Google maps - intersting new developments and training course
Lots of interesting things at Google maps.
First, Google just finished offering an online course on how to use its maps - very useful for journalists. Though the course officially ended June 24, the link is still up, and Google tends to leave these up for a while.
Second, you really should check out Google's new Maps Engine Lite. I suspect this may eventually take the place of Fusion Tables (officially still in "experimental" stage) for making maps. It allows you to create map layers, import data, draw shapes, stylize the icons and labels, etc.
Meanwhile, if you're using Fusion Tables to create maps, here's the link to Google's hard-to-find post on the codes for creating various map icos (more than you will probably ever use) http://bit.ly/googlemapicons.