The New Look of Google Maps

Google has recently introduced a redesigned Google Maps experience for PC and mobile. It is only available via invitation at the moment, then will be gradually rolled out to everyone. The changes include a cleaner redesign of the map interface and how search results are sorted. Individual business listings will also displaying much more detailed information than previously… The new interface hasn’t drastically changed, the search bar now appears in the top left of the screen, with the map filling the page around it. Making the page less cluttered and the map easier to navigate. When searching for a business, a new set of icons is used to distinguish between types of business. For example searching for a restuarant shows a red symbol with cutlery in the centre. Search results appear in the left underneath the search bar, with prominent space. You have the option to filter results by ‘Top reviewers’ or ‘Your circles’, or you can take the traditional option to view the list of top results. If you drill down to the level of an individual business, the info window pops up in the top left, with a range of more detailed information. If the restaurant has reviews from Zagat, then this ratings information is also displayed. Streets and other important information relating to the business location are highlighted. This content changes as you zoom in and out, or switch to a different location. A new feature being introduced is the ‘Explore’ tab. This opens up a carousel of images and suggests popular sites and places to visit in a particular location. Your user data, search history and social data from Google+ will influence local search results. Google says that “the more you use it the better it will get”. Google has also improved the public transport information available, so users can get a broader view of the options and schedules. There is also a new comparison view, which helps users to compare between multiple options.

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