6 Comments

Summary:

After releasing a preview during last year’s I/O, Google is rolling out its “new” maps to all users, complete with exploration and recommendations.

new-google-maps-feature copy
photo: Google

After opening up to public beta nearly a year ago, Google finally announced Wednesday that its redesign of Google Maps will be available to everyone. The search giant first introduced the new Maps last May at Google I/O 2013.

According to a post on the company’s Maps blog, the new Maps will be slowly rolled out to users over the next few weeks. The maps are larger and easier to read, and the new design places an emphasis on being “smart”: users can not only bring up directions to a location, but also find the most efficient method of transport to get there (factoring in real-time traffic reports) and nearby places to stop. There’s also an enhanced street view mode, which is helpful to view routes or virtually sight-see new places.

new google maps

I made the switch to the new Maps as soon it was announced last year, and I’ve found the experience so intuitive and pleasurable that it made deciphering the old Maps much more difficult. The new design also offers an easier way to get commuter rail schedules and bike directions — which, as a car-free New York resident, I’ve found to be much more informative (and accurate) than the older version. Perhaps most importantly Google Map’s desktop experience finally matches the mobile experience, making directions easier and more unified.

Below, see Google Map execs Jonah Jones and Bernhard Seefeld discussing Maps with Om Malik at Gigaom’s Roadmap conference last November.

  1. The view is indeed more appealing and the less is more menus make it breathtaking on a big screen…

    However….

    I find it very cumbersome to use it as a trip planning tool vs a “I want to go there”…

    What I mean is if I just want to go or know about a point on the map it’s great…. But if I’m trying to gather route info, select point to point details or even try to save the current view to a link… It’s very painful..

    All of the minutiae commands are buried or gone…

    I have to keep flipping between the old and the new so often I gave up and went back to the clunky old one.

    I have the same problems when Google changed the android version to the flatter “clean” interface. Unfortunate it’s much harder to go back to the older version (and stay there without breaking other apps) on android.

    And the new android one has lots of route planning problems that I can’t really do what I want (for example you can’t pick two arbitrary points on the map and navigate between them.. You can only pick one… The other must be your current location or a known address.. Which if the address is wrong on the map or it is inside a park or an alley then your hosed)

    I feel Google had sacrificed detailed functionality for the flat mode of the user interface.

    And I don’t know how long the world is going to be in this sucky pretty but lack of functions that use to be…

    I logged issues with Google and they said.. Yea your right you can’t do that anymore and we can’t tell you when we will fix/add it (back)

    Sigh

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  2. No short url embed from street view

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  3. The best part of Google Maps are the custom user created maps in My Places, however you can’t find them on Google Maps.

    You can search them by Keyword here

    http://search-my-maps.blogspot.com

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  4. Raquel Bougie Tuesday, March 11, 2014

    I am disliking the new Google maps, I can’t figure out how to print off directions!
    It’s not user friendly any more,

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  5. I cannot even access the google maps on my computer. Does not work. When I try to find an address I only get the explore google maps icon with pictures of New York city.

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  6. The new Google Maps reminds me of Windows 8 – it’s not intuitive and in addressing one issue, it became harder to use.

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