.