Total overhaul. This is perhaps the best way to describe what Google has done with its map service, Google Maps. During Google I / O, the company announced a complete overhaul of the service’s web interface, integration with Google+ Circles, as well as new apps for Android and iOS (including for the iPad ).
When accessing the new Google Maps for the first time, changes are easily noticed. First, the left sidebar simply disappeared, giving way to a search box located in the upper left corner of the screen (in the Foursquare style), through which the user can do their research, trace routes, choose the best route, consult opening times. public transport lines, among other things. Another novelty in the new version is the change in the colors of maps and landmarks, which made navigation even more pleasant.
When the user makes a search, Google Maps will display all the results on the screen, but making a differentiation that can be noticed by the size of the indicative ball on the map. According to Google, the larger balls represent the points that the service considers most relevant to the user. In addition, each type of commercial establishment has its own icon, which allows a better experience for the user.
In the test I did, I looked for bakeries here in Juiz de Fora. As you can see on the map, he automatically identified where I live (warning to stalkers: the location is not accurate: p) and has already informed me of all the routes he found (one was missing) so I could leave the house and go buy my warm cheese bread. I confess that, even with the absence of one of the routes, I was impressed with its accuracy.
Depending on the city, the system displays more relevant information. As can be seen in the image below, when doing a search for the route between two malls in Rio de Janeiro, he showed me all the bus schedules, as well as two possible routes to be taken by car. Perhaps, because he knew me and knew that I was fat, he didn’t even offer me a route for me to go walking. 😉
The new version also has integration with Google Earth and allows the user to continue switching between the map or satellite view with a simple click on the box located in the lower left corner of the screen. 3D buildings are still available, which makes walking through unknown cities even more interesting.
If you thought Google Street View was left out, you’re totally wrong. According to the user’s walk, whether by viewing maps or satellites, the squares at the bottom of the page are being modified in real time. This allows the user to choose whether to see photographs of a certain area of the map or the famous “street view”.
When clicking, the user is taken at the same time to the images captured by the company’s cars. If you want to return to the map / satellite, just click on the arrow in the upper left corner of the screen or in “Return to Map” in the lower corner of the screen.
During the presentation, Google also promised that users will be able to view, in some commercial establishments, a kind of internal Street View, being able to browse all the environments of the place they intend to visit.
Integration with Google+
Another novelty presented by Google is the integration of Maps with Google+. According to the company, if the user has a profile in the social service, the results of the surveys will take into account the evaluation made by the friends who are in their circles. Thus, the proposal is to indicate, to the user, a place that has already been visited by a friend and that has received a good evaluation. In theory, this should make users more comfortable when visiting a place.
New apps for Android and iOS
Another announcement made by Google was the update of its map applications for Android and iOS. In the case of Apple, the company said that an iPad version will also be released, since they have run out of versions of Google Maps since Apple replaced it with the map service itself. However, until the time of publication of this text, no new version has been made available for any of the platforms.
Users who want to try the new Google Maps can access this site and request an invitation.