A new feature in Google Maps that adds geo-tagged videos from YouTube to maps, in the same way that photos are added, is currently being trialled by the search engine.

Google offered some Japanese Google Map users a sneak peek at the new service this week. A page that featured a line of text along the top of the map allowing users to 'report a bug or send feedback' and to 'view external version' of the service appeared sporadically.

The video layer could be switched on and off by mousing-over the 'More' button at the top of the map. Currently that has check boxes to switch on photos or Wikipedia layers but the trial version also had a video option as well.

When the video option was clicked, small thumbnails of videos began appearing all over a map of Japan. When a thumbnail was clicked, it brought up more information about the video and it was possible to click through and watch the video on YouTube.

The bug report was impossible to file because the link referenced a server that wasn't available from the internet and when the external version selection was made this additional line of text disappeared as did the YouTube video feature.

Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the video feature or the apparent availability of an internal page to external surfers.

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