When customers search for products or services, location is often a deciding factor. Google has long recognized this fact and has been steadily adding features to their Google Maps API. With a simple mouse click, a user can see restaurants, hotels, and gas stations as a map overlay, helping them identify and narrow down choices by vicinity.
Mapplets are fairly simple to create but require basic web development knowledge to write the code. Considering Google is offering a free platform for exposing your brand to millions and complete content control, it may be well worth the investment.