Google rolled out a new feature on Google Maps this week that displays instant traffic information for more than 30 major cities in the U.S., InformationWeek
Using the new feature, commuters can see up-to-date traffic conditions to help them plan their routes around congested areas. Microsoft and Yahoo also offer live traffic data through their mapping services.
Users can search for a specific location by selecting the "traffic" button on Google Maps. When the traffic feature is enabled, major roads will be displayed on a map, marked by red, yellow and green overlays that show the speed at which traffic is moving. Red means the traffic is stop-and-go, yellow means it's moving slowly, and green means the traffic is moving well.
Google launched a similar service for mobile devices in July.
The combination of a map and live traffic data is known as a mashup, formed by integrating multi-sourced applications or content into a single offering. Traffic mashups and thousands of others that include weather, city information and even crime rates around the country are a growing phenomenon on the Web and are expected to hit the mainstream in the next two years, according to InformationWeek