Friday, May 17, 2013

The New Google Maps

Google's I/O opening keynote was filled with announcements (it took over 3h!) and there's lots of new stuff to go around, some of them available right now, as the new and improved Google+ and Hangouts messaging system (with a some drawbacks that we hope to see fixed soon). But today, I'll be focusing on the new Google Maps (which should only be deployed a few months from now, but you can request an invite to try it out sooner).

Google maps were/are incredibly useful, but they sure were becoming a bit old-looking. Google has now fixed that. The new maps are now given the scale they deserve, filling up the entire screen, and the results are show on hovering panes and in the map itself. As you select each result, the map changes accordingly, highlighting related information, while fading out less relevant info/roads/etc. One other thing that is sure to make lots of fans: you can now easily compare different transportation methods, so you can see how much faster/slower you'll be should you choose to take the bus/train/etc. The new maps also have integrated street view and google earth imagery - so you can see "everything"  without ever having to leave your browser window. It's also more intelligent, dynamically rerouting you during your navigation should a traffic jam popup on your preselected route.

The new maps will be available on the web, Android and iOS... and I can't wait to get it. (Some friends have already received the invitation for the new maps, but I'm still waiting for mine - I guess Google might be giving priority for intensive Google+ users... which... I'm not. But using blogger daily for several years should also count for something, right?)

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