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Google Maps Engine Lite beta lets amateurs craft their own location sets


Pros have long had access to Google Maps Engine if they need to highlight anything from local stores to natural resources. Today, Google is catering to the rest of us would-be cartographers with a beta for Google Maps Engine Lite. The web service lets everyday users draw objects and import locations for their own reference, whether it's plotting favorite hiking trails or pinpointing worthwhile places on an upcoming vacation. Map makers can stylize the maps and share them with others, if they like -- the Lite label mostly limits users to "small" spreadsheet imports and a maximum of three data sets for comparisons. As long as you can live within those prescribed boundaries, you can try the slimmed down engine right now.

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