I live in Santa Monica, so I've spent a lot of time driving around parking lots going in circles looking for an available space. If you live in a metropolitan area, you know how hard finding a parking spot can be. Don't you wish you knew which lots had available spaces ahead of time?

Google has just teamed up with Santa Monica's Information Systems Department to provide real-time data from the city's parking lots. Now, before I head out the door I can check the Parking Information Mapplet and know exactly where I can expect to find a space waiting for me. Adding the Mapplet takes just a few clicks. With it enabled, you can find the locations of Santa Monica's city-operated parking lots and get up to the minute information on how many free spaces they have. With this new tool in hand, we hope you'll spend a lot less time in the parking lot!

I also hope that this mapplet will inspire others to think of new and interesting ways to use Mapplets to communicate real-time information.