What’s New About the New Google Maps
December 13th, 2013 by
This week, Google rolled out a new and improved Google Maps! With this update, many are wondering what exactly is different about Maps besides the obvious physical changes.
The new design is focused on providing smarter search results immediately and making the user experience much more effortless. In this day and age, consumer satisfaction is highly driven by ease of use, so an update like this is essential to staying on top of the trends in usability.
Probably the most noticeable change is the way you search. With the new interactive features, you can hover over search results and the map will change to show you those results. This reduces the time spent by users re-searching for what they were looking for because they chose the wrong result.
So far, I’ve found that the new interactive search results change local search opportunities for businesses to a certain degree. When I search the keyword “internet marketing service” maps displayed only three businesses in the search results but also showed a countless number of business results on the local map. On the map itself, the results were shown with two different kinds of red dots. It looks like the bigger dots are results that Google found more relevant to your search.
A new goal of Google Maps is to “get better with use,” so as you search the map, star places, and leave reviews, the map adapts and shows you more relevant results. “…the more you use the new Google Maps, the more helpful it becomes.”
Once you click on the desired result, the map reacts, showing you business information including the hours, location, and the option to go into Street View. They’ve made the new Maps more tailored for getting directions, taking some styles from how the Google Maps Android and Apple apps work. In the past, Street View was something you could access through buttons in the corner of the map or with Pegman, but Street View is now a readily available in your search results.
While we’re on the topic of Pegman, let’s talk about the new features involved with everyone’s favorite little Street View helper. Besides making him a revamped and fun—sort of—Google Maps’ mascot (Today he’s donning a Santa hat!),
they’ve moved the Pegman location to the bottom corner of the map. Also, when you use Pegman, you’ll see new color coded dots and lines indicating where you can enter Street View, “See Inside” some locations, and enter a “Photo Sphere”.
Finally, the new Google Maps is allowing users to submit their own content for Street View, allowing people to share the experience of their favorite and sometimes remote locations. Users have been allowed to share their Photo Spheres since last year, but now these Photo Spheres that once stood alone will be stitched together to create a Street View experience.
Overall, the new Google Maps has created a more pleasing and a much easier experience for Maps users while also making Maps more engaging and fun to use.
Video source of gif and first screenshot here.
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As Amy said to me, this is even more reason to get pictures from clients of their offices inside and out – and put those pictures in their Google+ Albums for “see inside” option.
Great post Mary! Love the animation.