The Google Lat Long Team has announced that the Google URL shortener has graduated from testing to become an official feature of Google Maps. The super-short URL dedicated to Google-owned Web properties launched in July, and the path will always lead to a Google Maps page.

The Google Maps screen now displays a link icon in the top right corner. Clicking the link opens a box containing the map’s URL, which is no longer visible from the browser’s location bar (it just says ‘’), as well as HTML to embed the map on a Web page. The full URL is displayed by default, and it can be rather nasty, including the user’s search terms and a very long string of numbers. Above that field, though, is a checkbox for a ‘Short URL.’ Checking the box shortens the link.

Sharing Google Maps pages was possible before, but it was cumbersome due to the complex URLs generated, especially if it was a map with directions. Now all Google Maps can be shared using this tiny shortlink.

Google Maps has announced several updates in the last week. It added over 40 new top-level country domains. It also added a weather layer that displays current conditions and forecasts overlaid on the map, which makes it easier to plan an outing or a trip.