Ahoy! Google Maps discovers Australia! They even found our office here at CNET Networks.

In ye olde days it took a long time to discover Australia and map its rugged coastline. Much the same can be said about online mapping services in Australia — it’s taken a digital age to see dynamic mapping services down under. WhereIs.com, although recently revamped, is, and always has been, a clunky service that enjoyed a monopoly in online mapping services.

However, local developers will have to wait no longer — Google Maps is live with up-to-date Australian maps. A Google spokesperson in Australia said:

“These enhancements serve as an initial step in bringing Australian data
to Google Maps. We continue to make strides on our development of Google
Maps for Australia, but we don’t have anything further to announce at
this time.”

Even though it is long overdue, I welcome the announcement and keen to see the flood of mash-ups that developers have been waiting with sweaty palms to deploy.

Check out Google Maps at http://maps.google.com/. If you are keen to get started with mash-ups and Google maps visit www.google.com/apis/maps/ to learn how the APIs work.

Good luck, and we’ll be on the lookout to see some cool local apps.

Update: Google have also launched maps to coders across the Tasman in New Zealand. Sweet as, bro.